Preview of Next Week’s Global Classrooms: Washington, DC Conference

by Ryan on April 26, 2011

I’ll be at next week’s Global Classrooms: Washington, DC conference held at the State Department on May 4. I staffed several Global Classrooms conferences when I was in college but this will be my first time checking out GC:DC and I’m excited! The 2009 conference featured a keynote speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Click “Learn More” below to read about GC:DC!

The following is part of a press release provided by the conference.

On Wednesday, May 4 the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State will host a high school and middle school “Model United Nations” conference with more than 600 students from District of Columbia schools and a delegation of students from Ghana. This is the State Department’s signature Model UN event, and has been since 2004.

Participating students are part of Global Classrooms ® Washington, DC (GCDC), which is the only year-round Model United Nations program in the District’s public schools. Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock is scheduled to present keynote remarks.

“This is a unique opportunity for DC students, many of whose families moved here from many of the nations they will be representing,” said Paula Boland, Executive Director of UNA-NCA, which is organizing the event.“ Students from different parts of the city, and whose parents are from different parts of the world and in many cases speak different languages at home, will come together to negotiate shared solutions to shared problems.”

Students from 34 schools in the District have been preparing for the conference all year, studying the workings of the United Nations and key issues such as climate change, HIV/AIDS, and human rights. DC students will be joined by 20 students from Ghana who are travelling to Washington to participate in the conference, a delegation from Pittsburgh’s “Racial Justice through Human Rights” program, and colleagues from Maryland and Virginia.

“This is a chance to provide a youth perspective on international issues, and to meet students from other schools and from diverse communities” said Jose Mercedes, Jr., a senior at Roosevelt High School. “It’s a real reminder that there’s a world beyond what we see every day.”

UNA-NCA hopes that students are exposed to issues and people they might not otherwise encounter, and become more active citizens both locally and globally. “You never know, these participants could wind up building community programs in DC or working at the United Nations one day,” said Boland.

Will you be at GC:DC next week? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments below!

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