S.D. World Affairs Council sponsors Brazil symposium

Katrina Sargent

Katrina Sargent

Brazil and South Dakota have more in common than one might think. For example, Brazil is a big producer of soybeans and meat products, as well as ethanol.

A symposium called Brazil: A Rising Power in the New Global Order will cover some of these issues and many more.

The symposium takes place Jan. 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Volstorff Ballroom, with a reception at the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The program is being brought in by the South Dakota World Affairs Council and will cover topics such as Brazil’s increasing role in the global community, ecosystems in Brazil, agricultural production and trade, energy production, race relations in the rainforest and land use in Brazil.

The symposium is free, and the reception costs $15, as there will be hors d’oeuvres and beverages served. The reception will also include a short presentation on Brazilian music.

“There should be something compelling in each segment,” said Harriet Swedlund, the executive director of the South Dakota World Affairs Council.

Swedlund said she hopes the symposium will attract students and faculty from a wide variety of areas.

“When you get a diverse set of people together, most people don’t know each other. This is a chance to learn from each other, a networking opportunity,” she said.

According to Swedlund, the Stanley Foundation initiated the plan behind the symposium.

This foundation, which is based in Muscatine, Iowa, strives to promote public understanding, dialogue and cooperative action on critical international issues, according to their Web site, www.stanleyfoundation.org.

For the symposium, the World Affairs Council researched and gathered information on nine countries that are rising in the world. These countries include China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and South Korea.

Out of these nine countries, the council chose Brazil.

“The fundamental reason for choosing Brazil is there are so many close linkages,” said Swedlund.

Brazil is a leading producer of soybeans, meat products and cotton and actively participates in the ethanol industry. There are U.S. ties through land investment and situations of displaced indigenous people. Brazil is also the only country in the western hemisphere on the list.

Swedlund said the program information level is one to interest the wider public.

“We have a wide variety of material to try to entice a broad audience,” said Swedlund.

“We hope the faculty sees this as a chance for students to get one big picture of part of the world whose presence makes an impact,” she said.

As for convenience, the program and sessions are arranged in a way that people can come and go between classes as needed.

“If people can’t stay, they can come for parts,” said Swedlund. “They’ll pick up something and hear something from each speaker.”

Students are asked to register for the symposium in order to be provided with a name tag and refreshments. Registration is not required, however. To register, call Swedlund at 605-688-5416 or send her an e-mail at [email protected].

#1.882028:1619086755.jpg:Brazil indigenous.jpg:Confronting issues with indigenous people in Brazil can be compared to experience with South Dakota’s tribal groups and will be part of the symposium “Brazil: A Rising Power in the New Global Order.”:Courtesy