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'Midd 8' events and more make April 'Global Awareness Month' on campus

April 5, 2006

Final event of Midd 8's month-long series, discussion
on 'Global Partnerships for Development,' features
Bernard Sanders, U.S. congressman from Vermont

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-In support of the Millennium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations, a group of Middlebury College students has organized a series of "Midd 8" events during the month of April.

The final Midd 8 event, a panel discussion on "Global Partnerships for Development," takes place Friday, April 28, from 4-6 p.m. in the Robert A. Jones '59 House conference room. The event will feature Vermont's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives, independent Bernard Sanders. The longtime congressman is now running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by James Jeffords, also an independent, who has chosen not to seek re-election.

Also expected to take part in the panel discussion are Parker Diggory, a Middlebury graduate who is with the World Conference of Religions for Peace; Amil Husain, the global youth coordinator for the UN's Millennium Campaign; and Alex Neroth van Vogelpoel, Northeast regional organizing fellow of Bread for the World. The event is free and open to the public.

Midd 8 organizers named their group with the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals in mind. Those goals include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and global partnering for development.

"The goals are about improving the everyday lives of individuals and communities worldwide who suffer unnecessarily from the effects of extreme poverty," said Toral Patel, a first-year student at Middlebury and one of those behind the Midd 8 effort.

According to the student organizers, Midd 8 was inspired by the "Live 8" concerts held around the world last summer, which brought together pop culture and political activism. In addition to setting up their own events for campus audiences and the local community, Midd 8 organizers recognized that there were many other events-from lectures to panel discussions to films to concerts-taking place on campus during the month of April that were closely related to one or more of the Millennium Goals. They decided that April at Middlebury deserved the title of "Global Awareness Month."

"All of the April events, Midd 8 and otherwise, focus in some way on the Millennium Goals, their impact, and what students, faculty, staff and community members can do to get involved and active," said organizer Courtney Matson, a senior at Middlebury. "We invite everyone to take part in this series and witness the incredible awareness of and devotion to global issues that exists on Middlebury College's campus."

Middlebury senior and Midd 8 director Divya Khosla believes the Millennium Goals have helped mobilize both national and grassroots efforts. "Reversing the curse of poverty, AIDS and discrimination remain our fundamental responsibility as college students," she said. "Our generation must remain committed to public service and instigate new channels for change."

The month-long series of Midd 8 events includes:

  • panel discussions on such topics as trade justice, global development, and what individuals can do to promote the Millennium Goals in their communities;
  • a lecture on how to combat genocide in Darfur from Vermont;
  • a four-nation videoconference on preserving the global environment;
  • a "Millennium Party" featuring live music by Middlebury College student bands;
  • and a "Day of Community Involvement" that will give Middlebury College students, local elementary school children and other community members a chance to work together on service projects that emphasize community building.

Details on the Midd 8 events follow. Please check Middlebury College's online calendar for other events during the month of April that relate to the UN's Millennium Goals.

For more information about Midd 8, contact Divya Khosla at or Courtney Matson at

Midd 8 Events, April 2006

Wednesday, April 12

12:30 p.m., faculty panel discussion: "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Development"
The discussion will include Middlebury professors David Rosenberg, political science; Jon Isham, economics and environmental studies; Nadia Horning, political science; and Linda White, anthropology. This panel will take an interdisciplinary approach to emphasize the complex nature of global development, focusing on the implications and consequences of global development from the perspective each professor's respective area of expertise.
- McCardell Bicentennial Hall Room 216
The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 18

1-2:30 p.m., videoconference: "Preserving Our Global Environment: What is the Role of Local Communities in the U.S., Latin America, and Beyond?"
Hosted by Midd 8 and Americans for Informed Democracy (AID). AID coordinates videoconferences to allow university students from the U.S. and abroad to hold balanced discussions on America's role in the world.
- Middlebury College site: Meeker House conference room; overseas sites in Ecuador, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic

7:30 p.m., lecture: "Doing Something about Genocide in Darfur ... from Vermont," by Vermont State Senator Matt Dunne

Sen. Matt Dunne, from Windsor County in southwestern Vermont, was the main sponsor of Joint Senate Resolution 024 that passed during the Vermont 2005-06 legislative session. JSR 024 calls for the divestment of Vermont state funds from companies involved in Sudan and urges federal actions to punish the Sudanese government and corporations that conduct business in or with Sudan. This talk will focus on how to help end the genocide in Darfur through local action in Vermont, and why it is important that Vermonters get involved.
- Robert A. Jones '59 House conference room
The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 20

4:30-6 p.m., panel discussion: "Can You Make a Difference?"
Panelists will be James B. Quilligan, organizer of the Live 8 Social Issues Series and managing director of the Philadelphia-based Center for Global Negotiations; and Kimmie Weeks, internationally acclaimed children's rights activist and founder of The Voice of the Future Inc. and the Children's Disarmament Campaign in Liberia. The panel will discuss the viability of the U.N. Millennium Goals, and the role of student action.
- Dana Auditorium, Sunderland Language Center College Street (Route 125).
The event is free and open to the public.

8 p.m.: "Trade Justice Community Forum: A Look at American Farm Policy, from the Global to the Local"
Panelists: Jayne Thomisee, National Peace Corps Association (moderator); Stephanie Demmons, Oxfam America (moderator); Dr. Thiendou Niang, Agricultural Policy Expertise Network, Senegal; Mike Eastman, dairy farmer from Addison, Vt.
- Robert A. Jones '59 House Conference Room
Free and open to the public.

Friday, April 21

7-10 p.m., an evening of music and food: "Millennium Party"
Featuring live music by Middlebury College student bands.
- Middlebury College Grille, McCullough Student Center, Old Chapel Road, off Route 30.
The event is free, but anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, April 22

10 a.m.: All-day public service efforts as part of a "Day of Community Involvement: Aid Midd 8"
Volunteers may gather at 10 a.m. in front of Middlebury College's main library for assignments in the community for the day. 
- Main library, Storrs Avenue, off South Main Street (Route 30)
To enlist volunteers for a project, contact student organizers ahead of time: Austen Levihn-Coon at, or Olivia Lew at The activity is free and open to all who wish to participate.

Friday, April 28

4-6 p.m., Roosevelt Institution and Midd8 panel discussion: "Global Partnerships for Development."
A panel discussion focusing on the eighth Millennium Goal of sustainable development, with speakers U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.; Parker Diggory, a Middlebury graduate who is  with the World Conference of Religions for Peace; Amil Husain, the global youth coordinator for the UN's Millennium Campaign; and Alex Neroth van Vogelpoel, Northeast regional organizing fellow of Bread for the World. Co-sponsored by the Roosevelt Institutition, a national network of student think tanks, and Middlebury's Rohatyn Center for International Affairs.
- Robert A. Jones '59 House conference room
The event is free and open to the public.