Tag

Executive Director Archives - Community | Union Institute & University

Meet Union’s 2016 California Commencement Speaker

By | Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

It is an honor to welcome Joseph G. Bock as the commencement speaker for the 2016 California commencement ceremony.

Dr. Joseph Bock

2016 California Commencement Speaker

It is an honor to welcome Joseph G. Bock as the commencement speaker for the 2016 California commencement ceremony. Dr. Bock is well-known for his research and publications on violence prevention, a sub-field of global health. He has twelve years of international humanitarian experience. He joined Kennesaw State in 2015 from the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Bock also served as director of External Relations at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame. He has taught at University of Notre Dame, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Hebrew University, Eastern Mennonite University, and William Jewell College. Other positions include executive director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College and executive director of the Secure World Foundation. 

Dr. Bock’s humanitarian work has included directing Catholic Relief Services’ programs in Pakistan and Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza Strip, and overseeing programs in Bosnia, Croatia, Guinea, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Uganda while serving as vice president at American Refugee Committee. In 2010, he took a two-month leave from Notre Dame to serve as American Refugee Committee’s country director in Haiti following its devastating earthquake.

Bock has been a speaker and consultant at the World Bank on violence prevention; at University of Malta on the use of information technologies in humanitarian relief; at the Woodrow Wilson Center on foreign aid to Pakistan; at a UN Assembly in Cairo, Egypt about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in Leuven, Belgium on ethnic violence and religious extremism; at University of Karachi on conflict early warning and early response; and, at Macalister College on the refugee crisis in Africa.

Dr. Bock served as a panelist for InterAction in Washington, DC about international issues facing Internally Displaced Persons. He served as a consultant with The Asia Foundation on conflict management and democratic governance, providing support in Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, he worked on a conflict early warning and early response program of the Foundation for Co-Existence, which formed the basis of his book The Technology of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention, which was published by MIT Press in 2012. He is the author of two other books. 

In December 2015, Dr. Bock was provided a Fulbright Specialist award to work with the Municipality of Athens, Greece on the migrant crisis. He has been a Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a Fulbright Specialist at University of Malta, and a Visiting Fellow at Gonzaga University. Bock served as a member of the Working Group on Reconciliation of Caritas Internationalis, based in Vatican City. 

Dr. Bock holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work. After completing his Ph.D. at the School of International Service of American University, Dr. Bock served six years in the Missouri House of Representatives, with leadership positions as Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee and Vice-Chair of the Commerce Committee. More recently, he was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from Illinois.

Dr. Bock is on the Advisory Council of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Center of Conflict Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Dr. Bock is an editorial adviser to Development in Practice, a peer-reviewed journal founded by Oxfam Great Britain. He has authored or co-authored articles in various peer-reviewed journals including, among others, Political Geography, Information Technology for Development, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and Journal of Refugee Studies.

His dedication to service and humanitarian causes has permeated his life and his work. We welcome him as our commencement speaker as an example of Union’s enduring mission to engage, enlighten, and empower adults as they pursue professional goals, and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.

Union Institute & University’s California Commencement will be held
August 7, 2016 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Find out more below!

MLK Student Fights To End Sex Trafficking

By | Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

Read how Deborah J. Richardson’s participation in the MLK Ph.D. program influences her resolve to continue to seek justice for children sold into sex slavery.

Deborah J. Richardson

Current Student | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies

Deborah J. Richardson is a Ph.D. student in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies Specialization program. She is Executive Vice President of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, an organization committed to connecting the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. She recently served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer during the organization’s search for a permanent CEO.  Prior to joining NCCHR in 2011, Deborah had served as Chief Program Officer at Women’s Funding Network in San Francisco, California; CEO of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation; Director of Program Development for Fulton County Juvenile Court; founding Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Fund (now Youth Spark); and Managing Director of the National Black Arts Festival.

Ph.D. student Deborah J. Richardson learned about courage as a child who grew up on the same street as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr. “The work I do now is a direct reflection of what I saw and learned growing up,” said Richardson, Ph.D. student in Union Institute & University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies Specialization program and Executive Vice President of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

That work includes fighting, for over 15 years, to change the systemic conditions that contribute to sex trafficking and social inequality for women. She credits her participation in the MLK program with the resolve and theoretical knowledge needed to continue designing leading programs for girls victimized by trafficking and testify before Congress on the legislative and cultural conditions that facilitate the demand to purchase children for sex.

“My advocacy work in addressing human trafficking has been significantly informed by both Dr. King and my public policy courses at Union Institute & University. Human trafficking is based on the economic model of supply and demand. Because of the demand of customers who want to purchase sex from underage children, the trafficker recruits, grooms and makes available the child,” said Richardson. “Until we interrupt the demand, there will always be victims. Our efforts through the International Human Trafficking Institute at The Center for Civil and Human Rights is to redirect the conversation from awareness about human trafficking to action that eliminates the conditions where victims are in demand in the first place.”

Union’s MLK program examines Dr. King’s teachings and how his legacy continues to inform social change. “In his last book:  Where Do We Go From Here:  Community or Chaos?  He predicts a time when we will forget the principles of nonviolence social justice—eliminating racism, militarism, and poverty. Forty-eight years since his death, one has only to read a newspaper or listen to any local or national media outlet and affirm his prediction has come to fruition,” said Richardson. She muses on her studies and challenges her Union peers to reflect on how they will best use their great privilege of education and the access it provides to work for sustainable lives for all.

“Dr. King said charity is good, but at some point, the person has to ask what are the social conditions that make charity necessary. Union students may contribute to these efforts by having conversation, in their sphere of influence, on the social construction of gender, where the objectification of women is reinforced and often encouraged. We can also interrupt one of the most pervasive forms of human trafficking—labor trafficking, by purchasing fair trade items and insuring our own companies are securing items that have a slavery-free supply chain."

Deborah Richardson’s many achievements include the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary, The Pathbreaker Award from Shared Hope International, The Big Voice Award from Georgia Voices for Children, and the Community Service Award from Spelman College. Richardson holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga, California.

Learn more about Union’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Studies Specialization program