Elected officials, policy experts, educators collaborate in Munro Seminar for Civic Education Oct. 27-28

Western Washington University will offer its annual Ralph Munro Seminar for Civic Education on Oct. 27-28 on Western’s campus; elected officials, public policy experts, and educators will be among this years’ speakers during discussion panels that are free and open to the public.

“The panelists this year will be focusing on some of the most important issues facing our state. Western students and community members are particularly encouraged to join us for these interesting and lively discussions with key decision makers and experts,” said Vernon Johnson, professor of Political Science at Western and director of the Munro Seminars and the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education.

All discussion panels will be in the Wilson Library Reading Room and each panel session will provide time for questions from the audience. Community members attending the Munro Seminar can obtain a free parking permit at Western’s Parking Office.

Below is the list of topics and panelists:

Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 1:30-3:15 p.m.: Race and Criminal Justice
Moderated by Francisco Rios, dean of Western’s Woodring College of Education.
Panel: Larry Gossett, King County Council; John Urquhart, King County Sheriff; Clifford Cook, Bellingham Chief of Police; Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), and Vernon Johnson, director of the Munro Institute.
Introductory remarks for the Munro Seminar will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by the panel discussion.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 9:15-10:30 a.m.: Sustainability and Economic Development
Moderated by Craig Dunn, dean of Western’s College of Business and Economics.
Panel: Rep. Vincent Buys (R-Lynden), Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), Phil Thompson, professor of Economics at Western, Rob Fix, executive director of the Port of Bellingham, and Hilary Franz, executive director of Futurewise.
This panel will be followed by a reception from 10:30-11 a.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness and Response in Washington State
Moderated by Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment.
Panel: Rebekah Paci-Green, director of Huxley’s Resilience Institute; David Sattler, professor of Psychology at Western; John Ufford, Washington State Emergency Management Division Preparedness Unit Manager; and Lynda Zambrano, Executive Director of the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council.

The seminar is scheduled to air on TVW, the state of Washington’s public TV network, and is sponsored by Western’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education, a program of Western’s Political Science Department that is devoted to promoting civic literacy within secondary education and the public at large.

The Institute offers students, teachers and community members an opportunity to work with professors, activists and political leaders to learn how local, state and national politics develop. The Institute was named in honor of Ralph Munro, a WWU alumnus and trustee. Munro was elected Washington’s Secretary of State in 1980 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2001.

For more information on the seminar, contact Vernon Johnson, WWU professor of Political Science and program director for the Munro Institute for Civic Education; (360) 650-4874 or Vernon.Johnson@wwu.edu.