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Center to host discussion about South African issues, economy, life

The Center for Civic Literacy will host a discussion on major issues in South Africa for TCU and the Fort Worth community at 7 p.m. tonight at University Christian Church.Eric Cox, associate director of the center, will speak about South Africa’s economy, life after the apartheid and the effect of AIDS, and will lead a discussion on how to deal with those issues.

Donald Jackson, director of the center, said the event is part of the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Global Affairs Education Program 2007.

Cox, an assistant political science professor, said “Great Decisions” was designed to educate people on major foreign affairs that affect America and the world and to promote community discussions on those issues.

This will be the fifth in a series of eight foreign policy topics discussed by the Center for Civic Literacy this year. Topics discussed last semester were Central Asia, the Middle East, migration, war crimes and Mexico.

Cox said this is the first time the center will join with local churches to hold the discussions. In the past, the center held the event on campus, he said, but it garnered low attendance.

“We’re trying to encourage various congregations to attend,” said Jackson, a political science professor. “I think it will grow because we’re still in the early stages.”

Cox said the center looked for churches whose congregations would be interested in foreign policy.

“One of our goals is to go into the community and foster awareness among community members about issues that affect not just Fort Worth, but the country and the world,” he said.

Daniel Terry, University Christian Church minister for spiritual formation and justice, said the church and TCU have had a long history of working together, so holding the event at the church made sense.

“There are people here who are very much politically aware of what’s going on in the world and I anticipate that there will be a good response,” he said.

Terry said the event is a good way for students to meet and interact with the community.

The partnership with churches also means students will get a chance to hear the opinions and views of people outside TCU, Cox said, and community members can hear what students have to say.

Cox said he hopes this type of community outreach will enhance TCU’s image and get more people interested and educated in foreign issues.

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