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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 6, 2005

UI International Day Focus On Global Citizenship, Responsibility Oct. 26

Nearly 300 middle and high school students from 22 schools across Iowa will take part in the University of Iowa's ninth annual International Day Oct. 26 in the University of Iowa's Iowa Memorial Union.

The conference, whose theme this year is "Active Citizenship & Global Responsibility," runs from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a variety of presentations and workshops led by UI faculty and students and human rights experts from the Iowa City community.

As in the past, the event is free to students and their teachers, although registration is required.

Jerald Schnoor, the UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will present this year's keynote address, "Global Responsibility and Sustainable Development." Schnoor will discuss his work on phytoremediation (the use of plants to clean the environment), the impact of emissions on global change and steps citizens can take to improve air and water quality.

International Day invites participants to take part in small- and large-group discussions and activities focused on human rights and international issues, and thereby learn about different cultural, ethnic, racial and socio-economic groups. The event is intended to help students become better global citizens and to develop a greater understanding of -- and respect for -- democracy, equality, cultural differences and human rights.

Interest in International Day has grown steadily over the past several years.  Last year, about 270 secondary school students from surrounding school districts attended the event. This year, 283 students and 22 schools registered.

Topics discussed during past International Days have ranged from health and the environment to global issues of war, peace and gender equity.

New this year is a large-group discussion tied to National Issues Forums (NIF), a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public policy issues (such as health care, social security and immigration). In keeping with this year's International Day theme, participating schools will receive discussion materials on sustainable development two weeks prior to the event. The Grant Wood Area Education Agency has identified 10 NIF-trained moderators who will travel from Des Moines to the UI campus for International Day to lead discussions on the topic and the creation of action plans.

Sponsors of this year's International Day include The Stanley Foundation, The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, the UI College of Education, UI International Programs, UI Center for Human Rights, UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the UI's Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, the UI Office of Admissions, the Grant Wood AEA and the Bringing History Home II Project.

Participating schools include Western Dubuque High School, Oak Ridge School/Linn Mar, Marshalltown, Charles City Middle School, Clear Creek Amana Middle School, Spencer High School, Hoover Elementary/Longfellow, Columbus Community School, Emerson Hough Elementary/Newton CSD, Anamosa High School, Algona Community School District, East Moline, Urbandale Middle School, Central/West Middle School, Muscatine High School, Wapello CSD, Kennedy High School, Mount Ayr, Pleasantville School District, Elizabeth Tate and Scattergood Friends School.

For more information about International Day, contact Elizabeth A. Constantine, Ph.D., at 319-335-6434, or elizabeth-constantine@uiowa.edu

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.