When: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.
Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 31, 2002--Lincoln author Mary Pipher will discuss the impact of refugees on Nebraska in the next E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Pipher will present "The Middle of Everywhere: The World's Refugees Come to Nebraska," Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St. Her lecture is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live on the UNL Web site (www.unl.edu), Lincoln cable Channel 21, UNL's KRNU radio station (90.3 FM) and UNL campus TV. It will also be available on the NebSat satellite system and at satellite sites in Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte and Scottsbluff.
Pipher is best known as the author of the groundbreaking 1994 book "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls," which spent 154 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her most-recent book, "The Middle of Everywhere: The World's Refugees Come to Our Town," describes the plight of refugees settling in Lincoln.
When Pipher began to be intrigued by the variety of cultures she was seeing in shops along 27th Street, the hejabs and burkas, the different faces and languages throughout Lincoln, she read books on globalization and decided to look at another way of studying the clash of cultures: From within her community. Mary and her husband, Jim Pipher, befriended three Lincoln refugee families: Sierra Leonian, Sudanese and Kurdish, and "we helped them but they taught us about the world," she said.
"One of the first things I learned is how America looks to outsiders. We view ourselves as great helpers, but the ironic thing is that we, as individuals, are, but as a country, we aren't necessarily." As refugees, these people arrive unprepared for life in America and can be lost in a culture of material wealth and strange practices, including health, educational and welfare systems that are difficult to navigate. Her speech will relate some of the stories of Nebraska's refugees. She hopes it and her book will inspire others to broaden their world view.
A clinical psychologist by training, Pipher earned her doctorate from the University of Nebraska and has also written "Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders" and "The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families."
Pipher's lecture is co-sponsored by the United Way and the Lincoln Action Program.
"My biggest hope is that people who come to hear the lecture will want to make an effort to be more welcoming... to change people's attitudes and motivate them to help," she said. Pipher is donating her speaking fee to a refugee fund set up in her name at Lincoln Action Program, and resources will be available for students, staff and faculty or interested community members who want to find out how to help.
The next Thompson Forum following Pipher's will be March 6, when Ahmad Chalabi, president of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organization trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein, will deliver "A Vision for the Future of Iraq and the Middle East"
The Thompson Forum is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and UNL.
Contact: Annette Wetzel, University Communications, (402) 472-8524 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For questions regarding these releases, contact:
(402) 472-8514, Fax: (402) 472-7825