Western Kentucky University

Political Science - News and Events

Students Attend Archbishop Desmond Tutu Event

"There is no future without forgiveness.” was Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s message that echoed through Murray State University’s Racer arena on February 24.  An estimated 5,000  ( 13 Hilltoppers included), some traveling hundreds of miles came to hear Nobel Peace Prize recipient and world renowned human rights activist Desmond Tutu.  

He addressed concerns of the 9/11 terrorist attack and the Iraqi war, HIV/AIDS, his efforts in South Africa, and world poverty/hunger. A standing ovation greeted his observation that billions of dollars are spent on war efforts every year, "All the while, knowing that a very small fraction of this would ensure that children everywhere had clean water, had enough food to eat." His passion drove many to tears. 

A number of WKU students, already active in humanitarian issues, were especially moved by  Bishop Tutu’s call for young people to get involved.  He said that it was our moral obligation and social responsibility to fight for social justice for all.  This really hit close to home.


Just the week before in our ICSR seminar on social movements, Dr. Charles McGruder in the Physics Department introduced us to one of his passions – his project to build a ground-breaking satellite telescope in Africa. He explained that SKA (Square Kilometer Array ) is an assembly of 3,000 individual dishes is proposes to locate throughout Africa.  SKA would communicate via internet to gather mass data. The construction phase alone will facilitate thousands of jobs, not to mention its investment in information/communication technology, and science.  This will fundamentally transform the African economy. SKA will enable Africa to contribute to the global knowledge economy for the first time since ancient times and will encourage Africa’s youth to make great accomplishments in science and engineering - a youth, which will help propel the continent out of poverty.  “This telescope is the key to helping end world poverty and could make poverty history in my life time,” says student Jennifer McCoy. 


Dr. McGruder wants our help.  The scientific community has not decided where to put the SKA – Africa or Australia.  Dr. McGruder wants our help to lobby the world powers and the scientific community to locate the project in Africa.  What an opportunity to make a real difference.  What an opportunity to meet Dr. Tutu’s challenge to get involved and to fight for social justice. 

 Last Modified 7/23/13