Virtual Tour of the United Nations and Climate Change Briefing
The United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945 and has 193 member states today. Its focus areas are peace and security, development, and human rights. Northampton Community College (NCC) students experienced a virtual tour of the UN headquarters in New York, learning more about the Security Council, the General Assembly, and peacekeeping operations. The UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because development is a prerequisite to maintain peace. See the UN’s The World is Over-Armed and Peace is Underfunded infographic. Take the UN’s 75th anniversary survey to help shape global priorities.
NCC students then participated in a briefing and discussion about climate change. Dan Shepard, information officer at UN, began the briefing, “Covid-19 itself is a symptom of our deteriorating environment. Human activity is causing climate change”.
Shephard went on to say that while the technology already exists and public opinion supports taking action to address climate change, decades-long of misinformation has created doubt about its existence and has delayed action. Governments must create policies to reduce fossil fuel subsidies and incentivize investment in renewable energy – then businesses will adjust priorities accordingly. International cooperation is important because the actions of one country alone cannot significantly reduce harm. NCC students asked excellent questions about political leaders’ commitment to solutions, justice for climate refugees, and anti-intellectual trends in the U.S. and beyond.
Peace Corps Information Session
Sarah Price, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, hosted an information session for NCC students. She served as a TEFL education and youth development volunteer in Rwanda for two years. Sarah lived with a host family near the capital of Kigali for the first 90 days while she attended intensive language and cultural training. Sarah shared key lessons she learned during her service including the importance of relationship building, how to consult with local experts to develop culturally appropriate solutions, and how “saying yes” has led to many additional opportunities.
The Peace Corps’ mission is to help people of interested countries meet their local training needs and to help Americans and people of other cultures better understand one another. Primary service areas include agriculture, youth in development, education, environment, health, and community economic development. During their service, volunteers receive a living stipend, housing, insurance, vacation time, student loan deferment, career skills and training. After service, volunteers receive $10,000 in transition funds, graduate school benefits, federal employment advantages, public service loan forgiveness, and professional networking and career services. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov.
Global Students Cultural Exchange
Current NCC students and incoming Community College Initiative Program students shared cultural presentations and performances. Each student had an opportunity to share their culture and to ask questions about the performances of other students. We learned about the cultures of Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, the United States, Ivory Coast, India, Colombia, and Indonesia. Highlights included:
- Cover performance of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds
- Presentation and Irish song about the Bridge of Tears and the Great Hunger
- Indonesian folk dance
- Learning colloquial expressions in Colombian Spanish