Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Reasons for Hope

Jane Goodall, the infamous primatologist, will be speaking at the FAU Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. on the Boca campus and she will not be discussing apes. Most recently, Goodall has broadened the scope of her message from chimpanzees to include all living things and spends much of her time spreading a message of hope to audiences.

Also the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a global nonprofit organization that, according to the Web site, “empowers people to make a difference for all living things.”

Goodall will discuss peace in her lecture, “Reasons for Hope.”

Goodall, who has won countless awards and honors for her work, is also extremely generous with her time, spending about 300 days per year travelling and speaking to audiences worldwide. She uses her work with chimpanzees as a link to her message regarding hope for humankind.

“We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place,” she has said at previous lectures.

Her organization’s Web site states, “We are creating healthy ecosystems, promoting sustainable livelihoods and nurturing new generations of committed, active citizens around the world.”

Her presentation today is the first in a three-part series presented by FAU’s unique peace studies program. Noemi Marin, director of the peace studies program, explained that it has “two very solid and active sides.”

“I’m astounded how many schools outside of the United States offer peace studies programs,” said Marin. “We are one of the only ones [in the US] that give students such an opportunity to voice their opinions.”

The academic side of the program offers students the opportunity to pursue peace studies with a certificate at the undergraduate level as well as a track at the Masters and doctorate level.

The second side of the program is also academic but focused primarily on community outreach.

“It’s a very active series,” said Marin, of the “Peaceful Mind, Peaceful World” lecture and workshop series. Last year’s series featured a lecture by Sushil Mittal, director of the Mahatma Ghandi Center for Global Nonviolence at James Madison University in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ghandi’s nonviolent resistance in South Africa.

The peace studies program owes much of its funding to the Schmidt Family Foundation. Barbara Schmidt has served as the program’s community partner.

“She has been one of the best advocates for our program, helping us organize an outreach series for the last three years,” says Marin.

In addition to the Schmidt Family Foundation, the program receives funding from the Chastain-Johnston Middle East Endowment as well as contributions from various public and private donors.

According to Marin, the goal of the “Peaceful Mind, Peaceful World” series is “to promote methods about calming the mind and lifting the spirit as practical ways to strengthen our daily lives.”

“These kinds of programs enhance the ability for people to think more calmly when resolving conflict,” Marin adds. “It’s an approach to conflict in a way that is more conducive to solving it. The premise is inner peace as a way of contributing to a peaceful world.”

In her lecture, “Reasons for Hope,” Goodall emphasizes the view that it is necessary to no longer just talk about conflict, but that communities and universities should join forces to create a more coherent, peaceful world.

“In a sense, she embodies the way [FAU’s peace studies program] sees itself in the academic field as well as in outreach,” Marin explains, emphasizing the dual objective of the peace studies program.

The Roots and Shoots program is part of the Jane Goodall Institute and aims primarily at educating the new generation; South Florida Roots and Shoots members will participate in today’s event.

Marin pointed out that the idea of “peace” in regard to peace studies is much more than the simple idea of the absence of war. In accordance with this, “[Goodall’s] view on peace is not just an address to stopping wars but rather to empower people to create better relationships for our next generations … for the world,” explained Marin.

The event marks the second time Goodall has visited FAU.

“We are very thankful to her for accepting the invitation and to the Schmidt Family Foundation for sponsoring such venues so that we can all participate in a peaceful world movement,” said Marin.

The Peace Studies Student Organization (PSSO) as well as Lambda Pi Eta (Communication honor society) and American Democracy Project (ADP) have been generously volunteering time to assist with the event.

Senior communication major and Lambda Pi Eta president Megan Trombino is one of these volunteers and has been working closely with Marin throughout the planning process.

“Dr. Goodall’s presentation on campus is a great chance for students to hear directly from the most famous primatologist and anthropologist of our time about some very important issues,” said Trombino. “Dr. Goodall’s dedication to compassion and education has shown society that individuals who are motivated to improve their environment can succeed with passion and a message of hope.”

More events for FAU’s peace studies program

Inner Peace, Outer Peace What: Learn methods for calming the mind and lifting the spirit. Bring “a reason for hope” into everyday life. When: March 8 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. Workshop led by: Jill Bormann, Ph.D/RN, Veterans Affairs San Diego/San Diego State University. Cost: Registration fee ($10) includes lunch and a copy of E. Easwaran’s book The Compassionate University: The Power of Individuals to Heal the Environment. More info: Space is limited; pre-registration is advised. To register, visit the FAU Foundation.

Creating Peace and Compassion What: Explore the changes in everyday life that are possible when we learn practical ways to strengthen our abilities to be calm, focused and compassionate. When: March 29 from 9:30 a.m. till noon. Workshop led by: Jill Bormann, Ph.D/RN, Veterans Affairs San Diego/San Diego State University. Cost: Free to participants in the March 8 workshop and builds on that workshop. Registration free ($5) includes a copy of E. Easwaran’s The Compassionate Universe. More info: Space is limited; pre-registration is advised. To register, visit the FAU Foundation.

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