After two world wars, members of the United Nations decided it was time for, in the words of its motto, “building peace in the minds of men and women.” But to do that, they needed more than economic and political agreements. They needed to establish worldwide solidarity by promoting scientific and cultural understanding, uplifting democracy, and defeating poverty. To that end, they created the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
A Global Priority
It’s only natural that UCLA, home of the Optimists, would partner with UNESCO to focus on global citizenship as a 21st-century priority through the establishment of the UCLA UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. Professor Carlos Alberto Torres, distinguished professor of education and director of the UCLA Paulo Freire Institute at UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, has been appointed as the UCLA UNESCO Chair and will lead UCLA’s work in this area.
Professor Torres’s extensive contributions to the study of global citizenship make him an ideal fit for this appointment. “Being appointed as the UCLA UNESCO Chair in Global Citizenship Education and the inaugural holder of the first UNESCO Chair in the University of California system humbles me,” says Professor Torres. “It affirms my commitment to social justice education through teaching, research, and lecturing worldwide.”
Published March 2016