Lisa Schirch

Lisa Schirch

Dr. Lisa Schirch, a longtime professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia and founding director of the 3D Security Initiative, will begin her visit to the Twin Cities on Sunday as the visiting scholar for a program sponsored by the Vaclav Havel Civil  Society Symposium.

The symposium was established in 1999 to encourage discussion on the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Symposium speakers have included Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, who gave the inaugural address, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The symposium since has evolved into a yearly scholar-in-residence program that is a partnership of the University of St. Thomas, the House of Hope Presbyterian Church and Weyerhaeuser Preaching Ministry in cooperation with the Minnesota International Center and the Czech and Slovak communities.

During her St. Paul visit, Schirch will speak at the House of Hope, 797 Summit Ave., and participate in classes and programs at St. Thomas.

Additional events have been added to her schedule since it originally was announced in this Bulletin Today story.

Here is a complete and updated list. All events are free and open to the public (but see note below about the Guthrie Theater event Monday evening).

  • 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at House of Hope — Schirch’s enrichment hour talk will be: “Security from the Ground Up: Civil Society, Peacebuilding, and U.S. Policy.”
  • 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at House of Hope — Schirch will moderate a panel discussion on “Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Our Community.” Panelists will include: John Harrington, former St. Paul police chief and candidate for the state Senate; Nieeta Presley, director of the Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp.; Lee Pao Xiong from the Center for Hmong Studies; Abdi Ali from the Center for Multicultural Mediation and Restorative Justice; and Artika Tyner, a clinical law fellow with the Community Justice Project at St. Thomas’ Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services.
  • 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in Room 108 of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center on the St. Thomas campus – Schirch will lead a simulated negotiation concerning post-war policies in an international setting. In the program, “Forging 3D Security: Mock Strategy Negotiation,” student teams from the university’s Political Science, Justice and Peace Studies, and ROTC programs will represent the three “Ds” of “3D Security,” which are development, diplomacy and defense. The students have been preparing for the mock negotiation session, which will be followed by a discussion open to the audience.
  •  7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis — Schirch will participate in a panel discussion, “Afghanistan: The Challenge of Human Rights.” That discussion, moderated by the Guthrie’s Joe Dowling, is being held in connection with a three-part theatrical production exploring Afghan culture and history titled “The Great Game: Afghanistan.”  A limited number of free tickets are available to St. Thomas students. For ticket information call Meghan Allen Eliason at (651) 962-6805.
  • Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, Room 401 of the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts at St.Thomas — Join Schirch for lunch and a discussion on “Building the Peace in Afghanistan: Tensions and Opportunities.”
  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at House of Hope — Schirch will continue the discussion of local and global conflict prevention with an emphasis on the events behind the film, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”

 For general information about the Vaclav Havel Civil Society Symposium, call St. Thomas’ Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement at (651) 962-6800. Information also is available from the House of Hope Web site

Information about the events on the St. Thomas campus also is available by calling Dr. Gerald Schlabach at (651) 962-5322.