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Westheimer Peace Symposium

2017 Westheimer Peace Symposium – “Welcoming the Other”

The 2017 Westheimer Peace Symposium focuses on “the changing nature of war” by illuminating the experiences of refugees who have come to the United States to escape violence and devastation in their home countries. Through film, role playing, conversations with refugee service providers, and a special keynote by Jim Keady, Director of Education for Justice, the symposium will inspire a deeper understanding of the conditions refugees face at home, in their journeys to new countries, and after their arrival in the United States.


Schedule of Events

Monday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.

“Welcome to Shelbyville” Film Showing and Community Talk-Back

McCoy Room, Kelly Center

A small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

A panel of community members will lead a talk-back session after the film to discuss the challenges of immigration and refugees from a community perspective.

(2009, Not Rated, 74 minutes)

Tuesday, October 10, 1 p.m.

Panel Discussion with Catholic Social Services

McCoy Room, Kelly Center

A panel of recent immigrants and social service providers affiliated with Catholic Social Services in Dayton will discuss the immigrant experience in Ohio.

Tuesday, October 10, middle and late afternoon

The rest of the afternoon schedule is intentionally left open at this point to allow for the addition of service projects, breakout discussions, other speakers, as deemed appropriate by the Westheimer Peace Symposium Committee in the fall.

Tuesday, October 10, 7:30 p.m.

Jim Keady, #WagingPeace

Heiland Theatre, Boyd Cultural Arts Center

In the same way that soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces gear up and wage war, so must social justice warriors gear up and wage peace. Jim Keady shares his experience of going to Greece to help with the Muslim refugee crisis. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Keady observed with great concern as the xenophobic/Islamophobic rhetoric ratcheted up to a fever pitch. He watched as average citizens and Presidential candidates raged about the evils of Islam and their belief that all Muslims want to kill us. As the rhetoric pivoted hard toward Muslim refugees they were suddenly being depicted as the enemy! That is when he felt he had to go to Greece to help any way he could. Keady challenges each of us to search for the humanity in those we fear and perceive as “other.”

Tuesday, October 10, All Day

Lobby, Boyd Cultural Arts Center

Just 6 Words: See how Wilmington College students, faculty, and staff responded – in just six words – to prompts about refugees and immigrants, and contribute your own responses.

Red Cross Supply Drive: Learn how you can contribute to the supply drive for the Red Cross, co-sponsored by the Quaker Heritage Center and the Center for Service & Civic Engagement.