International symposium at George Warren Brown School of Social Work to focus on impact of civic service Sept. 24-26

Father of communitarianism and social commentator Amitai Etzioni to give public address at 4 p.m. Sept. 24

The Global Service Institute (GSI) of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at George Warren Brown School of Social Work (GWB) will host its second international research forum, “Civic Service: Impacts and Inquiry,” Sept. 24-26.

Symposium participants, drawn from more than 20 countries, will address the impact of civic service, and will continue the discussion that began at the first GSI conference in Buenos Aires last year. The first conference addressed the history, implementation, and forms of civic service worldwide.

The primary objectives of the symposium are to chart the possible impacts of civic service and identify theories to explain them. GSI defines civic service as long-term, intensive volunteering programs in which servers are expected to fill a particular role and service activities are clearly defined. Civic service examples include the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps in the United States and the European Voluntary Service.

There are suggested psychological, health, social, civic, and economic outcomes from civic service, but scholarship remains behind policy and practice.

“During the symposium, we will identify directions for future research that can inform decision-making and support comparative understanding across nations and cultures,” says Amanda Moore McBride, Ph.D., research director of GSI.

The symposium is closed to the public except for an opening address by Amitai Etzioni, Ph.D., University Professor and director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in Brown Hall Lounge. This lecture is also part of the GWB fall lecture series.

Etzioni’s lecture is drawn from his most recent book, “My Brother’s Keeper: A Memoir and Message.” He will discuss how his life informed development of communitarian philosophy, which at once upholds individual rights and responsibilities to the community. A reception and book signing will follow the address.

The symposium will open on Wednesday evening at Reid Courtyard, Charles F. Knight Center. During the dinner, recent scholarship on civic service will be highlighted and copies of Service Enquiry, a monograph co-published by GSI and Helene Perold and Associates of South Africa, will be distributed to all attendees.

Victor Arredondo, president of the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico, will deliver the symposium’s keynote address on September 25. The title of his talk is “Foreign debt relief for university-based community service.”

Michael Sherraden, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and director of CSD and Susan Stroud, Director of Innovations in Civic Participation in Washington, DC, created the Global Service Institute (GSI) in March 2001. The primary objectives of GSI are to build a global knowledge base and understanding of civic service and to assist with the design and implementation of policies and programs worldwide. GSI supports the development of a global research agenda, a Web-based information network, and innovations in policy and program development.

For more information, call 935-7433. To view the full symposium agenda visit