International educator and cultural program facilitator Carlos García Hernández will take the Blair community on a journey around the world at the April 17 Society of Skeptics as he discusses his 105-day voyage aboard the Peace Boat. The trip brought him and fellow travelers to 15 countries, where they explored human rights, environmental, sustainability and other issues of local and global concern. Mr. García will screen portions of his original documentary, Land Voices, a Voyage Onboard Peace Boat, during his presentation, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration's Collaboration Forum.
Founded in 1983 in Japan, Peace Boat is an international nonprofit, non-governmental organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development, and respect for nature. Its activities include global education and responsible tourism programs, cooperation projects and informational campaigns, and through these, Mr. García explained, the organization aims to raise awareness and create action to achieve social and political changes in the world.
"The activities take place during educational peace voyages onboard a large passenger ship," he continued. "This ship creates a neutral environment and mobile space that facilitates cooperation and open dialogue among people on the open sea and in ports." Mr. García served as a volunteer instructor for the GET language program aboard Peace Boat's 86th voyage in 2016.
At Skeptics, Mr. García will discuss peace-building concepts in addition to describing his compelling journey and sharing video testimonies from local leaders in Southern Hemisphere countries who are fighting for human rights and environmental protection in their regions. "Through my presentation, I hope audience members can rethink what peace means and how we can build peace in our daily lives," he said. "I want to inspire others to create the change we want in our communities."
A graduate of Spain's Jaume I University, Mr. García holds a master's degree in communications and has wide-ranging experience in education and cultural programs. He is currently an instructor for World Leadership School in India, Costa Rica, Belize and Cuba, and he recently served as a facilitator for The Mosaic Project in Oakland, California.
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.'65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.