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Open Microphone discussion featured at final forum of UMFK series on Vietnam, War, Resistance and Peace

April 4, 2003

NR03059

The fourth and final forum in a three-month speaker's series at the University of Maine at Fort Kent devoted to opening up dialogue on the topic of war, resistance and peace, will feature an open mic discussion led by the students in the campus honors program.

The forum, which will focus on peace, will take place on Wednesday, April 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

"How do we wage peace" is the question that will be considered as participants integrate what they have learned from previous discussions on the Vietnam War and relate those lessons to the current military engagement in Iraq.

Students enrolled in the Honors 400 program are: Andrew Chamberland and January Martin of Madawaska, Desiree Champagne and Deborah Daigle of Fort Kent, Sarah Smith of Fort Kent Mills, Jared Hubbard of Allagash, Darcelle Morin of St. David, John Gagnon of Yarmouth, Maine, Clinton King of Jay, Maine, Sherwin Britton of Cliffwood, New Jersey, and Robert Thompson of Everett, Washington.

Students want to encourage members from the community to join the discussion, particularly Vietnam Veterans who may need such a forum to share their thoughts and feelings at this difficult time.

"A lot of people are confused about what is going on in the world, particularly young people who find their friends on active duty in Iraq," said Darcy Morin, a student in the Honors Seminar. "We don't want this forum to be a debate on whether we should or should not be in this war, but a discussion on how we, as United States citizens and members of a global community, can work toward peace while supporting those who are presently serving on active duty in Iraq," adds Morin.

While students will share their thoughts and insights gained from their studies of the Vietnam War, all participants are welcome to speak in the open mic forum.

"Students hope this format will allow many voices from the community to be heard as we all try to come to grips with the present war in Iraq," said Carol Hawkins, assistant professor of English and director of the writing program at UMFK.

Hawkins organized the open series in part to provide an opportunity for university students and community members to speak about relevant issues relating to war and also as an extension of her honors seminar course entitled "Representations of Vietnam through Popular Culture: War, Resistance, and Peace".

Participants at this session are encouraged to read poems, tell stories, quote notable peace makers, play music, or share other forms of creative expression.

The speaker's series, like the course, was designed to provide "a forum for reflection in a time of war" as we are now engaged in a U.S.-led war with Iraq.

The public is invited to participate in the session. For further details, contact Hawkins at (207) 834-7892.