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In August 2017, an eight-day international seminar will take place at Hiroshima University in Japan Hiroshima University, JMU’s Center for Global Engagement, and JMU’s Honors Program, along with the scholarship from Hiroshima University and Japanese government, will fully support the participation of two outstanding JMU undergraduates in this seminar.

JMU is the current president of an organization called the International Network of Universities (INU). The INU’s members include institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. The annual INU summer seminar brings together students from INU universities to consider global citizenship and peace and to investigate a certain theme. This year’s theme is “Free and Equal: The United Nations’ turn to Human Rights Protection Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)."

The eight-day seminar involves a series of lectures, workshops, and role-plays led by professors from INU member universities. The summer school also involves special visits to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum and the annual Peace Memorial Service (which takes place on the morning of August 6, the day that and American airplane dropped the atomic bomb over central Hiroshima). Please see the attached flyer for more information on the seminar.

As noted above, Hiroshima University, the Office of International Programs, and the Honors Program will support two students’ participation in the 2017 summer seminar; at least one of these students will be an honors student. Specifically, airfare, round-trip transportation from a Washington airport, and all program fees (including admission to the museum and the memorial service) will be covered. Students will be able to apply for JASSO scholarship, in the amount of 80,000 yen, which will cover accommodation and meals and will come in a form of reimbursement. Students should also budget $200-$300 for incidental costs.

Program dates

The academic program of the summer seminar will begin on August 4, 2017 and conclude on the evening of August 12, 2017. Students wishing to apply to the seminar should be available from August 2, 2017 through August 13, 2017.


Previous participants have found the Hiroshima seminar to be an extremely rewarding academic and life experience. Any student who will return to JMU for studies in Fall 2017 may apply to the 2017 seminar.

If you meet the conditions listed above and would like to apply, please (a) make sure that you are available from August 2, 2017 – August 13, 2017, and (b) take the following steps:

(1) Complete the application form.

(2) Write a 2-3 page, double-spaced essay that presents a cogent response to the following prompt:

“The United Nations is the center of the global human rights regime, yet until recently it neglected the physical abuse and political disenfranchisement suffered by people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). In the last decade, however, this situation has changed remarkably. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has powerfully urged all states to address the human rights abuse of LGBT persons. He has declared the struggle for the protection of LGBT rights “one of the great, neglected challenges of our time.” The UN has launched a major global education campaign on LGBT rights, called “Free and Equal.” In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity,” thereby mandating the appointment of a United Nations Special Expert on SOGI. In 2017 the INU program on Global Citizenship and Peace will examine the history and development of this controversial change in policy focus at the international level, and will explore its implications and political dynamics within global politics.

In your essay, assess the likely effects of the UN’s recent efforts on behalf of LGBT persons. To what extent will the steps discussed above promote the protection of LGBT rights and displace the voices of people who defend differential treatment of LGBT populations? Answer with regard to developments in two specific countries or world regions.”

(3) Send the application document and the essay (as two separate MS Word files) to Dr. Vesna Hart ( in JMU’s Center for Global Engagement. All materials must be received by FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of JMU faculty members.


Questions about the seminar and the application process may be addressed to Dr. Hart (

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