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Day in the Life of a UN Peacekeeper
7 to 8:30 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library
950 Abbot Rd., East Lansing
TUESDAY, NOV. 13 — Traipsing through active Middle Eastern war zones, negotiating with Sudanese warlords and staying upbeat with his German shepherd companion, “Jimmy,” Ronald Quejas-Risdon lived history in his 20 years of service working as a U.N. Peacekeeper.
As part of the Greater Lansing United Nations Association, or GLUNA’s Java Cafe series, Quejas-Risdon will recount the tales of his service at the East Lansing Public Library.
“Java Cafe is something we just started two years ago, because we wanted something less formal. It’s a platform that encourages more conversion than our typical events,” GLUNA president Lynn Bartley said.
“Each presenter brings an opportunity for people to hear about and discuss a very timely topic that we try to relate to the U.N. Sometimes they are not glowing and wonderful stories, but the reality about what is happening now.”
Now retired and living in Mount Pleasant, Quej-Risdon occasionally takes on specialist assignments abroad, including a trip to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. GLUNA is currently funding the camp for education resources.
“In the case of Kakuma, fewer than half of the refugee children are receiving any kind of formal education,” Bartley said. GLUNA started funding the camp two and a half years ago.
“Educating children leads to a more a peaceful world. When people are out of poverty, have a safe place to live and are educated, greater peace will follow.”
GLUNA raised $30,000 for the camp in 2017, making it the most active fundraising chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States the same year.
Bartley said she hopes attendees will leave with an increased understanding of the roles of U.N. Peacekeepers and a better understanding of the U.N.
Tea, coffee, cocoa and water will be provided.
The next Java Cafe event will be titled “What has the U.N. done for you lately?” with dean of the MSU-Detroit College of Law, Terrence Blackburn, as speaker. Blackburn is also the president of the New Jersey Division of the United Nations Association of the U.S.
For more information, visit www.gluna.org
Other events in Lansing:
8 to 10 p.m., Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing
7:30 to 10 p.m., The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing
4 to 7 p.m., MSU Libraries, 366 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing