Upcoming Program: Our Programming is Completed for Spring 2020

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Upcoming Program: Adam Isacson

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Lethal Flows: The U.S. Role in Arms Transfers and Arms Trafficking to Latin America and the Caribbean

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Virtual program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.
(Rescheduled from 3/19/20)

Link to live stream event here: https://youtu.be/fkk6BQIrFwg

Latin America has eight percent of the world’s population, but accounts for 33 percent of its homicides. Yet the U.S. government maintains robust military aid and arms sales programs, while U.S. territory is a hub for small arms traffickers. Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America walks through some of the main ways that U.S.-made weapons flow into the wrong hands throughout the Western Hemisphere, and what we can do about it.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of Spanish & Portuguese, international business & management, and sociology and the Security Studies Program. This event was initiated by one of the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Adam Isacson has worked on defense, security, and peacebuilding in Latin America since 1994. He now directs Washington Office on Latin American (WOLA)’s Defense Oversight program, which monitors U.S. cooperation with Latin America’s security forces, as well as other security trends. Isacson accompanies WOLA’s Colombia program on peace and security issues. Monitoring U.S. aid, and advocating for peaceful resolution to Colombia’s long armed conflict, has led him to visit Colombia about 80 times. Since 2011, Isacson has also focused on border security. He has visited the U.S.-Mexico border about 25 times, and has also completed field research along the entire border between Mexico and Guatemala.

Before coming to WOLA in 2010, Isacson worked on Latin America demilitarization at the Center for International Policy (CIP). There, he joined with Latin America Working Group and WOLA in creating a longstanding project that monitors U.S. military assistance to the region. With contributions from WOLA, that project continues at CIP, covering the whole world, as the Security Assistance Monitor. A prolific writer and coder, Isacson has produced over 250 publications, articles, book chapters, and policy memos over the course of his career. He has created several websites, from blogs to standalone web apps. He hosts WOLA’s podcast, Latin America Today. He speaks to about 20 audiences per year, from universities to grassroots gatherings to government agencies. He has testified eight times before the U.S. Congress.

At the start of his career, in the mid-1990s, Isacson worked on the Central America Demilitarization Program at the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in Costa Rica. Isacson holds an M.A. in international relations from Yale University and a B.A. from Hampshire College.

Related Links

– 12/10/19: What is Latin America’s Political Turmoil Doing to Civilian Control of the Military? http://bit.ly/2ZgOepm
– 2/18 by CAP: Beyond Our Borders: How Weak U.S. Gun Laws Contribute to Violent Crime Abroad https://ampr.gs/2EA4lEW
– 4/17: Putting the Pieces Together: A Global Guide to U.S. Security Aid Programs http://bit.ly/2PFIy4U
– 8/30/16: U.S. Special Operations in Latin America: Parallel Diplomacy? http://bit.ly/2cEJyzs
– 4/15/16: Which Central American Military and Police Units Get the Most U.S. Aid? http://bit.ly/2cEJIHn
– 2016 by AFSC: Where the Guns Go: U.S. Arms and the Crisis of Violence in Mexico http://bit.ly/2PHLDle

Upcoming Program: A snapshot of our upcoming programs is listed below. A more detailed schedule will be available in early August.

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Lethal Flows: The U.S. Role in Arms Transfers and Arms Trafficking to Latin America and the Caribbean
Adam Isacson, WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas 

Thursday, September 17, 2020
Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address
How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning historian and author of Stamped From The Beginning

Thursday, September 24, 2020
Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants
César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, University of Denver

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Devising Civic Practice: Listening is the New Revolution
Michael Rohd, Center for Performance and Civic Practice






The Clarke Forum’s Semester Theme & Faculty Seminar

Each semester the Clarke Forum devotes a major portion of its resources to programs organized around a semester theme that is also the basis for a faculty seminar. All members of the faculty are invited to propose topics for themes/faculty seminars. Past themes/faculty seminars have included Sexuality and Societies; Living in a World of Limits; The Meanings of Race WaterLanguage; War at Home; Disability Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States;  Food; Media, Technology & Civic Engagement, Big Data,  Indigeneity in the Americas and Sustainability. The theme/faculty seminar for the fall 2019 semester is Masculinities. If you are interested in proposing a Clarke Forum theme/faculty seminar, please visit Proposing a Clarke Forum Theme/Faculty Seminar.

The Clarke Forum’s Leadership In an Age of Uncertainty Series


The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues has established a series of programmatic events dedicated to the theme of leadership in an age of uncertainty. This initiative is grounded on the reality that today’s generation of Dickinson students confronts a large number of intractable political, economic, and social problems: terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, environmental pollution, global warming, a sustainable energy policy, the ongoing financial crisis, the federal deficit, the amount of public and private debt, the health care crisis, along with issues regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as technology and privacy. These issues and problems directly or indirectly pose challenges to the College and the local community that may in time require fundamental changes in institutions, values, and practices across the public, private, and non-profit sectors of American society. How Dickinsonians respond to these challenges presents us with an opportunity for reflection on the meaning of leadership in the contemporary world. This series is partially supported by a fund created by Betty R. ’58 and Dan Churchill.