September 13, 2004

Public Policy Institute offers varied lineup

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the first woman elected to statewide office in Illinois, an award-winning filmmaker and a former United Nations ambassador highlight the fall schedule of speakers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Public Policy Institute.

"I think we have an outstanding lineup of speakers and it reflects our continuing commitment to address regional, state, national and international issues," said Mike Lawrence, interim director of the Public Policy Institute.

Here's the schedule:

  • Today (Sept. 13) - - 7:30 p.m., Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium. Jody Williams, "Between Terror & Hope: The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Struggle for an Active Civil Society." She is also holding a workshop on promoting international law and global peace at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, in Student Center Ballroom B.
  • Monday, Oct. 18 - - 7:30 p.m., Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium. Dawn Clark Netsch, former Illinois comptroller and 1994 Democratic nominee for Illinois governor.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24 - - 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom B ­ Stanley Nelson, Peabody-Award winning filmmaker.
  • Monday, Nov. 1 - - Time to be determined, Student Center Ballroom B ­ Stephen Lewis, United Nations special envoy to Africa on HIV/AIDS and former UN Ambassador from Canada.

Netsch will receive the 2004 Ralph A. Dunn Public Service Award and deliver the Dunn Lecture on state government. Dunn served with Netsch in the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention and in the Illinois Senate from 1973 to 1990. An attorney, Netsch is an expert on government finance issues, and was the first woman elected to a state constitutional executive office, serving as comptroller from 1991 to 1995. She was unsuccessful in a bid as the Democratic nominee for Illinois governor in 1994. Netsch is on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law.

Dunn, who died at age 90 on May 3, believed Netsch was an outstanding choice to receive the award, said institute development director Matt Baughman. Netsch will also spend the next day speaking with students in Lawrence's journalism class.

Nelson will speak and show clips of his film, "Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise," a documentary on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The documentary received rave reviews.

Nelson will also spend time the next day, Monday, Oct. 25, talking with campus leaders and students on issues dealing with minority faculty and higher education, said Baughman. Another of Nelson's documentaries is "Shattering the Silences: The Case for Minority Faculty," explores issues of faculty diversity in American higher education in the mid-1990s by focusing on the experiences of eight minority scholars at a wide range of institutions. Nelson will also spend time with cinematography students while on campus, Baughman said.

Lewis' visit coincides with a Public Policy Institute symposium that will prepare an action plan or "how-to" guide for community groups interested in becoming actively involved in the war on HIV/AIDS in Africa. He was named the United Nations' special envoy to Africa on HIV/AIDS in 2001, and has done a great deal of work on the issue.

Baughman said the strong schedule reflects good interaction between the speakers and community members and students.

"With every program we have scheduled this semester we are working closely with academic and other campus units to make it as valuable for students as possible," he said.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence ThroughCommitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

The Public Policy Institute is planning additional events. For more information, contact the institute at 618/453-4009 or visit