Arkansas academic selected for prestigious UNESCO role

The U.N. committee will be charged with analyzing global impact and challenges of the peace agenda.
The U.N. committee will be charged with analyzing global impact and challenges of the peace agenda. | File photo

University of Arkansas Director of Social Innovations Rogelio Garcia Contreras is one of only nine global scholars to receive an invitation to serve on a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Advisory Steering Committee. 

The committee will be charged with analyzing global impact and challenges of the peace agenda that has been in place since the inception of the United Nations in 1945. 

The first meeting will occur in Barcelona, Spain, where members will confer with interdisciplinary contacts to address subjects such as the protection of human rights and the promotion of the United Nations. The discussions will lead to development and publication of a Declaration and Plan of Action on a Culture of Peace. 

Project coordinator and Carmen Parra, chair of the Social and Solidarity Economy Program of Universitat Abat Oliba, nominated Garcia Contreras, who said he was honored to learn of the humble efforts in developing underserved communities. Garcia Contreras founded the social entrepreneurship program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston prior to coming to the University of Arkansas, and has since also headed the development of a new program focusing on social enterprise, creating change, and social innovation.

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