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Refugees’ Plight Discussed During Duquesne University’s Founders Week

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne will examine how faith can influence the national debate on immigration reform during a keynote Founders Week address on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at Duquesne University.

Dionne will present A World Without Strangers: Catholic Social Thought, Immigration and Justice, at 7 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. A dessert reception will follow the event, which is free and open to the public.

Dionne's address is just one of the many events scheduled at Duquesne from Tuesday, Feb. 1, through Friday, Feb. 4, for Founders Week. Every year, Duquesne commemorates the values and vision of its founders, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, through this annual event sponsored by the Office of Mission and Identity.

This year's theme, You Welcomed Me: Refugees, Migrants and the Spiritan Tradition, will focus on the plight of refugees today and the Spiritan call for justice. The 2011 Founders Week speakers have a wealth of experience working directly with refugees and bring an informed perspective to the conversation on immigration. They include:

  • The Rev. Benoit Mukamba, C.S.Sp., pastor in rural Arkansas who will be accompanied by families resettled from Burundi.
  • The Rev. Paul Flamm, C.S.Sp., director of refugee ministry for the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, who will discuss his ministry with Burundian refugees in western Tanzania.
  • Dr. Yinka Aganka-Williams, a Duquesne alumna, director of the Acculturation for Justice, Access and Peace Outreach program for African refugees in the Pittsburgh area, who will discuss the outreach program located at St. Benedict the Moor Parish in the neighboring Hill District.
  • The Rev. Don McEachin, C.S.Sp., pastor of a rural parish in the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, will discuss the situation of Haitian refugees crossing the border into the Dominican Republic.
  • The Rev. Alex Osei, C.S.Sp., director of the Spiritan Refugee Center in Toronto.

Details are available at www.duq.edu/founders-week. Those outside the Duquesne community who are interested in attending any of the presentations are asked to register at universityevents@duq.edu or 412.396.5131.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.