USD students negotiate diplomacy with Muslims

USD students negotiate diplomacy with Muslims Students at The University of South Dakota will discuss American power and global security with students at American University in Beirut, Lebanon in a teleconference on Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Center for Continuing Education building. Two students from USD, along with two from the university in Beirut, will moderate the discussion and lead an open question and answer session. Space is limited.

The main topic for the teleconference is whether the U.S. should promote democracy overseas. The event's goal is to help build an understanding between Americans and the people of the Muslim world.

"We believe that through dialogue and education we can begin to mitigate the mutual hatred that is plaguing our relationship with the Muslim world," said Jonathon Walz, campus coordinator of Americans for Informed Democracy.

The event is part of a national "Hope Not Hate" movement that kicked off in Vermillion Sept. 13 with a town hall forum at USD. Students will now put what they learned into action as they engage in negotiations at the teleconference.

Students across America have joined together with many 9/11 family members with the hope of inspiring a new generation of U.S.-Muslim relations based on understanding and mutual respect.

"The goal of this unprecedented series is two-fold," explains the series' co-chair Ambassador Akbar Ahmed. "First, we want to build a bridge of understanding between non-Muslims and Muslims in the U.S., and then extend that bridge of understanding from the U.S. to the Muslim world."�

The series is sponsored by Americans for Informed Democracy and supported by a coalition of non-profit organizations, including The People Speak, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the U.N. Foundation. The goal of these groups is to engage Americans in conversation about the future of U.S. foreign policy through more than 4,000 discussions in September and October.

For more information about the series, please visit www.AIDemocracy.org, www.HopeNotHate.org, www.ThePeopleSpeak.org or contact U AID chapter members Lynn von Koch at lvonkoch@usd.edu or Walz at jdwalz@usd.edu. RSVP before Oct. 10 to ensure you get a seat.

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