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Representatives From the US, Northern Ireland And South Africa To Discuss Educating in Divided Societies at Boston College November 16  

(11-6-2000) Northern Ireland Minister for Education Martin McGuinness, South African Ambassador to the United States Sheila Sisulu and Maureen McLaughlin, deputy assistant secretary for policy, planning and innovation in the US Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education will be the featured speakers at a November 16 symposium exploring the challenges inherent in developing educational programs in divided societies.

"Building Bridges: Educational Policy in Divided Societies," a public symposium sponsored by Boston College and Global Citizens Circle, will be held at 11 a.m. in Gasson Hall, Room 100, on Boston College's campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Speakers will answer questions from the media immediately following the symposium at approx. 12:30 p.m. "We want the symposium to address the challenges educators face in societies that are divided, whether for reasons of politics, religion, race or economics," said organizer Robert Savage, associate director of Boston College's Irish Studies Program, an academic exploration of Irish culture and society considered the most comprehensive program in North America.

BC Irish Studies and Global Citizens Circle are coordinating the event with the support of Boston College Lynch School of Education. McGuinness is a member of the Sinn Fein party and the Northern Ireland Assembly. He has served as Sinn Fein's chief negotiator with the British government.

He also has represented Sinn Fein in high-level discussions with political leaders in Europe and in the United States. Sisulu has held various positions in the South African Committee for Higher Education and served as the education coordinator of the African Bursary Fund of the South African Council of Churches.

In 1994, she was appointed special advisor to the minister of education. In 1999, she was appointed South Africa's ambassador to the United States. McLaughlin has been with the US Department of Education since 1988. In her current post, she coordinates important functions in the area of postsecondary education, including policy development and analysis, budget forecasting, quality improvement and strategic planning.

For more than 25 years, Global Citizens Circle has sought to encourage understanding and ideas through organized civil discourses on such issues as politics, human rights, race relations, governance, conflict resolution, children and family, housing, education, industry, the environment and the economy.


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