Salzburg Spirit Lives on in California

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Salzburg Spirit Lives on in California

Series of Global Citizenship Program events held in California Event speaker Dr. Champa Patel, Head of Activism, Amnesty International UK works with students at GCP 53

An interactive session at the University of San Francisco with students examining human rights activism, a lecture on “Human Rights: Does People Power Work?” at San Jose State University, and a workshop at West Valley College exploring the role of global citizenship at community colleges in the 21st century. These are just some of the activities that Champa Patel, Head of Activism, Amnesty International UK, was involved in during a recent trip to California.

Dr. Patel serves regularly as a faculty member at the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Global Citizenship Program sessions and from April 16 to 19 she took the show on the road to three GCP partners.

The University of San Francisco, which has been involved in the GCP since 2005, invited Dr. Patel to participate in three events: a session for Professor Noah Borrero’s teacher preparation course at USF's College of Education, an all campus event on human rights activism and a special session for the students who will be attending an upcoming GCP session in Salzburg in May.

Each of the events were tied to Dr. Patel’s human rights activism work at Amnesty International and to themes that she explores in-depth at Global Citizenship Programs. 

Next was an interactive lecture on “Human Rights: Does People Power Work?” at San Jose State University, also a GCP partner since 2005.

About 50 students and faculty, many of whom are a part of the SJSU Salzburg Program, attended Dr. Patel’s lecture followed by time for an informal reunion of GCP Fellows from years past. 

The final stop was West Valley College for a one-day workshop on “The 21st Century Educational Institution: Global Citizenship, Civic Engagement, and Student Success.”

This workshop is part of an ongoing initiative co-organized by West Valley College, San Jose State University, and the Salzburg Global Seminar to incorporate coherent global citizenship programs in secondary schools, community colleges and at the university level.

A further “mini-Salzburg” conference will be held at Leigh High School, San Jose, California in collaboration with SJSU and West Valley College on Friday, May 10.

The workshop at West Valley College addressed questions such as: How does high-mobility, intercultural connections, and globalization impact our students and our pedagogy? What is the role of global citizenship in community colleges? How can global education emphasize the civic significance of preparing students with knowledge and for action? Can global and civic engagement affect student success?

Peter Rose, Sophia Smith Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College and another long-time GCP Faculty member, also spoke at the workshop.

This series of events coordinated by three GCP partner institutions is an example of how the Global Citizenship Program seeks to positively impact the lives of the students, professors, and administrators who attend sessions in Salzburg and to lay the foundation for ongoing institutional engagement and change.

“The Salzburg spirit is still very much alive here [in California],” added West Valley College Art History Professor, Cynthia Reiss, who attended the 48th session of the GCP: Colleges and Universities as Sites of Global Citizenship in 2011.