Displacement, Migration and Searching for Home

Announcing the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues 2023-2024

Silhouette of migrants walking at sunset

The number of people displaced by conflicts, disasters and economic crises has risen to a new high of over 89 million, including over 30 million refugees and asylum seekers. “Uprooted” shares stories of displaced people in search of hope and home.

FREE and open to the public.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.

We're pleased to welcome the following speakers as part of our 2023-2024 schedule:

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Previously This Season

Leilani Farha portrait

Leilani Farha

Back Home: Returning Human Rights to Housing

With NeighborWorks Lincoln and NIFA

Leilani Farha is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and Global Director of The Shift. Farha has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies, and the first UN Guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She is the central character in the documentary PUSH regarding the financialization of housing. Farha launched The Shift in 2017 to advance the movement through advocacy, research and campaigning.

Lynsey Addario portrait

Lynsey Addario

Of Love & War: Stories of Tragedy & Resilience

With College of Journalism and Mass Communications (Buffett-Mangelsen-Sartore Chair of Photojournalism), Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Global Affairs

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist who has been covering humanitarian crises for The New York Times and National Geographic for more than two decades. Addario has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Darfur, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Syria, and Ukraine. American Photo Magazine named Addario as one of the five most influential photographers of the past 25 years. She received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Addario has a bestselling memoir, It's What I Do, and a solo collection of photography, Of Love and War.

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Forum Youth Panel

Displacement and Reimagining the American Dream

With the Chancellor’s Diversity Commissions

At Wick Alumni Center

This interactive event will feature local students and young professionals sharing their lived experiences as immigrants and refugees. Each panelist will tell their story, presenting a multi-dimensional picture beyond what’s portrayed in the news. Panelists will then respond to questions on a range of relevant topics, moderated by Karla Hernandez Torrijos, the inaugural Student Storyteller in Residence with the Center for Great Plains Studies. Karla is an undergraduate student, poet and workshop facilitator whose writing “interrogates our understanding of home, displacement, and the liminal space in between.”

Parag Khanna portrait

Parag Khanna

A World on the Move: The Forces Uprooting Us

With College of Business and ALLO Communications

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveler, and bestselling author. He is the Founder & CEO of Climate Alpha, an AI-powered analytics platform that forecasts asset values to future-proof global real estate, and Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario-based strategic advisory firm. Khanna is the bestselling author of MOVE: Where People are Going for a Better Future, which was preceded by The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century and five additional books. Khanna was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.”