International UNESCO Chairs travel to Eugene for first U.S. meeting

Ore. -- (March 30, 2009) -- The University of Oregon's Center for Intercultural
Dialogue will host the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) Chairs from the Intercultural Dialogue Program in the
first U.S.-based meeting of the group.

from UNESCO's university twinning and networking system (UNITWIN) will come
together May 8 to 12 in Eugene, Ore. Seventeen of the 19 Chairs in UNESCO's
Intercultural Dialogue Program will attend the conference. The Chairs - from
Austria, France, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova,
Russia, Romania, Tajikistan, the UK and Uzbekistan - will present on their
research on Friday, May 8.

"We look forward to hosting this meeting and introducing the
UNESCO Chairs to the University of Oregon, Eugene and the Pacific Northwest.
This is a great opportunity to provide a forum for discussing important topics
that are relevant to all of our lives," said Steven Shankman, UO professor and
the UNESCO Chair for Transcultural
Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace.
"Creating opportunities for open dialogue among people of all backgrounds and
beliefs, I hope, can help us discover ways to combat the crises, such as
climate change, that we face as a global community."

conference will also include a panel discussion with representatives from
different religious and spiritual traditions who will discuss programs their
groups have initiated to help combat the current ecological crisis. The conference schedule can be found at

In conjunction with this meeting, the
center will host a symposium, "Ethics, Religion and the
The symposium will be open to the

new UO Center for Intercultural Dialogue will host the meeting and symposium.
The center was established in 2008 at the University of Oregon under the
direction of Shankman. The center works to engage
students, faculty and community members in efforts to build a global community
through education and dialogue that transcends cultural, religious and
geopolitical boundaries.

schedule of events includes:

May 8:

A series of talks by the
UNESCO Chairs from the network on Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural
Understanding, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mills International Center and the Fir
Room, EMU.

Saturday, May 9:

An art exhibit,
"Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World," 11 a.m. to 5
p.m., Papé Reception Hall at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The Grand Ronde Canoe
Family will perform at the welcome reception, 6 p.m.

Mary Evelyn Tucker,
co-founder and co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
University, will deliver a keynote address, 7:30 p.m., 182 Lillis.

Sunday, May 10:

Cappella Romana will
perform UO music professor Robert Kyr's "A Time for Life," a work based on
the theme of living in harmony with the environment, 7 p.m., Beall Concert

Monday, May 11:

Cornelia Dean, New York
Times reporter, will present on "Religion and the Environment," noon to 1 p.m.,
Robinson Theater.

international communication and respect, UNESCO promotes worldwide cooperation
among members in fields of communication, culture, education and science.
Scholars worldwide, as part of UNITWIN, collaborate and work together to realize
UNESCO's principles and values.

Link: UO Center for Intercultural