World Affairs Council of Western Colorado

World Affairs Council of Western Colorado

 The World Affairs Council of Western Colorado (WACWC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing a deep and broad understanding of international affairs and how events in the world affect life in Western Colorado. WACWC provides speakers and lectures of national or international prominence with knowledge in subjects of political, economic or historic import, for the education of the public, as well as, providing global literacy for K-12 students. Facilitate forums for discussion of world events. 

WACWC is non-partisan, non-profit organization. 

The World Affairs Council of Western Colorado works to bring exceptional speakers from around the globe to our communities, and to host fun local events where travelers can share their stories with the public. The opinions of speakers are their own, and they do not reflect an official viewpoint of WACWC.


Kvevri Wine Presentation

Kvevri image.jpg

What: The Kvevri wine making method was recently added to UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” list. This method—Kvevri or Qvevri—is considered to be the oldest method of making wine and originated in what is now the country of Georgia, between the Black and Caspian Seas.

The evenings presenters are Horst Caspari, the State Viticulturist and Professor at Colorado State Univeristy, Marko Copic, owner of Purgatory Cellars hailing from Jastrebarsko, Croatia with 20 years of "Old World" and Mediterranean style wine making experience, and Ken Mabery, WACWC board member who has traveled extensively in Georgia for 15 years. They will speak on the Kvevri wine making tradition, the cultural and historic significance of wine production in the region, and its ties to Colorado.

Following the talk, attendees will be invited to taste the Amphora wine from Purgatory Cellars at the scenic Colterris Overlook. Colterris wines will be available for purchase. Must be 21 to taste and purchase wine. The event is free to WACWC members and $15 for non-members. This event is sponsored in part by Colterris Winery.

When: Thursday, September 6th 6:30PM 

Where: Colterris Winery, 3548 E ½ Road, Palisade, CO 

This event is free for WACWC members, $15 for non-members.


New York Times best-selling journalist and renowned storyteller T.R. Reid returns to discuss his new book, "A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System."  Presented by World Affairs Council of Western Colorado. Thursday February 8 at the CMU Meyer Ballroom at 7PM.  This event is free for all past WACWC Members and $10 for the general public. Future 2018 talks will require a renewal of memberships for this year!      Link to the New Book Here!

New York Times best-selling journalist and renowned storyteller T.R. Reid returns to discuss his new book, "A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System."

Presented by World Affairs Council of Western Colorado. Thursday February 8 at the CMU Meyer Ballroom at 7PM.

This event is free for all past WACWC Members and $10 for the general public. Future 2018 talks will require a renewal of memberships for this year!


Link to the New Book Here!

Dr. Kathleen Hynes

Thursday, 1 June, 6:30-8:30

Curious about the latest battlegrounds in immigration rights, law, and policy in the Trump era?

Have questions about sanctuary cities, DACA, ICE detainers, border walls, and more?

Join the World Affairs Council of Western Colorado, Hispanic Affairs Project, and American Civil Liberties Union for a special talk from Dr. Kathleen Haynes.

This is a non-partisan educational event and questions are welcome.

Dr. Kathleen Haynes is a speaker with the ACLU renowned for engaging presentations on civil rights, law, and the constitution's everyday applications. 

Dr. Philip Jones,

Dr. Philip Jones,

Dr. Philip Jones, an expert on South Asia, is Dean of Global Security and International Studies at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Join us to learn more about Indo-Pakistan relations in the context of resource scarcity. 

The Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 is a key stabilizing force in the tense relations between the two historical enemies. The Indian government is threatening to wrest control of the upstream portions of the Indus Waters. Any move to affect the flow to Pakistan’s vital canal system would be a cause for war--between two adjacent, nuclear-armed states. 

Dr. Robert Daly

U.S.-China Relations After the American Election

Monday, May 15, 2017 6:30-8:00

Colorado Mesa University, University Center, Meyer Ballroom

Dr. Robert Daly is thought by many to be one of the most articulate and concise interpreters of modern China to the western world. Mr. Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2013.  He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland.  Before that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing. 


Dr. Daly began work in US-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s.  After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs.  During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations.  Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  He has lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Chinese president Jiang Zemin and vice president Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.

Robin Brown

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:30 - 8:00

CMU Meyer Ballroom

Robin Brown

Robin Brown

Robin Brown, Grand Junction resident, served eight years as a US Army helicopter pilot and completed two tours in Iraq. She never dreamed that she'd set foot there again... until a friend called with a special mission. Adventure Not War is a veterans organization that enlists former combatants in humanitarian projects and the promotion of adventure industries in the theaters in which they served. Join Robin for a multimedia journey of unexpected hope and healing. 

Robin Brown spent eight years in the US Army as a Kiowa Warrior scout attack helicopter pilot and deployed twice to Iraq with the 82d Airborne Division, where she also commanded 30 male soldiers. Robin's combat experiences, including a 2003 crash under fire, have been chronicled by several media sources and books. Moving to Grand Junction in 2010, Robin managed the capital campaign for the Avalon Cornerstone Project- the $9 million renovation of the historic Avalon Theatre. Following the grand reopening of the Avalon in 2014, Robin managed events for Downtown Grand Junction where she was responsible for growing the largest farmers market in western Colorado and creating the Downtown Music Festival- a 3 day music festival that draws over 10,000 people to Grand Junction’s Main Street. Today, Robin promotes Colorado’s Grand Valley as an incredible place to live, work, and play through her company, Brown House PR. She writes a weekly column for the Daily Sentinel’s Editorial page and serves on the boards of the Airport Authority, Western Colorado Community Foundation and the Outdoor Recreation Coalition. 

Stories of Peace Corps Veterans

Thursday, November 10, 2016  6:30 pm

Grand Junction City Hall auditorium at 5th and White Ave/Rood.  

Open to the public

2016 marks the 55th year of the Peace Corps. As a way to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the program as well as to celebrate the experiences of those who have participated, the World Affairs Council of Western Colorado will be hosting a panel discussion involving former Peace Corps volunteers.The Grand Valley Returned Peace Corps volunteers will discuss their experiences overseas and how it changed their lives as well as the loves of those people they served in foreign countries. 

Speakers included:

Dan and Gigi Robinson (Guatemala, Central America)

Brien Webster (Zambia, East Africa)

Kirk Granham (Moldova, Eastern Europe)

And others

moderator: Bennett Boeschenstein (Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa)


The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for interested change workers to immerse themselves in a country abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.


The Peace Corps mission:

To promote world peace and friendships by fulfilling three goals:

1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women

2.To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.


There are 220,000 Peace Corps volunteers and alumni in the United States (from the Peace Corps web page). .

There are dozens of returned volunteers living and working in Mesa County.


Dr. Timothy Winegard Book Launch

CMU and WACWC are co sponsoring the public book launch of The First World Oil War.

Friday, October 21, 2016 5:30-6:30

5:30-6:00 p.m. Dr. Winegard discussed book

Houston Hall, Room 138 on the CMU Campus

“This book is the product of more than ten years of study and research,” Dr. Winegard said. “Oil is still the overriding cause and concern of international strife, aggression, global geopolitics, and market mechanisms; the origins of which are entrenched in the First World War.”

In this groundbreaking study, Dr. Winegard argues that beginning with the First World War, oil became the preeminent commodity to safeguard national security and promote domestic prosperity. For the first time in history, territory was specifically conquered to possess oil fields and resources; vital cogs in the continuation of the industrialized warfare of the twentieth century.

Dr. Tim Casey & Dr. Bill Flanik

Topic:  Vladimir Putin: The Man and the Myth

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 5:30 - 7:00

Houston Hall Room 205 on the CMU Campus

Political Science professors Dr. Tim Casey and Dr. Bill Flanik moderated a panel discussion and multi-media presentation on Vladimir Putin's role in geopolitics, Russian politics, and in Western political discourse. 

Power Point of the Presentation

Up With People

August 22 - 29, 2016

Click for Up With People Info


Sean Flanigan

August 3, 2016 at 6:15 p.m. in the Community Room of the Mesa County Central Library at 5th and Grand Ave.

Topic:  The Lomax Project

Dr. Sean Flanigan

Dr. Sean Flanigan


Sean Flanigan info

Gisela Flanigan

Dr. Gisela Flanigan

Dr. Gisela Flanigan


June 21, 2016, at 6:15 p.m. in the Community Room of the Mesa County Central Library at 5th and Grand Ave.

Gisela Flanigan presented on the Venezuelan Children’s Symphony.

Gisela Flanigan 

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Robert Walker


Title of Presentation:  The Next 2.5 Billion: Where Population Growth Poses the Greatest Challenges

May 3, 2016 7 p.m.  in Room 138 of Houston Hall on the CMU Campus

Robert Walker is the President of the Population Institute where he directs the organization’s advocacy and public education activities, including its work on issues related to health, economic development, sustainability and the environment.

Click below for more information

Robert Walker

Documentarians Nicholas Moore & Joel Dyar

Title of Presentation:  Shoestring Filmmaking and Other Misadventures around the World

April 19, 2016  6:15 at Community Room of the Central Library at 5th and Grand Ave.

Nicholas Moore

Nicholas Moore

Joel Dyar

Joel Dyar

Filmmakers Nicholas Moore and Joel Dyar provided anecdotal stories about their activities around the world.

Click here for more information

Moore and Dyar bios

Gerald Nelson

Title of Presentation:  Food Security and Climate Change: From the Local to the Global

March 23 - CMU Campus Houston Hall Room 138


Gerald Nelson   

Gerald Nelson



Click here for Gerald Nelson info:

Gerald Nelson info and reading list

Click here for a pdf of the presentation:

GJ Climate change and FS March 2015

Click the file below to read a pdf "The Paris Climate Promise:  A Good Deal for America"

Andrew Steer House Testimony

Keith Luse

Title of Presentation: North Korea and the World:  What's Next?

February 18, 2016 7:00 pm.   Central High School auditorium  550 Warrior Way 

Keith Luse

Keith Luse


Keith Luse info

Stephen Doyle

Title of Presentation:  The Canary in the Coal Mind: Dead, Alive or in a Coma? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015                       6:30 pm.          South Ballroom at CMU


Stephen Doyle

Stephen Doyle

Stephen Doyle info


Low Flying Knobs

An all-women's Afro-pop marimba ensemble, The Low Flying Knobs play traditional and contemporary music from Zimbabwe, South Africa, and other areas of the African diaspora.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Love Recital Hall, which is in CMU's Moss Performing Arts Center

Low Flying Knobs

Low Flying Knobs

The Low Flying Knobs took the stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 25. An all-women's Afro-pop marimba ensemble, The Low Flying Knobs play traditional and contemporary music from Zimbabwe, South Africa, and other areas of the African diaspora.

Low Flying Knobs info

WACWC wishes to thank the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture for sponsoring this event.

T.R. Reid                                               (Photo by Jon Groner)

T.R. Reid                                              (Photo by Jon Groner)


Best-selling author T.R. Reid took us on a journey to various locales around the world – everywhere from Germany to Japan – to discuss how different countries manage their health care needs.  His presentation was based on his PBS documentary "Sick Around the World," and his best-selling book "The Healing of America."

T. R. Reid info


Nepal Panel Discussion

Title of Presentation:  Nepal:  A Nation in Aftershock

Monday, August 24, 2015                         7 to 8:30 p.m. CMU-- Ballroom

Free and open to the public


Kamal Adhikari

Kamal Adhikari


Kamal Adhikari manages the Nepal Restaurant in Grand Junction, which spearheaded a fundraising drive in the days after the earthquakes hit Nepal. The restaurant raised $7,700 toward relief efforts in Nepal and also contributed 10 percent of its sales for a week toward the cause.  Born and raised in Nepal, Adhikari has been in the United States since 2002.  He lost extended family members last spring.

Jennifer Alevy

Jennifer Alevy


Jennifer Alevy just moved to Grand Junction after two years living in Chennai, India and two years in Kathmandu, Nepal. In both places she worked for an American/International school as a school librarian.  In the spring she was in Nepal for a school visit and left five days before the first earthquake.  A licensed Colorado teacher, she has traveled to more than 40 countries and holds degrees in Library Science, Anthropology and Archaeology.

Courtney Welton-Mitchell

Courtney Welton-Mitchell


Courtney Welton-Mitchell holds a dual appointment with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at DU and the Hazards Center at CU-Boulder.  She researches mental health issues following disasters.  Courtney has lived and worked in Nepal on and off since 1998, and she has been to Nepal several times this year for research -- both pre- and post-earthquake.

Duane Butcher and Bennett Boeschenstein

Title of Presentation:  Whither Foreign Aid?

Thursday, July 23, 2015     6 to 7:30 p.m.                         Mesa County Central Library

Free and open to the public

Bennett Boeschenstein   

Bennett Boeschenstein


Duane Butcher, Sr.

Duane Butcher, Sr.


Dr. Philip E. Jones

Title of Presentation:  Pakistan:  Heading for State Failure?

  Friday, June 19, 2015                                                                 

Dr Jones is Dean of the new College of Security and Intelligence (2014) at Embry-Riddle University.

Click below for more information

Dr. Philip Jones

Dr. Nader Hashemi

Title of Presentation:  A Framework for Understanding the ISIS Crisis: Examining the Root Causes of Islamist Extremism

Wednesday, April 1, 2015,                                                                                

Hashemi is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. 

Click here for more information

Dr Hashemi info

Women are the Change

Tuesday, March 17,  2015
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Room 139, Houston Hall,  CMU

Linda Stout

Linda Stout

Gabriele Mayer-Hunke

Gabriele Mayer-Hunke

Anna Stout

Anna Stout

Dr. Gisela Flanigan

Dr. Gisela Flanigan

Dr. Emma Fleck

Dr. Emma Fleck

The panel will discuss issues women face around the world.

Women's Panel

Bruce Bach

Title of Presentation:  Transatlantic Security in the 21st Century: Not your Father's NATO

February 3, 2015, Houston Hall, Room 139, Colorado Mesa University campus


RAND Corporation analyst Bruce Bach, a retired U.S. Army colonel, examined the last quarter-century of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Click below for more information

Bruce Bach


Dr. Ernesto Sagas

Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder 

Title of Presentation:  Defending Pachamama:  The Rights of Nature in Ecuador

January 7, 2015, Colorado Mesa University 


Click below for more information

Dr Ernesto Sagas

Dr. Frank Usbeck

Institute of American Studies, Leipzig 

Title of Presentation: "Indian" Symbols in Nazi Propaganda 

December 1, 2014, Colorado Mesa University (Houston Hall, Room 138) 

For information about German scholar Dr. Frank Usbeck, click below.

Dr Frank Usbeck

Robert Buckley

Title of Presentation: Himalayan Healers: Life Among the Untouchables

October 29, 2014, Colorado Mesa University 

Rob Buckley is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and founder of Himalayan Healers.

Click below for more information

Himalayan Healers

Sara Waldheim

Title of Presentation: Fambol Tok

September 5, 2014, Mesa County Public Library, main branch

Sara Waldheim is a volunteer with  Fambol Tok (Family Talk) 


Click for more info

Sara Waldheim


Duane Butcher, Jr.

Title of Presentation: America, Europe and Ukraine since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

August 5, 2014, Colorado Mesa University


Duane Butcher, Jr. is the Director, Office of Planning and Performance, U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

Click for more information

Butcher info

641 N 17th St, Grand Junction, CO 81501