This past November, EDR participated in the 7th annual conference of the Japan Association for Human Security Studies, one of the leading professional organizations for the scholarly study of human security. The conference, held on November 4-5 at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, brought together notable human security scholars and practitioners from Asia, Europe, and North America to discuss current trends and future possibilities for the study and application of human security. At the conference, EDR Research Fellow Sean Smeland represented EDR on a panel on new directions for human security studies, presenting one of EDR’s new projects: Human-Centric National Security. Since one of the main themes of the conference was a search for new visions for the advancement of human security, and new ways to keep human security relevant amidst an ever-growing range of threats to human security around the world, EDR’s innovative approach to human security — which integrates human security and national security by examining the previously unexplored area of human security in strong states — was very well-received by the other conference attendees.
Japan Association for Human Security Studies (JAHSS) is an open academic forum to promote human security studies in Japan and worldwide.
Abstract of the Presentation
When the Cold War ended, the international community had high hopes for global peace and security. However, such optimism has been shaken by a series of grave crises: terrorism, ethnic cleansing, epidemics, and nuclear crises. These new threats are mostly human security threats that pose national security risks even to strong states. Thus, the demand for human security by security consumers – i.e., citizens – has skyrocketed, while national security institutions’ supply of human security has not satisfied this demand, largely due to the traditional orientation of national security towards “regime-centric security.” Although the concept of “human security” developed by the United Nations provides a useful starting point, current definitions of human security have serious limitations that have kept human security out of mainstream discussions about strong states’ national security. This separation is both illogical and impractical, because not only has the public demand for human security increased, but the potential role of the public in security processes has also grown. Recognizing these new realities, we reconsider both human security and national security, bringing the “human” back into the study of national security while also incorporating the state as a critical institution for human security. The resultant new framework, “human-centric national security,” has three dimensions: security of humans, for humans, and by humans. “Human security,” if reframed as “human-centric national security,” can be fundamentally integrated into national security policies, and can contribute to international peace by encouraging active engagement policies.
The JAHSS conference offered an excellent opportunity to share EDR’s mission — to promote global citizenship, human security, and human development — with a diverse group of scholars, students, and practitioners. Among the conference attendees, we encountered many “kindred spirits” and initiated new relationships with potential collaborators — relationships that will help us increase the scale and scope of our global impact.
Please click for the report.
Summer Program for Boston Adult Technical Academy (BATA) Graduates:
Becoming a Freshman: Planning and Working for College Success
EDR is Helping the Graduates of Boston Adult Technical Academy to Apply and to Succeed in College
From June 21 – July 14, EDR ran a new Summer School Program “Becoming a Freshmen: Planning and Working for College Success”. The program aims to help graduates of Boston Adult Technical Academy (BATA) to become successful college freshmen. The content and the classes of the program were especially designed to help students increase self-confidence; improve skills in self-motivation and self-discipline; and advance students’ understanding of academic offerings including majors and course requirements. Twelve (12) BATA graduates attended the program organized and offered free of charge by EDR. Classes were held at UMass Boston and Harvard to give students chances to experience a college campus life throughout the program.
While enrolled in the program, participants also received ESL support so that they may prepare for college and share their rich cultural backgrounds with the community (e.g., Colombia, Cape Verde, Haiti, and El Salvador). Program courses included Academic Writing and Oral Presentation in the Sciences. Oral Presentation in the Sciences course acquainted students with communication skills necessary in an academic setting through practicing self-introduction, science presentations, and providing feedback; the Academic Writing course allowed students to practice written self-representation, email communication with professors, practicing essays, and writing posts for discussion forums on different topics.
Taught by seasoned instructors of English and Science, the immigrant students, who are also ESL learners, were able to boost self-confidence and self-motivation by improving their learning, studying and communication skills. At the end of the program, students explained on how the program helped them to understand the expectations of college life, and how to take the needed steps to ensure their own success.
Below are some testimonials from BATA students who participated in the program:
Peterson Desmoulin, “It was a grand pleasure for me to participate into the summer [program]. I have learned the experience of many fact about life after high school and visited places, where I learned a lot about what is going on outside the earth, and learned new skill that will help me for my future learning. I can’t thank enough people who made the program possible, also I wish this program countinue for next summer vacation and more student can learned and experience what life look like after high school”.
Correa Marin Jhovana, “…The program is close to end and I was thinking in what I learned while I was on it, then I will tell you that I learned a lot new information such as to have clear goals in my life, listen to my peers when they have something to say, how to see beyond of something, like to see any picture and imagine what it really want to make you think, and use our sense to figure it out. Another important thing is what kind of person I want to be and why is important to be a role model. I learned a lot new information such as to have clear goals in my life, listen to my peers when they have something to say, how to see beyond something…Another important thing is what kind of person I want to be and why is important to be a role model… something I will remember is the class from July 12 when we visited MIT and saw a beautiful project in our space named CHANDRA. It was very important because I did not have idea of the importance that it can be for the source of our existence. I loved to hear from all the people who work with CHANDRA because they share with us they knowledge. The only thing that I would change is the time, only have more time, more days to know people and learned from them. Then I conclude that if I want to continue learning, the college can be the best way to do it, because it was like a short college experience that I hope I will make reality”.
Luz Agudelo, “What I like about the program is all the dedication that give to all the students and the help, when we have a question the answer and we also went to other places like Harvard and MIT, what I remember the most from the program is when we went to MIT, because I learn more about science and is also something I was interested to know about it, was something different for us the students and I am glad that we went there, what I have learned during this four week, I improve in my writing skills, also about history and science, i think I will not change anything about the program, all was great and I really liked”.
EDR (www.edrworld.org) is a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) that strives to create a global community where anyone can achieve his or her dream and live in harmony through education.
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