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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URIís 10th Annual Lecture on Multiculturalism: Professor and activist to discuss community development in Cuba

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 6, 2004 -- Dr. Miren Uriarte, professor of human services, University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Rev. Lucius Walker, executive director, Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and Pastors for Peace, will deliver the University of Rhode Islandís Tenth Annual Lecture on Multiculturalism on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public the lecture will be held in Chafee Auditorium on the Kingston Campus.

Dr. Uriarte and Rev. Walker will discuss "Promoting Social Development in Cuba: What Works Best." The speech was originally scheduled to be presented by Rev. Raul Suarez, executive director of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center and Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Havana, Cuba, and an official of the Cuban government. While Suarez has visited the United States in 1997 and 1999 on diplomatic missions, current U.S. State Department policy treats any Cuban government official as a security risk. Endorsed by two U.S. Senators and eight U.S. Representatives, his visa application to visit the United States is still pending.

Since the founding years of the King Memorial Center, Uriarte and Walker have been allies to Rev. Suarez in implementing his popular education, community development, antipoverty, and international solidarity initiatives. An authority on applied sociology and community development in Cuba and other Latino communities, Uriarte received her Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University, her M.S.W. from Boston College, and her B.A. in psychology from the University of Florida.

Pastor of Salvation Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, Walker is widely known for his efforts to focus attention on the economic and travel restrictions that complicate US-Cuba relations; and his organization of humanitarian aid caravans and educational tours to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. A recipient of the Edwin O. Dahlberg Peace Award, first conferred upon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, Walker received a B.A. from Shaw University, a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin.

Initiated by the University of Rhode Island Multicultural Center, the Annual Lectures on Multiculturalism seek to promote strategies that encourage individuals, organizations, and groups to develop global ways of knowing, global building of relationships, and global problem solving.

Complementing the 2004 Lecture will be a teach-in on Cuba, moderated by Jennifer Ungemach, Cuba and Nicaragua Program Officer, Oxfam America, and including members of the local and campus community who have visited Cuba. The teach-in will take place in the URI Memorial Union, Atrium II, on Tuesday, February 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All viewpoints are welcome at this event which seeks to create dialogue.

For More Information Mailee Kue, 874-5829