Posts Tagged “Berkley Center”
[Editor's note: this is a sponsored post.]
What is distinctive about Millennials? How do their personal and public values differ from those of previous generations? How will they shape the 2012 election and America’s future? On Thursday, the Berkley Center and the Division of Student Affairs are convening a panel discussion on “Millennials, Values, and America’s Future.” The event will feature authors Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein), who has appeared on The Colbert Report, as well as Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Harlem Is Nowhere) and Rev. Jim Wallis, a leading Evangelical. Student leaders from around the country will also be on the panel. The event will take place in Copley Formal Lounge from 2 to 3:30 p.m. You can find more information and RSVP here.
The event will follow on the release, earlier that morning, of the Millennial Values Survey, a groundbreaking poll of 18-24 year-olds on faith, values, and the 2012 election. You can RSVP for the release event, which will take place from 10:30-12:00 in the Fisher Colloquium (Hariri Building) here.
Both events are part of a nation-wide Campus Conversation on Values designed to engage the Millennial generation. You can join in the conversation by following these five different threads.
> Does educational opportunity remain the key to success in the United States?
> Is economic inequality the single greatest problem in America today?
> Are Americans united by a shared set of values?
> Does the Millennial generation have values fundamentally different from its predecessors?
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Last night, Georgetown’s Knights of Columbus held a symposium on “Religious Freedom and Healthcare.” The program included a set of conservative religious, political, and legal figures discussing the Obama administration’s recent decisions on the religious conscience exception to the requirement mandating contraception be included in health insurance policies, the intentions behind it, and the proper Catholic response to it.
The symposium’s cast included Timothy Shah of the Berkley Center’s Religious Freedom Project as the moderator of the discussion; Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian as well as the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; Kellie Fiedorek, Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life; Thomas Peters, the prominent blogger of American Papist run through CatholicVoteAction.org, laid out the steps by which President Barack Obama “exploited” his power to pass the insurance mandate that would “force women to receive access to life-ending drugs”; and Scott Lloyd, Assistant Director of Public Policy for the Knights of Columbus, went over some of the legal details of the mandate.
Starting the night off with the Lord’s Prayer, the panel was observed by a group of roughly 25 people, including the Knights. Shah opened the discussion up for each member to speak briefly so that there would be time for questions and comments at the end. Peters, the American Papist, held nothing back in his criticism of the administration’s decisions:
Before we decide where to go from here, we must first stop to analyze what the Left did to get us here. The Obama administration has exploited it’s power, ignoring the constitution, by way of eight relatively easy steps. First, it has the power. Obamacare provided the federal government with power over the health insurance industry. Second, the power of the HHS mandate allowed Senator Mikulski to make sure insurance plans cover abortion drugs. Third, Obama brought in the experts. Not one of the sixteen members on the deciding committee was pro-life. Fourth, they ignored the media’s response. It was a sham. Fifth, the HHS was an edict and held no care for dissent. Sixth, the administration waited for backlash and gave a phony compromise in response. Seventh, they manipulated the media and claimed the religious right was leading a ‘war on contraception.’ Eighth, and perhaps most disappointingly, Obama exploited the Catholic supporters of the mandate and used them to his advantage.
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Last night, the Lecture Fund and the International Relations Club hosted a spirited discussion entitled “Striking the Balance: How Should American Universities Engage the Chinese Government?” Provoked by a recent Voice feature (Full Disclosure: Perry is the author of this feature) that detailed the University’s growing relationships with Chinese government institutions, the event became an evaluation of the history of modern Chinese human rights and a debate over the ethics of the University’s efforts in China.
In a discussion moderated by Father Stephen Fields of the Theology Department, the panelists were Wei Jingsheng, a prominent Chinese dissident who was exiled for his pro-democracy activism, Ciping Huang, the Secretary General of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition who also served as Jingsheng’s translator, T. Kumar, the Director of International advocacy for Amnesty International USA, and Professor Thomas Banchoff, the Director of the Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.
The most contentious part of the dialogue concerned Georgetown’s response to China’s denial in 2008 and 2009 of University professor James Millward‘s visa requests. Kumar and Wei disagreed with Banchoff over the University’s position on academic freedom and China.
Kumar criticized Georgetown for strengthening ties with China after Millward was denied a visa, advocating a “red lines” ethical stance.
“Georgetown maintaining it’s relationship with China after they deny the visa of a professor here,” Kumar said, “It’s an insult to Georgetown itself.”
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The kickoff symposium luncheon for the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge took place today at 12:00 p.m. in Copley Formal Lounge, officially announcing and recognizing Georgetown as one of 278 universities nationwide that has heeded to Barack Obama’s call for American institutions of higher learning to devote their resources to promoting harmony and justice in their own communities and beyond.
The Challenge, as explained in its brochure, calls for universities to “commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus.” And although its title specifically refers to tolerance and community between those with differing religious beliefs, the Georgetown community plans to focus its resources on, according to a brochure from the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, “combating domestic poverty and improving educational opportunity.”
“This issue [of education] is especially salient to us at Georgetown,” Aamir Hussain (COL ’14), a member of the Georgetown Challenge Student Task Force, said during his speech at the luncheon. “While the institutions of higher education are among the best in the nation, the public school system is one of the worst.”
The idea of education as a core component of community service as well as being closely related to interfaith understanding was one that was shared and discussed by most of the 7 guest speakers at the luncheon. Among them were two representatives from the Department of Education, Director of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell and Methodist Minister and Senior Advisor of FBNP Ken Bedell.
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Last week, the University announced the creation of a “religious freedom project” within the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.
The project, which was funded by a $2 million grant from the Templeton Foundation, will be led by Thomas Farr, a senior fellow in the Berkley Center. Timothy Samuel Shah, a visiting government professor, will serve as associate director of the three-year project.
“At a moment when religious freedom is under siege around the world, the Religious Freedom Project will mobilize scholars, promote teaching, support policymakers, and inform a wider public about the value of religious liberty,” Farr said.
According to Farr, the project’s chief goal will be to explore the relationship between religious freedom, democracy, and extremism.
While University President John DeGioia added that the partnership with the Templeton Foundation will “[allow] Georgetown to engage an exciting intellectual area with critical implications for today’s world,” the foundation has come under fire in the past for allegedly blurring the line between science and religion. In 1998, Slate writer David Plotz revealed how the foundation’s namesake, John Templeton, “almost singlehandedly revived the field of religious science” by awarding money to colleges that agreed to offer courses about science and religion.
The Berkley Center’s religious freedom program will sponsor “a series of events, publications, courses and policy consultations to generate and disseminate knowledge about religious freedom among scholars, policy experts, educators and the wider public.”
h/t, photo: Georgetown University News
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The summer got you hankering for some Georgetown education? Luckily for you, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and the Program for Jewish Civilization have just started producing a new series, “Faith Complex,” about religion, politics and art which is being broadcast on the Washington Post website.
The first episode, “A Bad Girl of Islam,” features PJC Director Jacques Berlinerblau (full disclosure: Berlinerblau is my certificate adviser) interviewing Muslim reformer and feminist Asra Nomani:
So far there’s only one episode up, but more should be added tomorrow, according to Berlinerblau. According to the program’s Facebook group, upcoming guests include “proponent of secular Islam Abdullahi An-Naim, David Freedman of the Anti-Defamation League (discussing Cyber-Anti-Semitism), and Father Thomas Reese discussing the Obama administration and the Catholic community.”
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