Lecture Series 2009-2010
TUESDAY, SEPT. 29, 2009 – Greg Mortenson, Author of Three Cups of Tea
Co-sponsored by the Global Awareness Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation and the La Crosse Public Library
10 a.m. for Elementary and Middle School Audience
3 p.m. for Viterbo University Students, Faculty, Staff, and FSPA
7 p.m. for General Public
Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of nonprofit Central Asia Institute www.ikat.org, founder of Pennies For Peace www.penniesforpeace.org, and co-author of New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea which has sold 3 million copies, been published in 34 countries, and a New York Times bestseller for 120 weeks since its January 2007 release, and Time Magazine Asia Book of The Year.
Mortenson was born in 1957, and grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. His father Dempsey, founded Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center and his mother, Jerene, founded the International School Moshi. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany (1977-1979), where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983.
In July 1992, Mortenson’s sister, Christa, died from a massive seizure after a lifelong struggle with epilepsy on the eve of a trip to visit Dysersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie, ‘Field of Dreams,’ was filmed. To honor his sister’s memory, in 1993, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain.
While recovering from the climb in a village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school. From that rash promise grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
As of 2009, Mortenson has established over 90 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 34,000 children, including 24,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before.
A Pennies for Peace campaign in area schools and in the community is being coordinated by a committee of the La Crosse Branch of the American Association of University Women and will culminate at the Western Wisconsin Educational Conference in February 2010. For information on how to register a school to participate in the Pennies for Peace campaign, contact Marilyn Hempstead (AAUW) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie DuCharme (WWEC) at email@example.com.
The Human Experience
THURSDAY, OCT. 29, 2009 – Screening of the film followed by a discussion with producer Michael Campo and actor Jeffrey Azize
From Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, New York comes The Human Experience – the story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana, Africa. What the young men discover changes them forever. Through one on one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.
Click here to view the trailer.
The Power of Servant Leadership
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 2, 2009 – James C. Hunter, "The Power of Servant Leadership"
Sponsored by Dave and Barb Skogen and Festival Foods
Jim will discuss the rapidly emerging phenomenon known as Servant Leadership that is taking the business world by storm.
Servant Leadership, a values and relational based approach to leadership seeks to create a high trust culture by turning "the bosses" into "the coaches," "the head-honchos" into "the mentors," "the brass" into "the colleagues" and "the critics" into "the cheerleaders."
Servant Leadership involves identifying and meeting the legitimate needs (as opposed to wants) of those entrusted to the care of the leader. It involves getting people involved from the "neck up" by not merely contributing their "hands and backs" but also volunteering their "hearts and minds." It is a model of developing leaders of character who lead with authority (influence) rather than simply relying upon power (coercion).
Servant Leadership is currently practiced in some of America’s most admired and successful organizations including Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, AFLAC, Nestlé, Marriott and the United States Air Force. Over one-third of Fortune magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work for" and many of Fortune magazine’s "America’s Most Admired Companies" actively practice the disciplines of Servant Leadership.
Jim is the author of two (2) internationally best-selling books - "The Servant" subtitled "A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership" and "The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leader." His books have been translated into thirteen (13) languages and have sold well over three (3) million copies worldwide. Jim’s books are the texts used in many MBA and other higher education curriculum around the world.
Every year, Jim speaks on Servant Leadership to over 100 audiences around the world. In addition, Jim has personally coached over 1,600 executives in developing the skills of Servant Leadership. Jim’s clients include many of the world’s most admired organizations including American Express, Nestlé, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Best Buy and the United States Air Force, Army & Navy.
Humanities Symposium: The Nuclear Threat: Understanding the History and Future Consequences of Nuclear Weaponry
MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2010 – Hideko Tamura Snider, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and author of One Sunny Day: a Child's Memories of Hiroshima and Diana Roose, author of Teach Us to Live: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Keynote lecture of the 2010 Humanities Symposium
August 6th, 1945, was a beautiful day, and it was a happiest day for me because I had just persuaded my parents to bring me back the day before, to be with them, to be home in Hiroshima. I had been evacuated to a remote village. We think of evacuation of the British children, but we hardly think of Japanese children being evacuated. We're both small islands. My grandfather, who had passed away a couple of years prior to that time, was an industrialist and had a large estate. We lived on this estate, our family and my father's elder brother's family, surrounded with beautiful, beautiful gardens, one mile away from the center of the town. So there was this dire contrast of the happy, peaceful, unsuspecting lovely morning suddenly turning into … entire destruction of all that was there … for me. The fire, the burning, the crushing… On that day, my mother had to go off to take care of business in the center of town. My cousin, who was like my brother, was also in the center of town. My father was away at the harbor of Hiroshima, so he was a few miles away from the center. I was in my room. First there was a warning that a few planes were on their way and then the broadcast said, "Emergency is off, you can go back to work," or whatever you were doing. So the people who were outdoors, a lot of them even took their shirts off. It was very sunny—a beautiful blue-sky day.
I was ten, going on eleven. I had just come home the night before, so I was catching up on reading that my cousin gave me which had something to do with a Samurai duel—a boy's book. Then I had a little stomach trouble. My mother left me a little porridge to have. There was this simultaneous flash preceding the humongous sound of explosion, the kind of intensity that I had never heard before or heard since. And then there was the breaking down with the force of the wind and the shaking of the earth and the house breaking up. And then being covered with debris. The thing lasted for, I thought, an unending, infinite length of time. It was pitch-dark and I was just getting hit with all kinds of objects falling down on me. Even as a child it was the very first time in this midst of abyss, I said to myself, "I'm going to die." When I said that, something very quiet came through, and I wasn't completely falling apart—that was sort of curious to remember. It didn't end, the thermal wind and the force. It just went on and on and I thought it would never end. The words coming into my mind saying: "So this is dying in a war. I'm going to die." I was the one who was most surprised when it all ended finally. Everything became still, I found myself still alive and living and breathing …
[from Studs Terkel's, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith]
Martin Weiss, Holocaust Survivor
TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010
Co-sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Martin was one of nine children born to orthodox Jewish parents in Polana, a rural village in the Carpathian Mountains. His father owned a farm and a meat business, and his mother attended to the children and the home. Everyone in the family helped take care of the horses and cows.
1933–39: Martin attended the village’s Czech schools, which were quite progressive. Like many of the other children, he looked forward to leaving the provincial life in Polana. In March 1939, his life was changed dramatically when Nazi Germany and its allies dismembered Czechoslovakia. Hungarian troops occupied Polana, and Jews were subjected to discriminatory legislation. Czech schools were closed, and the students had to learn Hungarian. The villagers all resented the new rulers, and the democratic freedoms that they had enjoyed under Czechoslovakian rule disappeared.
1940–44: After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, conditions in Polana worsened. Two of Martin’s brothers were conscripted into forced labor battalions. The family soon learned that some Jews from the area had been deported to the occupied Ukraine where they were killed by SS units. In April 1944, Hungarian gendarmes transported the village’s Jews, including Martin’s family, to the Munkacs ghetto. In May, they were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. Martin, his father, brother, and two uncles were selected for forced labor; the other family members were sent to the gas chambers. Martin and his father were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, and then to the subcamp of Melk, where they were forced to build tunnels into the side of the mountains. His father perished there.
Martin was liberated at the Gunskirchen camp by U.S. troops in May 1945. He returned to Czechoslovakia, where he found some surviving family members. In 1946 they immigrated to the United States.
"Teaching the Holocaust" A Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers
MARCH 23-24, 2010
This workshop designed for middle and high school teachers who want to learn more about teaching the lessons of the Holocaust in their schools. Participants are eligible to receive one graduate credit upon completion of course requirements. Fee: $125. Registration is required.
PanChristic Lectio Divina: Tuning in the Beautiful Dialogue Between Nature and World Wisdom Traditions
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010 – David James Duncan
David James Duncan is the author of the novels The River Why and The Brothers K and several works of nonfiction, including God Laughs & Plays and My Story as Told by Water. David has spoken all over the U.S. on rivers and wilderness, the necessity of imaginative and religious freedom, the tragi-comedy of the writing life, the dire importance of wild salmon, and the charm of the non-monastic contemplative life. He is, in his own words, "a pew-poor, river-rich itinerant storyteller and churchless preacher speaking in mostly playful but occasionally heartbroken response to this life, this time, this place."
His work has won a Lannan Fellowship, the 2001 Western States Book Award for Nonfiction, a National Book Award nomination, two PNBA Awards, an honorary doctorate from University of Portland, the American Library Association’s 2003 Award (with co-author Wendell Berry) for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom, inclusion in four volumes of Best American Spiritual Writing and thirty other anthologies, and many other honors.
Keynote speaker for the Cardinal Virtues Conference
APRIL 15-17, 2010
Conference on the Cardinal Virtues
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010 – Bill Miller
Bill Miller is a an award-winning recording artist, performer, songwriter, activist, painter, and world-class accomplished flute player. He leverages his heritage, faith, and life’s journey to build bridges and bonds that are too vital to be broken and too profound to be forgotten. During his prolific career, Bill Miller has earned three Grammys and seven Native American Music Awards in addition to achieving a level of artistry and humanitarian activism that includes work as a singer, songwriter, master flute player, composer, master concerto soloist with full orchestra, visual artist, and healing lecturer.
Co-sponsored by Coulee Partners for Sustainability in celebration of Earth Day
Free Event. No registration required.