Dr. Carlos Juarez, dean of HPU’s College
of International Studies, opened the Oct. 28th symposium and
introduced Baruah, associate director of the Yadunandan Center
for India Studies and a geography faculty member at California
State University, Long Beach.
In front of nearly 165 students, Baruah began by addressing polarized
views on global citizenship. Some believe, she said, that every
human by way of living on the globe is inherently a global citizen.
Others believe there is no such thing as a global citizen because
the law defines citizenship as duty to one’s country. Her
views lie somewhere in the middle.
According to Baruah, global citizenship is a realization of the
huge range of perspectives that operate in our world. Global
citizenship means we avoid ethnocentric mind sets. It also means
having the humility to admit that we may not have all the answers
or even know the real problem. She emphasized education and understanding
as the tools by which change will occur. We need to be understanding
of different beliefs and values, be aware of their complexity,
and not label or judge, she said.
Baruah also stressed the importance of what she calls responsible
local living: “The problems we think are far away may actually
be on our doorstep,” she said, such transnational issues
as war, global warming, and human rights are redefining citizenship
on a global scale. Weather, for example does not respect national
In the absence of a global lawmaking body, the responsibility
falls to all citizens to bring about local change that can have
Baruah was followed by two presentations: “Historical Perspective
on Globalization and Global Issues,” by Dr. Mark Gilbert,
and “Globalization and Oil,” by Dr. Jon Davidann.
Gilbert, who holds HPU’s National Endowment for the Humanities
Endowed Chair in World History, focused on historical examples
of globalization and its effects. He cited the Black Death and
the impact of Islam on the medieval and the modern worlds as
examples. According to Dr. Gilbert, miniaturization technologies,
satellite links, the benefits to large companies afforded by
economy of scale, and recent migration trends, are all examples
of globalization in its present day form.
Davidann, associate professor of history at HPU and author of
A World of Crises and Progress: The American YMCA in Japan, wrapped
up the morning presentations with an informational speech on
what he referred to as the “three Ds”: American domination
of the oil market, the environmental degradation caused by the
extraction and transportation of oil, and the crisis that will
be caused by the depletion of oil sources as we see a peak in
After the presentations, attendees organized into discussion
forums, lead by Global Leadership and Organizational Change Club
members and faculty. Students were asked to participate in formulating
individual action plans to aid them in becoming better global
For lunch, in the tradition of global commerce, students bartered
for buffet items.
The Global Citizenship Symposiums are held twice a year and are
intended to enhance student’s awareness of global issues.
For the spring, HPU will take on the topic of sustainability.
Students who are interested in campus sustainability, or in global
leadership, are invited to GLOC club meetings every Wednesday,
4 p.m. in MP 103.