Archive for the ‘News About Conference on World Affairs’ Category

63rd Conference on World Affairs

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

The University of Colorado Boulder’s 63rd annual Conference on World Affairs returns to campus April 4-8, with over 200 events including talks, panel discussions and a plenary address by Graham Nash and David Crosby, all of which are free and open to the public. Presenters from around the country and the globe will pay their own way to travel to Boulder to participate in what film critic Roger Ebert has dubbed the “conference on everything conceivable.”

“The Conference on World Affairs has a long history of addressing nuclear power and weaponry topics, and this year will be no exception,” said Bryan New, advertising and media liaison for the conference. “Among our 100 speakers will be some focused on nuclear non-proliferation, including Graham Nash, David Crosby, Harvey Wasserman and Joe Cirincione.”

Joe Cirincione

Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund president and frequent media commentator, will deliver a talk entitled “Know Nukes” on Tuesday, April 5, at 2 p.m. in the University Memorial Center room 235. His books include “Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear
Weapons” and “Deadly Arsenals: Biological and Chemical Threats.” Cirinicione also serves on the World Economic Forum Global Council on Catastrophic Risks.

Long time activist and author Harvey Wasserman will deliver a plenary talk 
called “Dead and Deadly Nukes: From Fukushima to Solartopia” on Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m. in the University Memorial Center’s center ballroom.
Wasserman is credited with coining the phrase “No Nukes” and cofounded with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash.

Nash and Crosby are scheduled to deliver the CWA’s closing plenary address entitled “Life Matters” on Friday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Macky Auditorium, with introduction from KBCO’s Bret Saunders.

Crosby and Nash have been performing and recording together for over 40 years, most often as part of the iconic folk/rock super group CSNY, featuring Crosby, Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. The two are committed social activists, with strong ties to the
 antinuclear movement. Along with Stills, they participated in the 1979 No Nukes concerts months after the Three Mile Island disaster. The CWA address will focus on social and political engagement.

As always, the CWA will offer a broad range of topics and speakers. Conference sessions encompass everything from music and literature to the environment and science, journalism, visual arts, diplomacy, technology, film, politics, business, medicine and human rights.

Highlights from the 2011 schedule include:

– The keynote address will be delivered by Liz Coleman, president of Bennington College and a leading innovator in higher

Liz Coleman

education, with an introduction by CU chancellor Phil DiStefano on Monday, April 4, at 11:30 a.m. in Macky Auditorium. The keynote address will be preceded by the CWA’s annual opening procession.Led by Coleman and DiStefano, the procession will advance at 11:10 a.m. through the avenue of international flags on display in Norlin Quad and into Macky Auditorium.

– The keynote address will be followed by a staged reading of the play Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins with celebrated Shakespearean actress Tina Packer reading in the role of Ivins. Ivins was a long-time participant in the
CWA. The co-playwright of Red Hot Patriot, Peggy Engel, is also a veteran conference presenter and she will participate in a variety of sessions at the 2011 CWA. This event also will be held in Macky Auditorium.

– Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) will join retired Arizona sheriff Richard Mack and Austin journalist Lou Dubose for a panel called “Arizona: Coming to a State Near You” in Macky Auditorium on Thursday, April 7, at noon.

– A plenary session will feature Bill Nack, whose New York Times bestseller “Secretariat” was made into a Disney film this past year. Nack will speak about his relationship with the most famous horse in racing history in the CWA session “Secretariat” on Friday, April 8, at 12:30 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium. Secretariat owner Penny Chenery will introduce the session, and historic film clips of the horse will be presented.

Members of the public attending the Conference on World Affairs are encouraged to use public transportation as there is no event parking on campus.

Free parking is offered on the third level of the Macy’s parking structure at the Twenty Ninth Street shopping mall in Boulder, located at the southwest corner of 30th Street and Walnut Street, from which a free HOP bus ride is available
to campus during CWA week. Free parking and bus service for the CWA are sponsored by the Twenty Ninth Street and Go Boulder.

The HOP will run on its normal route arriving 7 to 10 minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The two stops nearest the Macy’s parking structure are at 29th Street and Walnut Street and 30th Street and
Walnut Street.

For a complete schedule and more information visit the Conference on World Affairs website at



Crosby and Nash to Deliver Closing Plenary

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

David Crosby and Graham Nash are scheduled to deliver the closing plenary address, entitled “Life Matters,” at this year’s Conference on World Affairs at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 8 in the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Macky Auditorium.  Popular local radio personality Bret Saunders of KBCO will introduce the two speakers.

Crosby and Nash have been performing and recording together for over 40 years, most often as part of the iconic folk/rock super group CSNY, featuring Crosby, Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

The full schedule for the 63rd Conference on World Affairs will be posted to the CWA website by the end of this week.

CWA to Screen Acclaimed Documentary Budrus

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The 63rd CWA will feature a screening of the acclaimed documentary Budrus. Ronit Avni, the film’s producer, will be on-hand for introduction of the screening, followed by Q&A.

Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. The film has been featured at numerous festivals across the globe, including Tribeca, Berlin, and the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Ronit Avni is a filmmaker, human rights advocate, and media strategist with an expertise in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution efforts. She is the founder and executive director of Just Vision, a nonprofit organization that researches, documents, and creates media about Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders in nonviolence and peace building.

For a full biography of Avni and the other 100 participants coming to Boulder this April, visit our website at:

CWA Announces Theme and Keynote Speaker Elizabeth Coleman

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The theme of this year’s conference is “What Matters“. CWA Director Jim Palmer explains, “Given the distractions of modern life and the tsunami of information we’re bombarded with daily, it is easy to forget to ask the fundamental questions, the questions of value.  That is why our theme ‘What Matters’ matters.”

That theme will also serve as the title of this year’s keynote address, to be delivered by Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College, one of the country’s leading innovators in higher education. Under her leadership, Bennington has experienced record fiscal health and launched new pioneering curricular programs—including the ambitious Center for the Advancement of Public Action, which encourages students to put the world’s most pressing problems at the center of their education.

Coleman’s keynote address will take place on Monday, April 4 at 11:30 a.m. in Macky Auditorium.

A biographical listing of participants confirmed to date is now online at

Roger Ebert on missing the CWA

February 10, 2011 5 comments

The Conference has been a central part of my life for more than 40 years, and I will miss it terribly. Having lost the gift of speech, I can no longer participate in the ways that gave me such pleasure. The Cinema Interruptus sessions, so named by Howard Higman, taught me much more than I ever taught them.

I am leaving on a high point after bringing together Werner Herzog and Ramin Bahrani last year. Jim Emerson will carry on, and the audience as always will not let a frame pass unnoticed. Forty weeks is ten months, and that’s how long I lived in Boulder. I met so many good people and have so many good memories. Give my regards to Macky and to Daddy Bruce’s. And don’t be surprised if I turn up one year for the concert. I like that outboard aisle seat on the left, about six rows back…

-Roger Ebert

Those Are Big Numbers!

An image with numbers

We have an attendance figure (gross “hits”) for CWA 2010:  92,176.  Last year was 91,080.

That’s the number of seats that were filled at all events during the conference week for 2010.

Special thanks to Shannon Hayden for the number crunching and to Sarah Petrak and Malinda Painter for the dogged follow up. Obviously it was a good year.

Robert George Comments on Race and Conference on World Affairs

April 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The Banality (Yet Enduring Significance) of Race

In my week in Boulder for the Conference on World Affairs, there were two amusing moments and an endearing one.  All three were technically connected to the idea of race.

CWA’s keynote address this year was delivered last Monday by Army Lt. Col. Ike Wilson. The keynote was controversial for a few reasons — both technical and philosophical. Wilson was essentially making a critique that the United States’s misapplication of military force over the decades had actually helped sap its ability to exercise its power in optimal ways. Some participants liked the presentation (which included Power Point) more than others.  Conservative Pepperdine professor Robert Kauffman hated it.  I was sitting two seats away from him and was expecting an implosion at any moment.

Logo Conference on World AffairsIn any event, I challenged the lieutenant colonel on an important point of his talk — namely over Iraq and Afghanistan.  As part of his thesis, he called the former an “unjust” war, but also raised doubts about the latter because it had deteriorated (in his view) into a “civil war.”  I got up and noted that Iraq is something of an “easy” thing to talk about in these matters because it is somewhat “settled” politically: One side thinks the war was “unjust” or illegal; the other doesn’t.  Further judgments flow from that assessment.  Afghanistan is actually far more complicated — precisely because of the broad unanimity that existed at the start of the war.  Nearly everyone was on board with Afghanistan because of 9/11 (though Wilson basically avoided using that phrase), so I wondered how does a nation reassess a war’s goals on the fly.

Wilson’s answer wasn’t completely satisfactory, but for the purposes of this post, it doesn’t matter.

Instead, it should be pointed out that Lt. Col. Wilson is an African-American about my age and height — and shaves his head.

As a result, on two occasions later in the week in overwhelmingly Caucasian Boulder, I was complimented on my keynote speech (not my question) at CWA! One even asked me “how many others in the Army share your views”! Wilson and I had a good laugh about this near the end of the week.

However, there was a much more endearing moment coming out of that experience.  Another CWA participant was the Australian musician Tjupurru. He plays a wind instrument called the Didjeridu, or more accurately, a slide version called the Didjeribone. Tjupurru’s appearance was a highlight of the conference, both in performance at the annual Tuesday night jazz concert and on panels (some of which became impromptu concerts themselves).

Now, Australia is a few decades behind the United States when it comes to the civil rights of its indigineous people. On the last night of CWA, Tjupurru approached me to share something he had told Wilson the day before.  He said that he, a musician without much formal education, was almost taken aback by the complexity of Wilson’s keynote address and my question added to the complexity. However, he wished that he had had a camera to record Wilson’s and my exchange. He thought that it was something that he would have loved to have taken back with him to his people in Australia. He felt that it was remarkable to see two (in his words) “black fellas” holding forth among (again, his words) “white fellas’ world.” He looked forward to the day when there were more of his people able to be educated enough that they could regularly challenge the unfair laws applied back home. And Tjupurru is a successful entertainer whose talent has afforded him opportunities unavailble to most of his brethren.

I don’t take for granted the sacrifices of a Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders.  However, it’s not something I dwell on either. When I felt the need to question Lt. Col. Ike Wilson, it didn’t occur to me that I was one black man engaging another on a topic at some wonky conference in Boulder, Colorado.  It never occurred to me that such an exchange would have seemed remarkable four or five decades ago in America.

However, for someone from another nation — where history has yet to arc fully in the direction of equal rights — this was Wilson and I talking in a moment to treasure and remember.

In America, yes, we still stumble over problems involving race; it still means something.  However, in various places around the world, race still means everything — and America’s gains still stand as an example that can inspire many.

Copied from Robert George‘s blog RAGGED THOTS, April 13, 2010. Used here with permission.