Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Innovative approaches to peace building and development in one of the world’s most challenging conflict zones — Africa’s Great Lakes region — will be the topic of a conference hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Oct. 16.

The conference, “Conflict Transformation in Africa’s Great Lakes: Innovative and Creative Approaches,” will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the University Center’s Shiloh Room. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Conference speakers will include:

– Rosalind I. J. Hackett, UT Department of Religious Studies and Jazz for Justice Project coordinator.

– Amii Omara-Otunnu, UNESCO Chair for Comparative Human Rights, University of Connecticut.

– Norbert Mao, Gulu district chairman, Northern Uganda.

– Catherine Miles, Office of Sustainable Development, Sub-Saharan Africa Division, USAID, Washington, D.C.

– Winnie Lawoko, coordinator, Northern Uganda Girls Education Network (NUGEN).

– Sarah Lanyero, Makerere University, Vice President, NUGEN.

– Michael Poffenberger, director, Resolve Uganda, Washington, D.C.

– Jeff Korondo, musician, Gulu, Northern Uganda

This conference will focus on the importance of innovative approaches to peace and development for global stability and generate new discussion on the potential of the arts and music in promoting peace and reconciliation in Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and New Sudan.

The invited speakers offer a rich range of experience and expertise regarding the many facets of peace building in the region. The program should be of interest to academics, policymakers, humanitarian workers, conflict analysts, artists and grassroots organizers.

The conference is being sponsored by the Jazz for Justice Project in conjunction with UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Ready for the World initiative, the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence, Chancellor’s Honors and College Scholars; the Africana Studies program; UT’s Departments of History, Religious Studies, Child and Family Studies and Psychology; the Hodges Better English Fund, English Department; Rotaract and Amnesty International.

For more information about this conference and the Baker Center, visit http//


Gavin Luter, (865) 974-0931,

Lindsay McClain,