What's Happening at PAWAC?

The Olympics in a Time of War


Although portrayed as a global event to promote peaceful competition, the Olympic Games have always been intersected by conflict. Even in recent years, Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008 riled host Beijing for stealing their limelight. Clearly not a deterrence for belligerence, the current debate around the world is whether to let Russia (and its ally Belarus) participate in international sporting events, especially the upcoming Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

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A View of the World from DC


Yoana Trendafilova, PAWAC Intern, relates here impressions of the national conference of the World Affairs Councils of America.

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The Future of Work - Insider's View


As we look at the Future of Work, a December graduate offers their personal perspective on job opportunities. Is the partnership between employees and employers prepared to offer a constructive approach in this post-pandemic world?

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Has the international order reached a tipping point?


Events in Ukraine have raised questions about the rules-based system of international relations that has been the norm since the massive destruction of WWII.

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Record-Breaking Salvadorian Gang Violence Causing Unfavored Government Response


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Saudi Arabia’s Core Values Have Always Been in the Essence of Islam


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Shanghai Struggles


Guest blogger Alicion Connor discribes the challenges of new surges of Covid and rising inflation.

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National Guard Mission Brief


The Mission brief with Becca and Lieutenant General Jon A. Jenson held some encouraging messages for the future of the Army National Guard. With over 41,000 guardsmen working globally, it is no surprise that they have been keeping busy with the Army’s agenda.

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“Our Leaders Need to Look Like the Rest of the World”


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Canada, Covid, and the Crisis at the Border


Introducing PAWAC News Analysis in Brief

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Rwanda in Perspective


Bradley University students from Rwanda and Ghana discuss current events in Rwanda and the broader region.

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People of Peace


In honor of people who have worked for peace, Ashlee Ingersoll discusses one of her favorite dignitaries.

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Consider Mexico-US Relations Jumpstarted


Ambassador Reyna Torres Mendivil discusses US-Mexico relations

Ambassador Reyna Torres Mendivil, Consul General of Mexico, met with area business and government leaders, the Peoria Area World Affairs Council, the SBDC, and college and university students to discuss a renewed effort to put relations between the US and Mexico on positive progress.

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"Ukraine at the Forefront" with Ambassador William Taylor


William B. Taylor

On April 25, 2018, PAWAC and the Institute of International Studies at Bradley University welcomed Ambassador William Taylor of the U.S. Institute of Peace to Peoria. Ambassador Taylor currently serves as Executive Vice President at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. He has also served as special coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the U.S. State Department, and he oversaw assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria.

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Lebanon Today with Dr. Hasan Youness


Lebanon faces seemingly insurmountable challenges right now. However, the country has demonstrated its resilience and ability to heal deep divisions within its borders. But will the massive explosion in the port on August 4 be the final straw? Dr. Hasan Youness is the face of a new Lebanon. He is young, well-educated, and dynamic. He loves his country, and is committed to working toward a positive future. But even this dedicated professional feels his resolve wavering as he considers the com

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Peoria and US-China Relations


Accomplished and timely! PAWAC does it again. On Monday September 16, 2019, PAWAC brought in a fantastic speaker, Mr. Stephen Orlins. He is (and has been for the last 15 years) the president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and before this he held numerous important positions in communications and banking firms, served in the Office of Legal Advisor of the US Department of State, and was part of the team to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of

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Do Americans Really Understand Iranians?!?


According to Dr. Hadi Esfahani, a U of I Professor of Political Science and Economics for the past 35years, the answer is probably no! He immigrated to the US from a small town in the NE of Iran in 1978 and visits his home twice a year. On these visits he certainly talks with family but also with members of his greater community and various campus communities to get a feel for their thoughts and feelings about various matters that he shared with PAWAC on August 15, 2019.

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Making Sense of Venezuela with Dr. Damarys Canache


In spite of the title, it is still difficult to make sense of what is happening in Venezuela. Dr. Canache explained the history of the democracy in the country and its progression to an authoritarian state. However, she pointed out that there is a solid portion of the population that clings to the hope of restoring democratic practices. Since she has family who still reside in Venezuela, she knows first-hand that there are many elements within Venezuelan society that are willing to fight to rest

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Wunderbar Together! The State of Transatlantic Ties with Her Excellency Helga Barth, Minister of Political Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of


Barth giving presentation

The Wunderbar Together program, sponsored by the Goethe Institute and the government of Germany, was a terrific format for recognizing the breadth and depth of ties between Central Illinois and Germany. Her Excellency Helga Barth had a full schedule meeting with the Friends of Friedrichshafen Sister City Organization, the German American Central Society, along with business and agricultural leaders with German heritage.

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Who Rules Britannia? A Discussion of Brexit


While the conclusion of the United Kingdom’s goal to leave the European Union is still very much up in the air, the history of the decision and the politics of the arguments are worth learning. Dr. Cleeton enlightened us all at this program at Barrack’s Cater Inn on May 16.

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Confessions of a Corporate Lobbyist with Michael Maibach


Blog by Angela Weck With a crowd of hometown friends, co-workers from his days at Caterpillar, and the usual PAWAC members, Michael Maibach regaled the audience with true stories from his days as a corporate lobbyist. He focused largely on his days at the Intel Corp, a microprocessor company that has grown into a world-wide leader in the industry.

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A Taste of India


Illinois Central College Peoria, Dogwood Hall Blog by Angela Weck For the third year, the Culinary Arts Program at ICC North has impressed us with their interpretation of food from around the world. The dishes were delicious and mild enough for every palate. They were so beautifully presented that it was a shame to eat them!

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Journalism Under Fire


Peoria Riverfront Museum Blog By Nikki Eckland ? We began the night off with a viewing of several short films documenting the trials of being a journalist in areas of conflict. One film detailed the importance of “fixers”, who are often unnamed despite their status of being key contributors to international journalism. We then transitioned into discussion with Kristin McHugh and Jenni Monet, both experienced journalists in their own respects. The video linked below contains the whole conve

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The Leadership Crisis in Illinois, America, and the World


Bradley Student Center Ballroom Blog by Angela Weck The Leadership Crisis in Illinois, America, and the World John Shaw, Executive Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Author of the PAWAC Reads! Book Club selection: Rising Star, Setting Sun: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and the Presidential Transition that Changed America

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Why Lebanon Matters


by Nikki Eckland ?Saturday October 6th PAWAC and The Itoo Society partnered in hosting ‘Why Lebanon Matters’, with discussion lead by Ambassador of Lebanon to the United states Gabriel Issa, Advisor to President Michel Aoun Elias Bou Sabb, and Representative of the US Congress Darin LaHood. Walking into the Itoo Hall was nothing short of beautiful, postcards from Lebanon on each table and white gauze fabric draping the ceiling. There was plenty of time to meet the speakers and make introduction

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NAFTA - Informative and Provocative


NAFTA panel interacting with audience

Why NAFTA is important to Central Illinois was the focus of the panel discussion on August 30 at Bradley University, and the discourse was lively and thought-provoking. Led by moderator Don Samford of PAWAC, the panel looked at the ongoing negotiations and their impact on agricultural products, manufacturing, and services. Although the voice of labor was unable to participate due to conflicts with weekend events, the moderator made a specific effort to raise the issues of wages, benefits, and

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Meet the Experts on NAFTA


On August 30, 2018, please join PAWAC in welcoming the following esteemed experts to for a panel discussion on the North American Free Trade Agreement for our program "NAFTA: Past. Present. Future?"

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Travelogue: Iceland


For most travelers, a vacation to Iceland likely does not make the “Top Ten List.” But for Don Samford and a group from Peoria, it was a trip of a lifetime. Don Samford, previous president of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council, is an avid student of history and sociology, with a real talent for capturing his surroundings through photography.

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PAWAC Meets Mac Pogue and Kathryn Eissfeldt


Following a 34 year I/T career, Mac Pogue is an active community volunteer and life long learner who likes to play handball and travel. He is active in the Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC), the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI), Quest Charter Academy, Scouting, and Friends of Proctor Center (including tutoring GED candidates and teaching handball). Kathryn is former educator who works as a freelance writer and runs a website devoted to STEM. She enjoys vo

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PAWAC meets Angela Weck


Angela Weck has been teaching at Bradley University since 1993. She primarily focuses on Russian history and international studies. She has been involved with the Peoria Area World Affairs Council since 1991, serving in various capacities until becoming the Executive Director in 2000. She stepped down from those duties 2015-2018, but returned to the position just recently.

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PAWAC meets Pam Slaby


Pam graduated from Elmira College, Elmira, NY with a B.A. English Literature and later completed an MBA in Human Resource Management at Loyola University of Chicago. Her career in human resources spanned 38 years in both the railroad industry (V.P. Employee Relations, Chemetron Railway Products) and the mining industry (Sr. Manager Human Resources, Komatsu America Corp). Pam served on the Board of Directors for PALM (Peoria Area Labor Management) from 2000 until her retirement in 2013. Pam

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Prospects for Development in Guatemala with US AID Officer Bart Pogue


For Father's Day Weekend, Mac Pogue of PAWAC was able to show off how much of a "proud papa" he was: and for good reason! Bart Pogue, Mac & Connie's son, is a Peoria native gone international and featured as our expert speaker on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the Lariat Steakhouse in Peoria.

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PAWAC Reads: Spring 2018 Selection


PAWAC Reads discussed two books for their spring meeting. The first was Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, by Condoleezza Rice. This selection was a memoir of Rice's term as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor during the Bush administration. A prominent focus was helping developing nations grow democracies. Successes included Poland, Tunisia, Colombia. Failures included Egypt. The Iraq war demonstrated the difficulties growing democracy in a country with no such hist

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Get Your Game On! International Trivia Challenge


The Peoria Area World Affairs Council held its Seventh Annual International Trivia Challenge on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at Itoo Hall, 4909 Farmington Road, in Peoria. Lee Wenger of Peoria Public Radio served as the emcee and the trivia contest featured silent auction, raffle prizes, a cash bar, and free international hors d'oeuvres. Proceeds from this fundraising event support the international education programs sponsored by PAWAC. In particular, this event helps the World Affairs Council se

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