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Lectures offer global view
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Forsyth County News
Great Decisions 2010

The first forums start next week, with the Forsyth County talks on Wednesdays at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road. The Hall County forums will be on Mondays at the Gainesville Civic Center. All programs are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

• Week 1: U.S.-China security relations
• Week 2: Global financial crisis
• Week 3: Russia and its neighbors
• Week 4: The Persian Gulf
• Week 5: Peace building and conflict resolution
• Week 6: Global crime
A six-week lecture and discussion series is encouraging residents of Forsyth and Hall counties to think globally and speak locally.

Great Decisions 2010 is a forum intended to engage people in issues of foreign policy and other international concerns.

The long-running national program is being facilitated locally this year by North Georgia College & State University, which is making its faculty members available as sources of expertise on a range of topics.

The first forum in Forsyth County, on security relations between the United States and China, will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 17 at the Hampton Park Library.

Topics to follow will include the global financial crisis, Russia and its neighbors, and the Persian Gulf.

Anyone, from high school students to retirees, is welcome to the free forum. No registration is required.

“This is for people who like to stay well-informed,” said Andy Leavitt, vice president of advancement for North Georgia, who will serve as a moderator at the Hall County forums.

“This works best when you’ve got folks in the room with strong opinions. It’s a way for local folks to weigh in on some of these big foreign policy issues.”

Each program will begin with a 40-minute lecture on the designated topic, followed by a break, then a discussion between audience members and the expert.

This year marks the first time North Georgia has facilitated the forum.

Great Decisions was started in 1954 as the cornerstone of the Foreign Policy Association, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to engaging the American public to learn more about the world.

Those with a strong interest in issues that reach beyond the borders of the United States are encouraged to attend.

“I think this is a great program for people who definitely have a much greater level of awareness of the world around them,” Leavitt said.