Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thinking about recycling and genocide . . .

One of the realities for the leadership team working with the Eupan Global Initiative has to do with attempting to discern what *specific* tasks or goals we want to achieve. There is so much that can be done towards making the world "good for all" that it is difficult to narrow-in on a few issues. But, here is a list of two *specific* things that the leadership of EGI wants to focus in on in.

(1) Recycling and practices of recycling in our local community remain - well, "behind the times." And, more than just being "behind the times" - we are cognizant of the fact that recycling is a practice that people develop as a habit over time. Hence, the urgency of helping people make conscious decisions to recycle instead of "just throw it all away" becomes something that will be a long-term commitment. As a result, we will continue to work in the next few weeks and months - toward helping our local community focus on recycling efforts. But, we will keep this as a long-term sustained goal for our local efforts. We continue to press local city leaders to plan toward new practices for city-wide recycling efforts. We will continue to inform local citizens, as well, about how and why they should recycle. We believe daily practices of recycling can cause us to think about larger social and global issues of sustainability - including working towards precycling!

(2) Sometimes "things happen" in life that bring a certain sense of external pressure to matters in life. For me, Marty, this has been true over the past several months with regard to issues of genocide - including the response (or lack of response) by church persons to think through issues involving genocide. After a series of insightful presentations and shared reading at a Seminar this summer at Calvin College, I returned to my work as a University Professor to discover I was scheduled to teach two separate sections of Professional and Graduate Study students on issues of Antisemitism and the Holocaust. Each time I teach this course, I use the final class sessions as a lens by which the Holocaust can be used to frame other events of Genocide in our world. As a result of these issues, and in consultation with the leadership of the Eupan Global Initiative, one of the issues we will begin to work for now, towards 2010, is helping our local community become more globally aware and socially involved in issues of Genocide. Our specific agenda items for this Fall will include working with any and all local libraries (University and our Metropolitan Library System) and local booksellers, to prepare for April 2010 as Genocide Prevention Month. Our advance planning toward this should allow plenty of time to collaborate with librarians and scholars around Oklahoma! This is our most immediate project. Resources that will aid us include material from the Genocide Prevention Month website - but we have some other ideas working as well.

If you would like to join us - we welcome you to our next leadership meeting in early October. Please email mmmichelson (at) snu (dot) edu for more information!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

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