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MEDIA CONTACT:   Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Lecture Addresses 'Peace and Poverty in the Middle East'

BOCA RATON (August 26, 2008) – The Peace Studies Program in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters presents “Poverty and Peace in the Middle East,” a look at peace building initiatives by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the Middle East. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.

CRS, the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries.   Hedley Abernethy, CRS peace building educator and advisor, and Cullen Larson, CRS southeast region program officer, will discuss the agency’s efforts to encourage peace building through humanitarian relief and sustainable development in the Middle East. They will also address U.S. Catholic support for the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.

As an education adviser, Abernethy works on ways for Catholics in the U.S. to become more informed and engaged on issues related to the Middle East.   He also oversees a program that works with youth to develop understanding of peace building from a global perspective.  

Larson works to support CRS programs in nine southeast states.   His focus is on advocacy related to public policy issues affecting the poor overseas. Larson’s recent experience includes visits with CRS projects in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Israel and Ethiopia. He has led a course on local economic development strategies for provincial officials in China and helped to establish a church partnership in rural Haiti.

The lecture is presented in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach Campus Ministry with generous support from The Friends of Newman.  For more information, call 561-297-2623.

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