Former President Carter to Receive Global Nonviolence Award

From: Public Affairs

AP—Former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

HARRISONBURG—Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace laureate Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will visit James Madison University to receive the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence's top honor, the second Mahatma Gandhi Global Nonviolence Award, September 21, 2009, the International Day of Peace.

Their "presence in the Commonwealth will serve to highlight, especially for our young people, the values [they] both embody in promoting peace, freedom, human understanding, and the alleviation of human suffering. These are universal values that Virginians hope to instill in our youth," said Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine.

President Carter's Gandhi Award Lecture is entitled "The Path to Peace in the Middle East." He has worked tirelessly to bring peace and justice in the Middle East. In fact, after leaving the White House, he and Mrs. Carter founded the Atlanta-based Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that prevents and resolves conflicts, enhances freedom and democracy, and improves health around the world.

"As part of the University's dedication to educating enlightened citizens who have broad cultural awareness, we established the Gandhi Center. The Center seeks to advance the understanding of, appreciation for, and practice of nonviolence," said Dr. Douglas T. Brown, JMU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"The first Gandhi Award was presented to President Carter's colleague and friend, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu whose ‘policy of forgiveness and reconciliation has become an international example of conflict resolution and a trusted method of postconflict reconstruction.' This second award recognizes the Carters' lifetime commitment to improving the human condition through humanitarian efforts around the globe. They understand and exemplify the importance of tolerance and compassion for other nations and people from different backgrounds," said Professor Sushil Mittal, JMU Gandhi Center Director.

The award ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, September 21, 2009, at JMU Convocation Center, 895 University Boulevard, Harrisonburg.

Reserved seating for the event is sold out but $5 general admission seats are still available. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the ceremony and are available online at http://www.jmu.edu/gandhicenter/gandhiaward2009.shtml; by phone at 540.568.3853; or for pick-up at JMU Convocation Center Ticket Office (Entrance D).

MEDIA CREDENTIALING FOR PRESIDENT CARTER’S VISIT

Members of the media are invited to cover the awards ceremony. Journalists who are planning to cover the awards ceremony must be credentialed prior to the event.

To apply for credentials, send an e-mail which includes your name, media organization and contact information to Bill Wyatt at wyattwj@jmu.edu. Once your application has been approved, you will receive instructions on how to pick up your credentials. (You will need your credentials prior to the event to access reserved parking.)

Due to security measures and the level of interest in the event, media space may be limited.


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