Cultivate your global community

By The Beacon | November 8, 2011 9:00pm

Take advantage of the many ways to ease the international divide

(-- The Beacon)

By Laura Goble

If you've ever gone to a CPB movie in Buckley Auditorium, you've been there. If you've cut through past BC Aud to head to the library, you've been there. In fact, if you've ever gone to the library at all, you've walked right by it.

Did you know we had an International Peace Garden? For many years on Veteran's Day, International Student Services, the Garventa Center and many others have collaborated to offer a prayer for peace in that garden.

In preparation for this year's prayer (Thursday Nov. 10 at 3:30pm), I thumbed through "Prayer Without Borders: Celebrating Global Wisdom," a collection of poems, prayers, reflections from more than 20 nations.

Joan Neal, a Catholic Relief Service staff member, reflected in the preface, "As globalization shrinks the distances between people, the cultural and religious divide seems to grow wider."

Many students, faculty and staff are working to cultivate a rich international campus community and deep cross-cultural relationships that fosters peace, justice and innovation.

The Collaborative for International Studies and Global Outreach (CISGO) is a newly-formed campus network committed to nurturing a dynamic dialogue that extends hearts, hands and minds to include our local, national and international communities.

Last week, over 40 students showed up at 4p.m. on a late Friday afternoon for a CISGO-sponsored event to hear about the experiences of their peers in developing nations including an Engineers Without Borders program in Honduras, a nursing program in India and a Moreau Center immersion in Nicaragua and summer internship in Kenya.

Beginning this Friday through next week, International Student Services, International Club and ASUP are co-sponsoring International Education week, packed with opportunities to explore and celebrate the culture represented on our campus and in our community.

Every week, dozens of UP students tutor and support refugee and immigrant families through organizations like Catholic Charities, IRCO and SUN schools. These experiences and opportunities help us all get to the heart of fundamental life questions about God, beauty, justice and injustice, vocation and community.

Globalization creates conflict that can only be transformed through a willingness to expose ourselves to difference, to offer our hands next to those who do work differently, to show our hearts to those who believe differently, to bring our minds beside those who think differently.

Last summer, Adrienne Shelnutt, Kurt Berning, and Jenny Doyle spent the summer in Kenya as interns through the Moreau Center in partnership with the Foundation for Sustainable Development. Kurt reflected on hearts that operate differently than we're used to through his blog (

The following is an excerpt from his blog.

"The night before I left Kakamega my host Uncle, Asamba, gave me this farewell:

 ‘Mr. Kurt, know that we love you very much.  Please greet your family for us and tell them that we love them very much, and we send our love through you. Even for strangers that you meet and do not know, we love them as well, because they are close to you and our love will pass through you to them.'"

As the many opportunities in the upcoming week suggest, you don't have to go far find new ways to work, serve, believe, think and love.

Take the opportunity to walk outside your normal path – you might just make that global divide a little smaller.

Laura Goble is the Director of the Moreau Center and can be reached at or (503) 943-7132

International Education Week Events

Friday 11/11 6:30- 8:30p.m.: International Club's Cultural Fusion ( Mehling Ballroom)

Monday 11/14: "My Place in the World Photo Contest" voting opens ( closes Thursday at midnight)

Tuesday 11/15: 12:00- 1:00p.m.: Chinese Conversation Table (Pilot House)

Wednesday 11/16: 7:00-9:00p.m: Art Without Borders @Expresso UP (St. Mary's Lounge)

Thursday 11/17 3:00-4:30p.m.: Find Yourself Outside the U.S. ( Christie Hall 022)

7:00-8:30p.m.: Internationl Clubs Sushi Workshop ( Christie Hall 022)

7:00-9:00p.m.: Chinese Movie Night ( Shiley Hall 301)

Friday 11/18 7:00- 9:00p.m.: Aztec Dance & Culture Night ( St. Mary's Lounge, RSVP required, contact Helena Chew at for detals)

Saturday 11/19 10:00-11:30p.m.: Meet at Fubon Market to explore the Asian foods and products

10:00 -2:00p.m.: Bake Sale for Haiti ( Outside Pilot House)

5:30-7:30p.m.: Showcase of Natons ( The Commons)

5:30- 8:45p.m.: International Night Show and Dance Party ( The Commons)

For more information contact International Student Services at or (503) 943-7367