Visions for a Better World

Fall 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010 – A Better World is Possible: International Education and the Culture of Peace

Since the development and evolution of the state system more than 5,000 years ago, human culture and society has based itself upon the culture of war that permeates all aspects of our contemporary lifestyle and culture. Preparing for and transitioning from a culture of war to a culture of peace will require youth to play a critical role. The challenges of such a transition will be discussed as well as the current culture of peace initiatives around the world.

David Adams is one of the key figures in the culture of peace movement. A research psychologist by training, Adams’s interest in the causes of human aggression led him to his pioneering work on anger and aggression and the human brain in the 1960s and 1970s. Following a 23-year career as professor of psychology at Wesleyan University, Adams spent more than a decade at UNESCO, developing national culture of peace projects, researching and developing the culture of peace concept, and training in peace-building and conflict resolution. Now retired, Adams travels the world working with youth and promoting the culture of peace. He has authored several papers and books, including The History of the Culture of War, World Peace through the Town Hall, and I Have Seen the Promised Land: A Utopian Novella.


Monday, November 15, 2010 – Deity Freak: Sacred Comedy for Profane Sensibilities

Join the multitalented and multifaceted Stuart Davis for a hilarious and bizarre ride through the human spiritual experience. For this “twisted mystic,” embarrassment, taboo, and paradox are key ingredients in his performances. A long-time practitioner of Zen Buddhism, comedy, and indie rock music, Davis’s work is a rare combination of sincere open-heartedness and fearless boundary-pushing.

Stuart Davis has made a genre-busting career of delving into difficult subjects. With his trademark synergy of sacred and profane punch lines, he takes the audience through a circus of sexuality, spirituality, and showbiz. In Davis’s universe, funny is profound and love has no opposite.


Spring 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011 A Journey into East Africa: Youth Empowerment and Changing the World

Follow PSU senior Bryan Funk on his path into Eastern Africa; hear the tales of those who have triumphed in the face of unfathomable odds; and learn how thousands of youth have joined to change American foreign policy. This inspirational talk will show how it is possible to live a fulfilling and meaningful life through service and commitment to humanity.

Bryan Funk’s social consciousness was awakened when he was in high school, when he and his friends organized a fundraiser that raised $21,000 for refugee camps in Darfur. At PSU, Funk founded the student organization Ending Genocide Around the World to advocate and fundraise for Eastern African non-governmental organizations. He has also been involved with the organization Invisible Children, which focuses on rebuilding war-torn schools in Northern Uganda and raising awareness about the use of child soldiers in Africa. Last summer, Funk traveled to Uganda last summer to volunteer at the Boosona Primary School in rural Jinja and in the Nsyambia Slum in Kampala.