Below is a list of our 2018 Java Café--Global Conversation Series topics. We hope you enjoyed our 2018 series and hope to see you at more in the future! 




A Day in the Life of a UN Peacekeeper

Our November Java Café - Global Conversation presenter was Ronald Quejas-Risdon. 

Mr. Quejas-Risdon served in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations from 1993. Among other roles within this department, he served in high-profile, frequently hazardous assignments in Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan - and completing his assignments as regional Head of Office on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Though retired now, Mr. Quejan-Risdon has been called back for assignments in East Timor, DRC and Sudan. He recently visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp, home of the school for which the Greater Lansing UNA is fundraising. Prior to his work with the United Nations, he was in the Peace Corps, received degrees in Social Anthropology, Labor Relations and HR Administration. He is currently writing memoirs of his life as a UN peacekeeper.

Our November Java Cafe was held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Click Here for slides from the United Nations Peacekeeping- Life in a Peacekeeping Mission presentation

Click Here for slides from the United Nations and the Refugee Situation - General Overview with Emphasis on Kakuma presentation.


As part of PeaceQuest Greater Lansing: 

An Agenda on Disarmament

Concerns about North Korea and Iran nuclear weapons  programs overshadow the need to abolish nuclear weapons period. Recent developments like the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and UN Secretary General Gutteres “Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament” offer us a new hope for eliminating nuclear weapons. Join us for discussion!

Our September Java Cafe was held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

OUR July 19, 2018 CAFÉ TOPIC:

UN on Tap!

July's version of our Java Cafe Global Conversations was entitled UN on Tap! We met at Midtown Brewing Company at 7pm on Thursday, July 19th for some drinks, conversation and UN trivia! 


Refugee Crisis in Context

Join us to celebrate the Creativity and Resiliency of Lansing Refugees during Refugee Week! with guest speaker Prakash Adhikari  will discuss the global refugee crisis. There will also be a discussion on refugee resettlement in the Greater Lansing area. 

Prakash Adhikari received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2011. He is currently an associate professor of political science at Central Michigan University (CMU). His research focuses on the causes and consequences of civil war, with a particular focus on forced migration and transitional justice. He has done extensive fieldwork in Nepal funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and an Early Career grant from CMU. He has received several competitive awards for his work on forced migration. These include a Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity from CMU; Best Dissertation Prize, Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, and Regents Graduate Fellowship from the University of New Mexico. His work has appeared in American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Conflict Resolution, among others.

Our fourth Café was held on:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

7-8:30 pm

East Lansing Public Library

Large Meeting Room


Women and Political Turmoil in the Middle East

Presenter: Dr. Sophia Pandya, Professor of Religious Studies at California State University at Long Beach, Fulbright Scholar, winner of the 2016 Advancement of Women Award at CSULB from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Dr. Pandya specializes in Women and Islamic Studies and focused on the impact of the political chaos upon women in the Middle East since the 2011 “Arab Spring."

Our third Café was held on:

Friday, April 6th at 3pm 

East Lansing Public Library

Large Meeting Room


Global Status of Women

In recognition of International Women's Day 2018,  GLUNA held a conversation with two representatives from organizations that daily address empowering women and eradicating violence done to them.

Moderator: Mary Ann Ferguson, Esq.

Presenters: Jane White, Director of MI Human Trafficking Task Force, and Denise Quarles,  a member of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Women's Foundation and a former member of the Board of Directors of Zonta International, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service. 

Our second Café was held on: 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
East Lansing Public Library 
Large Meeting Room


Love of Liberty, Love of Country - My Experience in the Egyptian Revolution

Reem Fouad Mikhail shared her experience as she took part in the Egyptian Revolution ("on the wake of the Arab Spring.”) 

Reem Fouad Mikhail, from Egypt, is an international development consultant at Lattanzio SpA where she provides technical support to development projects in areas related to labor market and economic development. She is a former labor marker advisor and gender focal point for Deutsche Gasellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenabeit (GIZ). Her major area of interest is economic development broadly, corporate social responsibility and policy interventions related to workforce development. Her ultimate goal is to initiate a corporate social responsibility project to develop the economy, workforce and downstream to help stabilize the country politically. Ms. Fouad Mikhail is at MSU as a Humphrey Fellow through April 2018.

Our first Café was held on

February 20th, 2018


Room 303 MSU International Center

P.O. Box 1853
East Lansing, MI 48826

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