The world continues to shrink as accelerated immigration and international trade merges previously isolated cultures and societies into our global melting pot. Nowhere is this more apparent then right here, within the confines of Los Angeles County, which boasts dozens of dissimilar ethnicities and racial groups from virtually every corner of the world. Given this undeniable trend towards worldwide integration, it was appropriate for the administration of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), in tandem with the nonprofit organization, the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), to host a luncheon for a consortium of ten United Nations ambassadors June 24 on the CSUDH campus.
Senior U.N. diplomats were in attendance, including Ambassador Abdulkader Alsubeihi of Yemen; Milos Prica of Bosnia; Alfred Ndabarasa of Rwanda; Stephen Dick Matenje of Malawi; Yun Kang-hyeon of South Korea; Huang Hongjiang of China; Khalid Alwafi of Saudi Arabia; Kevin Chalker of the United States; and Ms. Silva Bonacito, on behalf of the United Nations Secretariat Office of the Secretary General.
The event gave the delegation the opportunity to view two separate examples of higher education, as they had been given a tour on the previous day, of a major private university when they visited the University of Southern California.
The idea for this collaboration was initiated by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and gave CSUDH students the opportunity to gain an international perspective on current events. Dr. Sam Wiley, acting provost/vice-president, expressed to Our Weekly the hope that this occasion will not only broaden the intellectual horizons of CSUDH students, but also might pave the way for greater enrollment of foreign and/or exchange students at the Carson campus.
HDI’s motto, displayed prominently on its website, is “putting the pieces back together.” Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the organization is committed to the collaboration between public and private concerns to focus on international problems.
In particular, HDI has gained recognition for its role in clearing landmines from hot spots across the globe through its Adopt-A-Minefield Program. Recently, HDI has been assisted in this endeavor by Rhythm & Blues legend Mary Wilson, co-founder of the Motown singing group, the Supremes. Since HDI’s inception in 1998, $30 million has been contributed to reclaiming battle grounds in Angola, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
After the mines have been cleared, HDI has been instrumental in helping local farmers cultivate crops on these former killing fields to produce food for the area’s disenfranchised.
In an effort to encourage a healthier diet, HDI embarked on a highly innovative alliance with the Farmer’s Market Federation of New York, in which food stamp recipients are reimbursed a $5 coupon for each $5 in food stamps spent on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dedicated to reinforcing the United States-United Nation bond, HDI recently initiated a program to allow the diplomatic corps, whose perception of America has been restricted to the confines of New York and the Northeastern corridor of the United States, the opportunity to intermingle with citizens in other parts of the country, of which the June luncheon was a part.
Instrumental in orchestrating this gathering was Pan African Studies professor and frequent Our Weekly contributor, David L. Horne, Ph.D., through the auspices of the California African American Political Economic Institute (CAAPEI), of which he is executive director. CAAPEI is committed to the political and economic growth of African Americans in California, and dedicates itself to the development of future public policy leadership.