January 9, 2004

San Diego and Tijuana School Students Tackle World Issues

“Preventing Deadly Conflict” is Theme of 7th Annual WorldLink Meeting at USD

More than 600 San Diego and Tijuana high school students will hear from young refugees looking to rebuild their lives and from a top State Department official as they explore how to prevent deadly conflict in the world at the seventh annual WorldLink Youth Town Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 14. The event at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice runs from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“These students will be tackling the issues of nation building and conflict resolution that are at the heart of efforts acts of terror and build stable societies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Dee Aker, assistant director, Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

The program “Preventing Deadly Conflict: The Inclusion Factor” will explore how including civil society, human rights activists, marginalized groups, and governmental resources can prevent conflict.

Panelists include young refugees from Afghanistan, Uganda, Somalia, the Sudan, and Iraq. The keynote speaker is Ambassador Donald K. Steinberg, director of the Joint Policy Council at the U.S. Department of State. Other panelists are officials with nonprofit service organizations and government agencies working in fields of human rights and conflict management. Other groups, including Doctors without Borders, San Diego Youth Services, International Rescue Society, Catholic Relief Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will participate in the program.

“WorldLink joins forces with youth organizations, schools, corporations, and adult leaders to allow young people to more fully understand the importance of what happens beyond local borders,” said Dee Aker, “The delegates are amazing people, dedicated to improving the world around them.”

The conference is presented free to the delegates. Complete information about the WorldLink conference agenda can be found at http://www.youthworldlink.org or by calling (619) 260-7569.

Initiated in 1997 as a youth program of the World Affairs Council of San Diego, WorldLink works to bring students and teachers unique, first hand connections to people in the public eye so they can consider, evaluate and question their ideas, WorldLink moved to USD in 1998. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the annual Youth Town Meeting provides young people with a forum to address global issues.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls nearly 7,000 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Science.

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