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Public Affairs Conference Focuses on Being an Ethical Citizen

Kurt Heinlein

Missouri State University will host the annual Public Affairs Conference April 14-17. Themed “The Ethical Citizen: Can You Make a Difference?” the conference will bring a variety of speakers with global perspectives to Springfield.

This conference will explore what it means to be an ethical citizen.

All events are free and open to the public.

Featured events during the conference include:

April 14
The Missouri State University Foundation will present feature speaker Cal Ripken, Jr.’s “Get in the Game” at 8 p.m. at JQH Arena. Ripken retired from baseball in 2001 after breaking countless records, including Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. In this address, he will offer insights on hard work and success that can be applied on and off the field. This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to attend. Tickets can be picked up at Hammons Hall, JQH Arena or Plaster Student Union ticket offices or may be ordered via phone by calling (417) 836-7678 or (toll-free) 1-888-476-7849. A shipping and handling fee will apply to phone orders.

April 15
The Global Freshwater Challenge—New Solutions for a Thirsty World will be held at noon in the Plaster Student Union Theater. Around the world, signs of water trouble abound. Rivers are running dry, lakes are shrinking and groundwater is being depleted. The question arises: can we meet the food, energy and water needs of our growing population, while at the same time sustaining the ecosystems that support our economies and the web of life on the planet? Dr. Sandra Postel will explain that the answer is yes, but it will require a transformation in how we use, manage and value freshwater.

How to Make a Difference in the Lives of Sex Trafficking Victims will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Plaster Student Union Theater. It is estimated that more than 100,000 children are being sold into sex-trafficking in the United States alone. Toshia Shaw, a survivor of sex trafficking, will share insight and awareness of how we can make a difference by lending our voices to raise awareness, sending a Tweet or taking it one step further by mentoring.

April 16

Ethics and You—Choosing How to Live Your Life will be held at 11 a.m. in Plaster Student Union Theater. Actor, screenwriter and director Sean McEwen will offer insights about how one’s personal choices can help create a path toward a life of meaning and purpose.

Education, Communication and Family Well-Being—Unlocking the Power of Genetic Information will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Plaster Student Union Theater. Dr. Sarah Elsea is a human geneticist working with families affected by developmental disabilities caused by a variety of genetic differences. Her presentation will offer insights into the world of genetics and its implications for America.

April 17
Ferguson and Beyond—Race Relations in Modern America will be held at noon in Plaster Student Union Theater. The tragic events in Ferguson sparked important discussions regarding race. Yet, since the shooting of Michael Brown, troubling examples of racial tension have arisen in our communities and on college campuses.

The Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will take place at 6 p.m. at the White River Conference Center. The Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame honors individuals with a connection to the state of Missouri who serve as examples of global citizens, who define the true essence of public affairs and who consistently act for the benefit of others. The 2015 inductees include George Washington Carver, Eric Greitens and Simone Bernstein. Tickets for this event are $35 and can be purchased online or by calling (417) 836-4143.

April 17-18
The presentation Shatterer of Worlds by the Bread and Puppet Theater will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Student Center, John Q. Room West Court. The Shatterer of Worlds: Chapel with Naturalization Services for Applicants Requesting Citizenship in the Shattered World,” is a walkabout political performance, enveloping audience and performers alike. The performance references the moment when the first atomic bomb was dropped and Robert Oppenheimer, the chief architect of that bomb, recalled words from the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu prayer epic: “Life, the splendor of 1,000 suns blazing all at once, resembling the exulted soul, is become Death, the shatterer of worlds.”

The conference also includes more than 25 other panelists from business, nonprofit, government, academia and other areas.

A complete schedule is available online.

Free parking will be available at BearPark North, with entrances off Cherry and Elm, as well as BearPark South, located at Grand and Holland. A free shuttle service will provide transportation to Plaster Student Union from both parking garages.

See the Public Affairs Conference website for background information about conference speakers and complete program information are available.

For more information, contact Candace Fisk, public affairs program specialist, at (417) 836-5946.

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