March 25, 2008
Spring Global Community Series April 7-10

Lees-McRae College is set to host its annual Global Community Series April 7-10. The topic this spring focuses on moral leadership from the Baha'i perspective. The series will feature guest speakers and a dance performance.

"This semester's Global Community Series on moral leadership will open our students' minds wide with the example of the Baha'i Faith's deep commitment to living the wisdom of the world's religions, showing how they can work together for positive change," said Robert Black, Director of the Global Community Center at Lees-McRae.

The first event is scheduled for Monday, April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. Layli Miller-Muro will address the topic of violence against women. Miller-Muro is the executive director of the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, D.C.

The Tahirih Justice Center is committed to creating a diverse community of support for women seeking refuge from gender-based persecution such as genital mutilation, honor killings, sexual slavery and abuse.

"Moral leadership is perfectly highlighted by our keynote speaker, Layli Miller-Muro. It is a huge honor to have her on campus. She has lived her life as a moral leader with integrity and a passion for justice which is an inspiration to us all. We desperately need to raise awareness of men's violence against women, still such a pervasive problem both at home and abroad, and Miller-Muro's life gives us the example we need," said Black.

Following Layli Miller-Muro in the series is Dr. Gordon Naylor, executive director of the Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute, a residential treatment agency for youth and children. His discussion, held on Wednesday, April 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, will focus on the role of moral leadership on our campus and in the world. Dr. Naylor has completed graduate studies in international education, clinical psychology, and educational administration.

Also on Wednesday, April 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. is a performance by Wildfire Dance Theater in Hayes Auditorium. This group of students travels and shares their interpretation of the Baha'i faith through performing arts. The Wildfire Dance Theatre, established in 1998 by The Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute, works collaboratively with the Baha'i Council of Ontario and share a sincere desire to be of service to humanity.

Their dances tell the story of our planet's present challenges while taking the audience through a time of reflection that will hopefully lead to greater understanding and change. The performance consists of a variety of dances from hip-hop and swing, to folk and aboriginal. Topics include racial unity, extremes of wealth and poverty, substance abuse and peer pressure.

As a precursor to the spring 2008 Global Community Series, Baha'i 101 offers an introduction to the Baha'i Faith for those unfamiliar with the religion. Susan Shuford, who has a deep knowledge of the Baha'i Faith, will give an overview to be followed by time for questions and answers. This will take place on Wednesday, April 2 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Evans Auditorium.

"This April's Global Community week is a wonderful way for people to learn more about the Baha'i Faith, and the work these amazing members of our community are doing to help better the world. Because the Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world's major religions, many people don't know a lot about it, or have misconceptions. This week can help change that in our community!" said Susan Shuford.

The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world's monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha'is come from nearly every national, ethnic, and religious background, making the Baha'i Faith the second-most-widespread religion in the world.

Baha'is view the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. The central theme of the Baha'i message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for humanity's unification into one global society.

"The April Global Community Series on Moral Leadership gives the college and the community a wonderful opportunity to explore the issues of moral leadership on our campus, in the local community, and in our society," said Kathy Campbell, Lees-McRae College chaplain. "Our speakers and dance troupe are sharing the role of moral leadership from the Baha'i perspective and provide us with a great opportunity for dialogue about faith, ethics, morals, and how as institutions and individuals, we will be engaged in these issues that affect every aspect of our lives. I hope that people will participate in the Global Community Series Events and in the conversation."

The Global Community Series events are sponsored by Lees-McRae's Global Community Center which also hosted Kerry Kennedy in 2007 and Arun Gandhi in 2006.

For additional information, please call 898-8729.

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
Tel: 828.898.8838  |  Email: