Past Speakers

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury: November 5-7, 2013

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury: November 5-7, 2013 Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, till recently the Senior Special Advisor to the UN General Assembly President, has devoted many years as an inspirational champion for sustainable peace and development and ardently advancing the cause of the global movement for the culture of peace that has energized civil society all over the world.

As a career diplomat, Permanent Representative to United Nations, President of the UN Security Council, President of UNICEF Board, UN Under-Secretary-General, and recipient of the U Thant Peace Award, UNESCO Gandhi Gold Medal for Culture of Peace, Spirit of the UN Award and University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor's Medal for Global Leadership for Peace, Ambassador Chowdhury has a wealth of experience in the critical issues of our time - peace, sustainable development, and human rights.

Ambassador Chowdhury's legacy and leadership in advancing the best interest of the global community are boldly imprinted in his pioneering initiatives at the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 for adoption of the landmark Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and in 1998 for the proclamation of the "International Decade for Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010)".

Equally pioneering is his initiative in March 2000 as the President of the Security Council that achieved the political and conceptual breakthrough leading to the adoption of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which for the first time recognized the role and contribution of women in the area of peace and security.

He served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York from 1996 to 2001 and as the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, responsible for the most vulnerable countries of the world from 2002 to 2007.

He has been the Chair of the International Drafting Committee on the Human Right to Peace, an initiative coordinated from Geneva.

In March 2003, the Soka University of Tokyo, Japan conferred to Ambassador Chowdhury an Honorary Doctorate for his work on women's issues, child rights and culture of peace as well as for the strengthening of the United Nations. In May 2012, he received a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa degree from the Saint Peters University of the United States.

He is the Honorary Chair of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN, New York and Chairman of the Global Forum on Human Settlements, both since 2008. He has been a part of the 12-member Wisdom Council of the Summer of Peace 2012, a world-wide participatory initiative to advance the Culture of Peace. He is continuing in the Council for 2013.

He is among the five-member Board of Trustees of the New York City Peace Museum and a member of the Advisory Council of the National Peace Academy in the US. He is the founding Co-Chair of the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organisation (IESCO).

He has been decorated by the Government of Burkina Faso in west Africa with the country's highest honour "L'Ordre Nacionale" in 2007 in Ouagadougou for his championship of the cause of the most vulnerable countries. Dr. Chowdhury has structured curricula and taught courses on "The Culture of Peace" at the Soka University of America and the City University of New York in 2008 and 2009. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University of the United States. He is an Honorary Patron of the Committee on Teaching About the UN (CTAUN), New York.

Public speaking and advocacy for sustainable peace keep him engaged at the present time.

Ambassador Chowdhury visited Valencia in November 2013 to host several speaking engagements on promoting The Culture of Peace.

Angela King: September 28-October 2, 2015

Angela King: September 28-October 2, 2015
Angela King is the Deputy Director of Life After Hate. Growing up in South Florida, Angela King struggled with her identity. She became confused about the messages she received from her church and family on issues like sexual identity and racial stereotypes. Disenfranchised, Angela began acting out and felt welcomed for the first time by a group of racist skinheads. Though the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing made Angela reconsider her beliefs, she knew that abandoning her skinhead affiliates would result in retaliation.

Angela was arrested in 1998 and sentenced to six years in prison for her part in an armed robbery of a Jewish-owned store. Angela was released from prison three years early, in 2001, for good behavior and cooperation with the authorities. She has since graduated from the University of Central Florida with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. Angela routinely works as a keynote speaker, consultant, and character educator in schools, communities, religious centers and elsewhere.

Angela King visited Valencia during Global Peace Week in the fall of 2015 for speaking engagements on Life After Hate.

David J. Smith: August 23-24, 2013

David J. Smith is an authority on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. He has over 30 years' experience as an educational consultant, lawyer, mediator, college professor, trainer, senior program officer and manager, and author. David supports educators and professionals in developing institution-wide initiatives and student activities promoting civic, peace, and conflict awareness. He works with groups and individuals in need of career and conflict coaching, mediation, and conflict engagement assistance and has consulted with nearly 200 colleges around the U.S. and has given over 500 talks on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and international education. He is the president of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc., 501c3 not-for-profit that offers experiential learning opportunities for students and professionals. He has taught at Harford Community College, Goucher College, Georgetown University, and currently at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.

He was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tartu (Estonia). He is the recipient of the William J. Kreidler Award for Distinguished Service to the field of Conflict Resolution given by the Association for Conflict Resolution and the inaugural Global Education Award for Outstanding Voluntary Service Leadership given by the World Affairs Council/Washington, DC. David is past chair of the Rockville, Maryland Human Rights Commission, where he received the Community Mediator of the Year Award. While at the U.S. Institute of Peace his efforts resulted in the expansion of peace and conflict approaches in higher education, especially at the community college level. His clients have included the Fulbright Association, where he led its diversity initiative, and Street Law, Inc., where he spearheaded its community college efforts.

Smith is the author of Legal Research and Writing (Cengage, 1996) and editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource (USIP Press, 2013). He recently published Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (Information Age Press, 2016). He has published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Community College Journal, Journal of Peace Education, Huffington Post, International Herald Tribune, and Baltimore Sun. He is a graduate of American University (BA, political science & urban affairs), George Mason University (MS, conflict analysis & resolution), and the University of Baltimore (JD).

David J. Smith visited Valencia in August 2013 to consult with the Peace and Justice Institute about Valencia's peace and justice studies curriculum.

Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation: November 2-3, 2015

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation envisions a world in which everyone values human dignity and our interconnectedness. Real peace will prevail when there is a culture of peace in the USA and around the world. That culture originates in the hearts and minds of our youth, the future leaders and peace-makers of the world. Our programs are based on the teachings of Desmond Tutu who has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace, equality, and forgiveness. The philosophy of Ubuntu guides us with its meaning of We are all connected. What affects one of us affects us all.

ENC 1102: Freshman Composition II: Perspectives on War, Philosophies of Peace
Through documentaries, photography, poetry, art, literature, philosophy, and non-fiction works, this online course explores multiple perspectives of warfare and introduces philosophies of peace to build pathways of healing. Application of skills learned in ENC 1101 is expected, while there is an emphasis on style; use of library; reading and evaluating available sources, along with planning, writing, and documenting a short research paper. This is a Gordon Rule course in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's granddaughter, a feminist and civil rights activist, visited Valencia College on November 2-3, 2015 to help the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation launch a new initiative, Peace3 aimed at educating young adults about peace and civil rights. The Peace3 Program, which focuses on educating young adults on Peace Within, Peace Between and Peace Among, is a series of online and digital experiences.

In addition to Tutu-Burris, the events featured conversations with Episcopal priest and gay activist Robert V. Taylor, who also grew up in South Africa, Donna Blackwell of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, and community activists and student peace leaders from the Orlando area.

Dr. Peggy McIntosh: October 24-25, 2013 & November 20-21, 2014

Dr. Peggy McIntosh: October 24-25, 2013 and November 20-21, 2014 Internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work in issues of privilege and oppression, Dr. Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and founder of the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). McIntosh is best known for authoring Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege (1988), an article that launched a national discussion now central to dialogues on race. Speaking about her National Center for Peace Amity Award, McIntosh reflected, "I think that 'amity,' a word of peace, is an appropriate word for the effect that my work has had on race relations in the U.S., for my analysis is not about shame, blame or guilt. We did not invent the social systems we were born into. My question is...How can we use systems of unearned advantage to weaken systems of unearned unearned advantage?"

Dr. Peggy McIntosh visited Valencia in October 2013 and November 2014 for speaking engagements and student, faculty/staff, and community workshops on the topics of biases, white privilege, and diversity.

Father Oliver Williams: October 29, 2015

Father Oliver Williams is a professor of management in the Notre Dame School of Business, a fellow with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business. He is a Global Leader of social entrepreneurship and ethical business practices and has also been on the Board of Directors for the United Nations Global Compact Foundation. During his visit to Valencia, Fr. Williams gave a lecture titled, Can You Do Well While Doing Good? The lecture was part of Hesburgh Lecture Series, in partnership with the Notre Dame Club of Greater Orlando.

Iron Eagle: Numerous Visits to the College

Iron Eagle is a traditional Sun dancer who studied under Bear Paw (Apache Medicine Man) & Two Tree (Lakota Medicine Man). His grandfather and mother, both Chiricahua Apaches, taught him the Traditional and Spiritual ways of the Native American. Through beautiful Native American music, dance, and teachings, Iron Eagle has left a positive impact at Valencia each time he visits.

Iron Eagle: Numerous Visits to the College Iron Eagle is a traditional Sun dancer who studied under Bear Paw (Apache Medicine Man) & Two Tree (Lakota Medicine Man). His grandfather and mother, both Chiricahua Apaches, taught him the Traditional and Spiritual ways of the Native American. Through beautiful Native American music, dance, and teachings, Iron Eagle has left a positive impact at Valencia each time he visits.

Lee Mun Wah: March 30, 2015

Lee Mun Wah: March 30, 2015

Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folkteller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer. For more than 25 years he was a resource specialist and counselor in the San Francisco Unified School District. He later became a consultant to private schools, working with students that had severe learning and behavioral issues. Lee Mun Wah is now the Executive Director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict meditation techniques.

It is Lee Mun Wah's belief that we cannot wait until tomorrow for some charismatic leader to appear who will bring us all together. We each must take a stand and personally participate in this important journey of confronting our fears and beginning a conversation not only with those we love but also with those we have been taught to fear. We cannot continue being separate and unequal without there being a cost to each and every generation. Our survival and the very future of our children depend on all of us embracing our differences as well as our mutuality. If we can accomplish this in our lifetime, we can then look back and know that we have found a way to live together authentically and harmoniously, using and honoring all of our gifts and special contributions. To Lee Mun Wah, that is the true meaning of multiculturalism.

Lee Mun Wah visited Valencia on March 30, 2015 to host speaking engagements for students, faculty, staff, and community members and to host a film screening of If These Halls Could Talk.