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GlobalPhilly 2013: Spotlight on Advocacy
Dominique Johnson, for GPA -- GlobalPhilly 2013 will present "Advocacy," as one of seven dimensions that make the Philadelphia region global (the others being Arts, Commerce, Cuisine, Education, Heritage, and Sports). This category of the exposition is reserved for GP13 events that focus on promoting dialogue about a host of issues affecting humanity worldwide, and how Philadelphians fit into the international discourse. GPA News contributor Dominique Johnson profiles a few of the embodiments of Advocacy that will occur during GlobalPhilly 2013.
Peace Day Philly: September 19 - 22
Drexel University, Various Events and Activities: September - October
Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, What We Sow: October 5
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatric Global Health Conference: November 1
Peace Day is a concept that was established by the United Nations with the purpose to uplift the idea of peace at the international level, but also at the levels of community and the individual.
Lisa Parker, co-founder and coordinator for Peace Day Philly, learned about Peace Day on September 21, 2009. In 2011 she met with individuals and others from the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia about how such a day would benefit Philadelphia and the region.
“Everyone was really excited and thought it was a great concept, and then we met together during the spring and chose our name, Peace Day Philly, and we just moved from there,” Parker said. “I basically became Coordinator of the initiative. It really pushed my limits, but it was something I felt like was important to do.”
Peace Day Philly allows people locally to “plug in to a globally observed day of peace in a way that is most meaningful to them,” Parker added.
“It’s a day to set our mindfulness on peace on a personal level, as well as a community and global awareness level,” Parker said. “It allows people different access points to thinking about peace, but most importantly recommitting to the importance of peace in our lives.”
Peace Day is also a day to be recognized as a day of global ceasefire, which was part of the unanimous 2001 United Nations Resolution.
Parker noted that actual ceasefires have been negotiated in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan, which has allowed a number of different humanitarian efforts to take place on September 21.
“The ceasefire concept is something that can be taken to the community and even the individual level,” Parker said. “So there are many types of weapons, not just bombs and guns, but our words, our intentions and behavior, so we can look at 'ceasefire' at a very personal level and also at a community level. But our primary focus is on positive peace rather than reducing something negative - actions that involve peacebuilding and lifting up the principle and practice of peace.”
At the launch of Global Philadelphia’s website, Parker was excited to see that there was a place where people could put different global curriculums.
She connected with Global Philadelphia when the organization first showed interest in one of Peace Day Philly’s programs of video conferencing between college students in Philadelphia and youth in Egypt talking about creating culture peace in a multicultural world.
“The international part, the multicultural part of Global Philadelphia and what Global Philadelphia is lifting up is a very important part of Peace Day Philly,” Parker said. “What we hope is to engage people and get people talking about global issues, as well as issues and ideas within communities.”
Peace Day Philly is planning several events that will happen this coming fall between Sept. 19th and 22nd. Parker added that there will be a community program on 9/20 with speakers, voices of youth and music, a minute of silence gathering (a global activity on 9/21), a peace walk, a photography exhibition and an interfaith forum. Also in the works are a number of public events that groups and organizations are involved in creating, such as a Peace Teach-In a Drexel University on 9/17, a peace conference at the Friends Center 9/21, mindfulness training with youth, speakers and films related to peace and a “Focus On Peace” photo initiative on 9/21 that will be open to all.
“What we’re working really hard to do right now is to lift up the opportunity of this global day to as many people, communities, organizations across the Philly region as we can,” Parker said.
This fall, Drexel University has planned an array of activities set to be part of GlobalPhilly 2013, beginning with a Photography Exhibition of perspectives on peace and ending with the “Cross Country Conversation” series. .
Designed to bring domestic and international students together, the Cross Country Conversation is an ongoing series that takes place at Drexel at least once every quarter.
When the university became aware of GlobalPhilly 2013, they wanted to help build upon that momentum by offering a diverse range of events.
“We also wanted to connect some of our existing series of events to GlobalPhilly 2013,” says Heidi West, director of Drexel University’s Office of International Programs. “So these are spaces that bring students together outside of a traditional classroom setting, where they are encouraged to share their perspectives and personal experiences.”
The series rotates through various topics that come from either students or an interested faculty member. For GlobalPhilly 2013, the topic will focus on Globilization and Music on October 30.
“We’re going to bring together a panel- a mix of international students from around the world as well as domestic students, from diverse parts of the country,” West added.
Generally the series take place over lunchtime. The moderator, usually a faculty member in the field of the chosen topic, introduces it.
West explained that this sets the frame for letting the students and others who are interested know that the series is an interactive event.
“One of the reasons that these events came about was to help bridge the gap between different communities and create opportunities for students to come together about an issue that’s affecting them,” West says.
Girl Rising is an acclaimed documentary feature film that Drexel will be showing on campus during GlobalPhilly 2013, that comes from Academy Award-nominated director, Richard E. Robbins. The film spotlights the stories of 9 young girls from 9 countries that include Peru, Haiti, Egypt, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Cambodia.
“This will be open to the public and is being done in partnership with other offices on campus,” according to West. “We will also have a short talk after the film screening about the issues discussed.”
The largest of Drexel's three GlobalPhilly 2013 events, the Photography Exhibition of perspectives on peace, will be ongoing for several weeks in the James E. Marks Intercultural Center 30 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The photography will be hung by September 13 and the exhibit will continue through the end of October. The exhibition is collaborative effort of several organizations.
“In addition to the participation of several Drexel stakeholders, perspectives on peace is a part of Peace Day Philly and could not be achieved without the involvement and efforts of the American Society of Media Photographers,” describes West.
There will be an opening reception on September 19 at 6pm and a closing program on October 29. The exhibition and events are free and open to the public and will include appearances by the artists and other visual peacemakers. “ASMP will be curating the show and working directly with the photographers,” West adds.
The photographers will include Laurence Salzmann, Eric Mencher, Anthony Wood, and Noah Addis. The focus of their work will be Philadelphia as a kind of sanctuary for its international community.
“I think it’s really about connecting people,” West says. “I hope that we can connect people who are interested and excited about international community in the city of Philadelphia. I think really we’re hoping through the arts, through conversation and film that we can bring people together.”
For more information on these programs and others, please visit www.drexel.edu/international
Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, What We Sow event, will take place this October with a meal produced by artists Lucy + Jorge Orta that will be 34th in a series of ongoing meals that the two artists have produced around the world.
Several years ago, Mural Arts had reached out to Studio Orta about the possibility of working together. Mural Arts then reconnected with the studio last year about partnering to produce what would become 70X7 The Meal, Act XXXIV in the series of public art projects.
“These projects are both visual and performance arts pieces,” Judy Hellman, director of special projects at Mural Arts, said. “In the case of the meal that is being produced with Mural Arts we are looking to gather at least a thousand people around a communal table in Philadelphia to engage in conversation about the issues that heirloom food and their role in creating a healthier food system in their environment.”
The Meal will feature a simple menu of heirloom produce created by Chef Marc Vetri and catered by Cescaphe Event Group.
“Over twenty events will be going on throughout the city on October 5th that anyone is welcome to participate in,” Hellman said. “There will be three mural marketing art tours that Mural Arts will be sponsoring and there is a fee to participating in those tour.”
Those who attend the events will be entered into a lottery for a chance to win two free tickets to The Meal. The lottery will close on September 7th and winners will be notified by September 10th.
What We Sow is specifically looking for opportunities for the Philadelphia community to explore the world of heirloom food and through workshops, tastings and cooking demonstrations, Hellman added.
“In addition to the plan, our plan is during the meal itself we will be looking to distribute heirloom apples to those people who become participants to this event as well as literature about the meal itself and this project,” Hellman said. “ At the same time that will be hosting this meal with the Ortas, Mural Arts will also be looking to distribute in the days leading up to this meal what we’re referring to as meal kits.”
These meal kits will be a still to be determined number of boxed meals that will be comprised of a segment of the actual table as well as a portion of some of the heirloom food.
The boxes will also be distributed to different organizations throughout the city that are feeding the hungry as well as potentially looking to distribute to individual families throughout Philadelphia as well.
For more information on the Mural Arts Program and the What We Sow event, please visit the organization’s website at www.muralarts.org.
The Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia Global Health Symposium started in 2008. It is an annual one-day professional educational event hosted by CHOP Global Health that seeks to highlight pressing issues in pediatric global health.
This year, the conference theme will be Violence Against Children: Global Perspectives on Resilience, Response and Health Outcomes. CHOP hosts regular conferences on different topics in pediatric health, though this is the only conference dedicated specifically to the health of children around the world.
“Violence occurs in every country in the world, has devastating effects on the health and well-being of children, and negatively affects their ability to learn and their social and emotional development,” Dr. Rodney Finalle said. “During the conference, experts from around the world will discuss the scope and implications of violence and children, and also explore interventions that have been successful in addressing the needs and realities of children experiencing violence on a global scale.”
The most unique part about the conference this year, Finalle added, is the “depth and breadth” of speakers who are participating this year.
The keynote speaker will be Leila Zerrougui, the Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations.
“Ms. Zerrougui’s job is to bring justice to children that are involved in crimes,” Finalle said. “Some of the violations her office seeks to stop including the killing or maiming of children, recruitment of children or use of children as soldiers and the denial of humanitarian access for children.”
In addition to Zerrougui, Finalle added, a multidisciplinary course faculty includes expert from the fields of: pediatric medicine, psychology, nursing, research, anthropology and public health. They will address the specific needs and realities of refugee populations, child gangs in Haiti, boy and girl child soldiers, child trafficking, personal experiences working in war-torn areas and the international response to violence.
The closing speaker, Achier Mou, will share his journey from being a Lost Boy in South Sudan, to a public health expert in the US, now working to bring basic medical care to the newly independent country of South Sudan.
“The conference offers Continuing Medical Education credit for doctors, nurses and social workers who are interested in attending the event through the Department of Continuing Medical Education at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” Finalle said.
CHOP’s day-long event will highlight expert speakers from across the country and world through lectures, panel discussions and question and answer sessions. In addition, they encourage students, researchers, clinicians, nonprofit and global health professionals to submit academic posters to our poster session.
A networking session will be held at the end of the day, and will allow for attendees to display their posters and network with other interested attendees.
“The purpose of the CHOP Global Health Conference is to raise awareness and provide knowledge on the issue of children and violence across the globe,” Finalle said. “We seek to highlight the work of both the individuals who are dedicated to improving the health of children exposed to violence, as well as provide real context to the issue of global violence against children. We also seek to provide concrete tools and explore successful interventions for professionals who may be working in this field.”
Finalle hopes that this conference will inspire dialogue between conference participants and faculty and result in increased action against global violence towards children, as well as bringing a greater awareness about the realities of violence and their effects on children worldwide.
“As a global city, with a growing number of international, immigrant and refugee children in the region, and a growing number of students and professionals interested in working in the field of global health, we are seeking to promote a greater awareness about the issues of violence and children on a global scale,” Finalle said. “For health-care providers in the region who provide clinical care to children internationally, or from different immigrant and refugee populations, we also hope to provide tools for them to provide culturally competent care to their patients here in Philadelphia.”
The International Medicine Department at CHOP became a member of Global Philadelphia in 2010 and supports its mission of promoting the development of an international consciousness within the region, and sharing information and experience with like-minded organizations across the city.
CHOP hosts different events throughout the year. They are hoping to introduce a Global Health speaker series at the hospital over the next year and highlight some of the incredible work that our CHOP physicians are doing abroad.
The cost of attending the conference is $150 for medical professionals seeking CME credit, $75 for residents and trainees and $50 for students. For group rates, contact Elizabeth George in the office of CME at CHOP. (UTSCH@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU)