UNK-The James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs will take place at the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus March 4-6, 2001. Sponsored by the College of Education, the 2001 conference theme is “Education: Change Agent for the New Millennium.”

Twenty-seven speakers representing 16 countries will be guests at UNK during the week giving lectures and presentations on subjects ranging from government’s responsibility in educating for the future to an investigation of the struggles over the use of African languages in the school curriculum. Diplomats from India, Israel, Pakistan, Poland, and Taiwan have been invited to attend the 2001 event.

The conference opens March 4 with the International Food Festival at 6:30 p.m. at the Health and Sports Center. The festival is open to the public free of charge. There will be opportunities to observe International students in their native attire and sample international dishes.

The 2001 Conference will be concluded with a reception at the Museum of Nebraska Art at 6:30 p.m. on March 6. The theme for the evening is “Globalization: Nebraska Business Strategy.” The evening is a combined event with the Kearney Chamber of Commerce and will feature several Kearney and Nebraska business leaders who will discuss what they are doing to expand their horizons.

The first World Affairs Conference was held in 1964 under the direction of James Todd. In 1966, James E. Smith joined the UNK faculty and brought his influence to the conferences that were held every year from 1964-1975. Due to the lack of funding in the twelve-year period between 1976 and 1988, the conference was not held but was reinstated in 1988 as the James E. Smith Conference on World Affairs. Since then, the year the leadership of the event rotates among four undergraduate colleges: Fine Arts and Humanities, Education, Natural and Social Sciences, and Business and Technology.

The three main goals of the World Affairs Conference are (1) to introduce important global issues to the students and local community; (2) to expose conference participants to a variety of viewpoints from other countries; (3) to promote international education.

For more information on the James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs, contact Kay Horner at (308) 865-5758.