Ayad, Ford co-found UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship at Illinois

GSLIS is pleased to share the announcement of the newly established UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship (UCGC), a community-university organization founded on the belief that multicultural knowledge and intercultural understanding generate a better, more interesting, more productive, and—above all—more peaceful world in which to live. UCGC is supported by the Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois.

The founders of the new center are Amani Ayad, coordinator for the LIS Access Midwest (LAMP) Program at GSLIS; Barbara Ford (MS ’73), director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois Library and member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO; and Helaine Silverman, professor in the Department of Anthropology, in cooperation with the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP) at the University of Illinois.

“We’re delighted to create the first UNESCO center in Illinois, here in Urbana-Champaign. UCGC will tap into the wealth of our community, explore the local-global connections, and provide forums for networking and conversations relating to an increasingly globalized world,” said Ayad.

Inaugural activities for UCGC will include a visit by Guy Djoken, executive director of the UNESCO Center for Peace and chairman of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Djoken will present “UNESCO and the Mission for Peace in a Troubled World” as part of a public event held on Monday, April 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library. The event will include information about the goals of UCGC, partnerships with UNESCO associations across the world, and upcoming activities, including a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, museum tours, reading/discussion groups, guest speakers, school events, and traveling exhibitions.

UCGC is part of a network of over 3,800 UNESCO centers, associations, and clubs in more than 80 countries and is the second UNESCO affiliate in the United States. For more information, contact Amani Ayad (amani3@illinois.edu) or Barbara Ford (bjford@illinois.edu).