ADVISORY: World Leaders Meet September 14-15 for Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis

The Paradox of Peace is focus of leaders, activists

(MINNEAPOLIS) — The 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum will explore the tensions between conflict and reconciliation, between justice and forgiveness, between hope and fear.  Join us September 14-15 in Minneapolis to honor Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have navigated these paradoxes.

Guest speakers include:

  • Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel laureate.
  • Environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng, President of the Matsunaga Institute and President Barack Obama’s sister
  • Nobel laureate Peter Agre, an Augsburg alumnus
  • Members of EcoPeace, including Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian activists, who are using water as a peacemaking tool
  • Bill Dougherty of the University of Minnesota and his Police and Black Men Project participants
  • Ecolab CEO Doug Baker

Friday’s program will kick off with discussion of the peace process in Colombia and the ongoing challenges of implementing the peace accord. In 2016 Colombia’s President Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end.”

Saturday’s program will focus on the challenges of ridding the world of the nuclear weapons that threaten the very existence of life on earth and feature Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

For more details about the program and speakers, go to http://peace.augsburg.edu/

 

LOCATION

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum will be held at the Augsburg University campus, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Information and tickets are available at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum website.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Gita Sitaramiah at sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.

 

ABOUT THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, hosted and presented by Augsburg University, brings together students and community members with Nobel Peace Prize laureates, world leaders and accomplished peacemakers to work on building a world in which people can live full, rich, meaningful lives. Under the auspices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum inspires peacemaking by focusing on the work of laureates and international peacemakers and peacebuilders. More at Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

 

ABOUT AUGSBURG UNIVERSITY

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to nearly 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and the Rochester site. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.

Media Advisory: River Semester students hike Mississippi on Thursday, launch Friday to canoe for 100 days

Media invited to interview students at Thursday sendoff from Augsburg and Friday’s launch ceremony at Fort Snelling

(MINNEAPOLIS) — Augsburg University River Semester students will paddle the Mississippi for 100 days starting Friday.

The 15 students will learn about history, politics, the environment and more as they canoe the Mississippi. They will paddle from Fort Snelling to Memphis in this unique semester-long experience. In addition, they will be joined by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian activists from EcoPeace Middle East following Augsburg’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum on Sept. 14-15. View the full River Semester itinerary at this link: http://www.augsburg.edu/river/river-semester-itinerary/. For more details about River Semester, go to http://www.augsburg.edu/river. This is the second-ever River Semester. The first was in 2015.

Media Opportunities:

Thursday, August 23: The group will gather at 9:00 a.m. on the front steps of the Christensen Center at Augsburg University, and hike about 9:30 a.m. the nine miles to Fort Snelling State Park. The group of 15 students, two faculty, two staff, and family and friends who will hike with them, will walk along the river gorge, stopping at Minnehaha Falls park for lunch before continuing on to Fort Snelling and their first camp site at Picnic Island.

Friday, August. 24: The group will have a short ceremony, send-off and “blessing of the fleet” at 7:30 a.m. at the boat ramp adjacent to Picnic Island at Fort Snelling. The gate to the park opens at 7:00 a.m., and there is a $7 entrance fee (unless you have a Minnesota State Park annual pass). Once in the park, follow signs to Picnic Island. There is ample parking there and the group will be easily visible once you are in the parking lot.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications, sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.

Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated 9/5/2018)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Status with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The Board of Immigration Appeals has granted a stay of removal. As a result, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can’t deport Mzenga Wanyama and Mary Mzenga until the Board issues a decision on the merits of the motion to reopen his asylum case.

ICE had previously informed Dr. Wanyama and his wife Mary Mzenga that they were required to depart the United States on September 9. That had been extended another 30 days, before the stay of removal was granted late August 31.

“We are saddened that Dr. Wanyama continues to face this difficult situation,” said Paul Pribbenow, president of Augsburg University. “We value his scholarship and skill set and are exploring options for him to continue working in Augsburg’s global operations if he can’t stay in the U.S.”

Background
On April 5, Dr. Wanyama and his wife were informed in a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE would allow them 90 days to depart the United States. During a June 29 meeting ICE confirmed that it had extended their departure date from July 4 to August 3. The ICE office had asked them to return to the office on July 25 for a check-in.

On July 25, ICE then informed Dr. Wanyama and his wife Mary Mzenga that they would have to depart the United States on September 9. He was required to bring his plane tickets with a September 9 departure data to a check-in appointment with ICE on September 4. His September 9 departure was later extended 30 days.

Meanwhile, a motion to reopen Dr. Wanyama’s asylum application based on changed country conditions and a stay of removal was filed earlier this summer with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Once ICE was unwilling to use its discretionary authority any longer, his attorney requested the emergency review of the stay of removal that was granted August 31. If the stay had not granted, he and his wife would most likely have had to leave the U.S. in October.

Dr. Wanyama is teaching fall semester 2018 classes in the English department.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at https://www.change.org/p/augsburg-university-support-augsburg-professor-mzenga-wanyama.

Augsburg University faculty statement
The Augsburg University faculty calls on the U.S. government to halt plans for the unjust deportation of our colleague Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his spouse and Augsburg nursing student Mary Mzenga and to permit their continued work and residence in the US. We stand against the anti-immigrant sentiment that is prompting the current wave of deportations and proudly affirm our status as an institution that supports the many immigrant and refugee members of our academic community.

Website
A website, www.mzenga.com, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Dr. Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.

Augsburg Names Robert Gould Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

Robert Gould began July 1 as Augsburg’s new vice president for strategic enrollment management. With a background in both the liberal arts and professional studies, Robert brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning for traditional undergraduate enrollment as well as recruiting adult learners in undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

He is deeply committed to student access, inclusion and success. He has a strong track record in financial aid strategy, recruitment analytics, and equipping campus faculty and staff partners to effectively support the recruitment effort and serve as ambassadors of the institution.

Most recently, Robert served as vice president for enrollment management at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he held cabinet-level positions in enrollment and in finance and operations at Green Mountain College in Poultney and Killington, Vermont, and at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York, and Colchester, Vermont. Robert began his career in admissions, with progressively greater enrollment management responsibilities at several New York institutions: Iona College in New Rochelle, Ithaca College in Ithaca, and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. 

Robert holds a master of science in corporate communications from Ithaca College and a bachelor of science in business and public management from State University of New York at Utica. He has presented at national higher education enrollment conferences and has served in volunteer and leadership roles for non-profit science, pharmacy, historical society, and children’s services organizations.