Stories this week at WFU

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS WOMEN’S ROLE IN 21ST CENTURY— As the World Summit on Sustainable Development concludes in South Africa, delegates from the United States, Germany, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast will assemble at Wake Forest Sept. 6 to discuss similar issues for “Globalization, Liberalization and the Role of Women in African Development in the 21st Century.” The international conference will feature experts in the field of economic development and representatives from organizations working with women and communities in Africa to help develop sustainable economy. Sylvain Boko, assistant professor of economics and organizer of the conference, says its timing couldn’t be better. “More than 100 countries just finished discussing how to reduce poverty without increasing pollution,” he says. “We will be exploring how reducing poverty can improve the status of women in these countries.” Boko says the papers presented at the conference will be published in a book that he hopes may become a manual for policymakers, development practitioners and researchers. The conference runs through Sept. 8 and all events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.


DISPLAY OF FLAGS, READING OF VICTIMS’ NAMES AT WAKE FOREST— To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, Wake Forest is planning a Day of Remembrance with meditations, music and the viewing of the film “In Memoriam/New York City/September 11, 2001” throughout the day in Benson University Center. University Plaza will be decorated with flags of all the nations that lost citizens during the terrorist attacks. Students, faculty and staff will take turns reading aloud from the steps of Wait Chapel the names of the more than 3,000 victims. The reading begins at 10:30 a.m., with Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. The day of remembrance ends with an interfaith service in Wait Chapel at 8 p.m. and a candlelight vigil circling the Quad. To arrange coverage of the university’s Day of Remembrance, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

STUDENTS HEED PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR “SEPTEMBER OF SERVICE”—Hundreds of Wake Forest students, including many athletes, have already taken the “Celebrating the American Spirit Service Pledge” as a way to honor victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The project, sponsored by the university’s Office of Volunteer Services and many student organizations, encourages students to commit to serve the local community in some way during the 2002-2003 academic year. Student leaders will have a table set up on the main Quad throughout the day on Sept. 11 to encourage additional students, faculty and staff to take the pledge to volunteer. The Volunteer Service Corps will help connect those who want to volunteer with service opportunities in the community. Through the Web site,, students can designate their service pledge in honor of a specific Sept. 11 victim. To arrange coverage, contact Cheryl Walker at or 758-6073.

HOW THE SEPT. 11 COMMERICAL BLACKOUT WORKS— Because most consumers would likely look askance at companies trying to hawk products or services on the anniversary of Sept. 11, some advertisers are finding alternate ways to promote themselves, says Sheri Bridges, assistant professor of business at Wake Forest and an expert in branding and consumer behavior. “Sponsorship is an exception to the Sept. 11 advertising blackout,” she says. “Some companies are choosing to back an entire program about the anniversary.” Boeing, for example, is sponsoring NBC’s Concert for America. Even if companies wanted to advertise on Sept.11, outlets would be limited, she says. Many networks plan commercial-free coverage. Bridges says the commercial blackout is probably a good idea since “an advertising message is likely to get lost in the wave of coverage on that day.” To arrange an interview with Bridges, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

REDISTRICTING, CLOSE RACES MORE LIKELY THAN PATRIOTISM TO BOOST VOTER TURNOUT— The wave of patriotism following Sept. 11 is unlikely to cause more people to vote this fall, unless the candidates, parties or the media link voting with patriotism in a compelling way, says John Dinan, assistant professor of political science at Wake Forest and an expert on voter behavior. Dinan says competitive races and redistricting are more likely to cause an increase in voter participation in North Carolina. Dinan can comment on why citizens do not always connect voting with patriotism and what parties might do to get more voters to the polls. To arrange an interview with Dinan, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

SHOULD WE CELEBRATE SEPT. 11 ANNIVERSARY?— A sick nation celebrates tragedies, says Wake Forest history professor J. Howell Smith, but a wise nation remembers their experience. “We should be careful what we celebrate. We do not celebrate Iwo Jima’s cost, nor do we celebrate the Holocaust,” he says. As the country prepares for the anniversary of Sept. 11, Smith’s advice is not to dwell on the events of that day, but to remember them and honor the courage with which the heroes met them. To arrange an interview with Smith, contact Rachel Cook at 336-758-5237.

LISTEN TO CHILDREN, SUPERVISE MEDIA EXPOSURE, SAYS COUNSELING PROFESSOR— Each child will react differently to the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, says Donna Henderson, associate professor of counselor education at Wake Forest. Adults should listen to children and respond with reassurance as well as appropriate facts, Henderson says. She recommends that adults closely supervise media exposure, be alert to children who are reacting more strongly to this date than seems warranted, and check with mental health professionals if additional help is needed. Elementary children may be concerned with their personal safety and the safety of their family, and need to hear about things that have been done to keep them free from harm. High school students may be focused on the more immediate impact on their future, such as military service or other concerns related to life after high school. She suggests two Web sites that offer tips for teachers and parents preparing for the anniversary of Sept. 11: and To arrange an interview with Henderson, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

RECREATION IS MORE THAN PLAYTIME— Can a neighborhood picnic help heal emotional wounds caused by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11— or even help prevent similar events in the future? One Wake Forest expert thinks so. “When people get together to ‘recreate,’ that interpersonal contact helps build community,” says Ananda Mitra, associate professor of communication and an expert on recreation studies. “The idea of community is central to the well-being of a society, a well-being that has been threatened since Sept. 11.” Mitra, the author of “Research Methods in Park, Recreation and Leisure Services,” says when communities spend time together socially they begin to overcome their fears of others who may be different. Mitra was invited to give the keynote address on this subject at a Parks and Recreation Conference in Roswell, N.M., on the one-year anniversary of the attacks. To arrange an interview with Mitra, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Community, Events, Speakers, Student