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Monday, January 13, 2014

January Lunch and Learn to Focus on Humanitarian Concerns and the War on Terror

Yadira Rodriguez has devoted her academic life to the study of terrorism, an interest spurred by first-hand experiences of terror attacks in her home country of Colombia. But, she says, terrorism is not just something that can happen in faraway places: it can happen anytime, anywhere. “Terrorism affects everybody, it can happen at any moment,” she said. “We should be prepared and understand more about the Red Cross role in these situations, not only in response but in prevention.”
Yadira Rodriguez, a Red Cross volunteer and 
student at Korbel's School of International 
Studies, will present at Wednesday's 
Lunch and Learn event.

Yadira will present this month’s Lunch and Learn lecture on Jan. 15 with Dr. Lewis Griffith of University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. The topic at hand is the intersection of humanitarian law with the policies of the War on Terror. Yadira, a Korbel graduate student and caseworker volunteer in the Restoring Family Links program at the Red Cross, sees the lecture as an opportunity to inform fellow volunteers as well as the general public of the intricacies of humanitarian concerns in the midst of anti- terrorism efforts. “We’re going to talk about how International Humanitarian Law applies to the War on Terror,” she said. “We’ll be discussing what the Red Cross has to say about how we treat people in places like Guantanamo Bay, people that are not considered enemy combatants, how their human rights are to be respected.”
Professor Lewis Griffith, a subject matter
expert on security studies, will also be
speaking on Wednesday.

Dr. Griffith, whose work for the US Air Force led to an academic focus on security studies, has taught and spoken extensively about the War on Terror. He believes it is important, especially for humanitarian volunteers, to be informed on the nature of terrorism and governmental policies concerning terror suspects. “The steps taken by the American government after 9/11 were unprecedented,” he said. “The government response was a fairly unprecedented phenomenon that is unlikely to go away, because terrorism on a large scale is unlikely to go away anytime soon.”

Yadira hopes the event will inspire discussion on the position of the Red Cross toward terror attacks and terrorists with respect to official government policies. Further, she hopes the lecture will help Red Cross members see terrorism as a problem the Red Cross can help address. “We want members to be emboldened, to understand better how terrorism can be prevented.”

The Lunch and Learn lecture will be presented Wednesday, Jan. 15, from noon to 1 p.m. at The American Red Cross, 444 Sherman St. RSVPs are requested by 5 p.m. Jan. 13 to Tim Bothe at Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org. WebEx options are also available for remote audiences. For more information, contact Tim Bothe.

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