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5/3-4: Good Works in Central America...
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5/2/2012 at 1:29:23 PM GMT
Posts: 384
5/3-4: Good Works in Central America...

 May 3-4, 2012

Good Works in Central America: Interrogating North American Voluntary Service

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201


Keynote presentation by
Father Fernando Cardenal
"Priest in the Revolution: A Lifetime of Service to Youth in Poverty"

Thursday, May 3, 
4:30 - 6 p.m.

Please register for the keynote presentation by visiting Eventbrite.

Open Forum on International Service 
Friday, May 4,
 2 - 5 p.m.

To RSVP for the conference, email Kyle McCray at

Website link:

Organizers: Katherine Borland, Associate Professor of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University


: Short-term delegations to Central America for the purpose of providing material aid, assisting with grassroots development, or offering direct service have proliferated in the last four decades. This conference critically examines travel-for-service and the micro-politics of encounters between privileged visitors (professionals, politically motivated groups, service-learning programs) and impoverished third-world communities they visit, as well as the larger implications of poverty relief efforts organized outside of and sometimes in opposition to existing national and international institutions. Such projects promise solutions to seemingly entrenched problems in poorer nations through virtuous vigorous action. Yet in actuality, the dynamics of cosmopolitan interaction are complex.

This conference will provide an opportunity for students and faculty interested or already engaged in international service to reflect upon their motives, practices, and experiences and to consider not only their immediate accomplishments but the longer-term implications of the kind of citizen-diplomacy they aspire to enact.

The keynote speaker, Nicaragua's Father Fernando Cardenal, has committed his life to direct service to the poor within the framework of a religious vocation and training, more specifically, liberation theology. In 1980, he directed Nicaragua's National Literacy Crusade, an internationally acclaimed voluntary effort to teach reading and writing to rural and underserved populations, organized through the revolutionary state as a nationalist project.

The academic speakers come from a variety of positions within the university but share a concern for reflection and the identification of "best practices." They have all either volunteered with or facilitated volunteer missions/delegations.

Last edited Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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