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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Real First World Problems: How Less from Rwanda Can Improve 'First World' America

There is a legacy of cultural dominance between the developed world and the developing world. For generations, the west has been looked to as the pinnacle of progress in technology, health, and justice. To this day, many NGO and state agents approach the developing world as a place to improve upon and never a place to learn from. However, I purpose that there are numerous lessons to be learned from the developing world, principally where cultural policy and cultural expression is concerned. This presentation identifies two key areas, community and sustainability, where the first world nations are lagging. This lag is truly a first world problem; and, I propose that the solution is to be found in the developing world. To explore this thesis, I will explore the developments of post-genocide Rwanda. I will concentrate on how Rwandans have healed and grown since the 1994 Genocide and how this growth has impacted community and sustainability throughout the country. From here, I will propose the need for sustainable community development here in the United States. For this purpose, community is defined as “a body of people or things viewed collectively” (Oxford New English Dictionary). Sustainability will refer to the long-term social and environmental frameworks established to maintain the community. In essence, I will show how we can learn from Rwanda, a nation on the rebound, by exploring that which makes us human.

Presenter: Candace Morrison (SUNY University at Buffalo) -- candacem@buffalo.edu
Topic: International Education - Panel
Location: 33 Hartwell
Time: 11 am (Session II)

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