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Achieving Peace forum features Howard Wolpe

Sept. 30, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Former U.S. Rep. Dr. Howard Wolpe is the featured lecturer for a public forum on "Achieving Peace In an Embattled World" Friday, Oct. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. in Brown Auditorium of Schneider Hall at Western Michigan University.

Sponsored by the WMU Emeriti Council, the forum is free of charge and open to the public. Free parking will be provided for off-campus guests in the Fetzer Center parking lot directly in front of Schneider Hall.

Wolpe will make presentations on "A Proactive Approach to Conflict Resolution in Burundi" beginning at 1 p.m. and "Simulating Conflict Resolution through Collaborative Training Exercises" starting at 2 p.m., after which, he will lead an audience discussion on collaborative training processes.

Following a break and beginning at 3:45 p.m., the forum concludes with a panel discussion, "Can Collaborative Decision Making Work in Iraq?" In addition to Wolpe, panelists include Dr. Howard Dooley, WMU professor of history, who has written on modern Middle Eastern history; Dr. Emanuel Kamber, WMU professor of physics and a native of Iraq; and Dr. Peter Kobrak, WMU professor emeritus of public administration, who will moderate the discussion.

Wolpe is director for the Africa Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. His expertise is in management of ethnic and racial conflict, and he was instrumental in the successful reconciliation of warring Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups in Burundi.

The Burundi Leadership Training Program is a model that could help rebuild other war-torn societies. It is being adapted for Liberia and for the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the request of the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and the British government.

During his presentations at WMU, Wolpe will discuss the creation, implementation and outcomes of the Burundi Leadership Training Program. He will interact with the forum audience in demonstrating some of the techniques that are used to strengthen skills in negotiations and communications.

A member WMU's political science faculty from 1967 to 1972, Wolpe was named the University's first distinguished visiting professor in 1993. He served three years on the Kalamazoo City Commission, 1969-72; four years in the Michigan House of Representatives, 1973-77; and 14 years, 1978-92, in the U.S. House, representing a district that included most of Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Lansing.

For more information, contact Emeriti Council member William Appel at appel@wmich.edu or (269) 649-1637.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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