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Inclusion is focus of Humanities Week events Feb. 17-19

David William Foster
David William Foster

Three free, public events highlighting the central and inclusive nature of the humanities will be held Tuesday-Thursday, Feb. 17-19, on the WSU campus and at Neill Public Library in Pullman. A reception will follow each event. » More …

Oct. 28: Irish activist-turned-peacemaker lectures

Jon McCourt
Jon McCourt

As a young man in Northern Ireland, Jon McCourt joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1969, intent on promoting civil rights on his home soil.

On what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” Jan. 30, 1972, in his hometown of Derry/Londonderry, he narrowly escaped death when an armed British soldier stared him down then walked away with a shrug. Nearby more than a dozen young people had been shot to death that violent day.

McCourt, who left the IRA in the mid-1970s, is now a community peace activist working with victims of violence, youth in criminalized areas and community relations. He will share his experiences in two free, public events at WSU Pullman on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, McCourt will lead a Foley Institute discussion at noon and deliver the Honors College’s Bhatia Lecture at 7:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Find out more

Oct. 16: President Carter part of U.S.-China relations gathering

WSU is among some 70 venues nationwide that simultaneously accessed a free, public, webcast conversation with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, including the option to send in questions via email, during the annual CHINA Town Hall at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in College Hall 220.

The nationwide programming about China, offered by the National Committee on United States-China Relations, has been a featured event of the Asia Program at WSU for several years. The WSU Department of History is a co-sponsor this year.

Find out more in WSU News

Hanauer sees danger of rising economic inequality

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Dickens could have written about the United States today. Some 46 million Americans – 15 percent of the population – live below the poverty level, including one in four American children.

Meanwhile, since 2008 the stock market’s value has doubled, CEO salaries are at record highs, and according to the Commerce Department the after-tax profit of corporations topped $1.7 trillion last year, the highest ever (in both absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP).

Nick Hanauer, a successful Seattle venture capitalist, civic activist and self-described plutocrat, is raising the alarm about the economics of ever-rising inequality. Hanauer argues that capitalist economies only function with a virtuous cycle: Rising consumer demand requires businesses to hire workers and raise productivity; productivity leads to higher worker incomes; higher worker income leads back to more consumer demand. Break any part, and the cycle collapses.

Hanauer will present this year’s Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Foley Institute at Washington State University. On Thursday he will speak at 2 p.m. on WSU’s Pullman campus and at 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Theater in Spokane. Both are free and open to the public.

Read more in the Spokesman-Review