Since the fall, The World Affairs Council has worked to enlighten area residents on international issues through its series of speakers, a series that has gained in popularity in just a few months.
Five years ago, Ken Harman, founding steering committee member of the World Affairs Council of Houston in The Woodlands, heard about the council through a friend and began to travel downtown to attend council events. There, Harman met Linda Wuest, executive director of WACH. Between the two, the idea of bringing the council to The Woodlands began to coalesce.
Membership doubled since the first lecture in October to the second lecture Nov. 17, Wuest said. She said the event brought a large audience to the Lone Star College ballroom for the second lecture by Ari Shavit, author of "My Promised Land."
"It is a great credit to The Woodlands community that the first two programs were embraced with such enthusiasm," Wuest said.
The council was founded in Chicago in 1918 with the aspiration to keep the U.S. informed and engaged with international events. Conscientious Americans wanted to raise awareness of world affairs after the devastation in Europe following World War I.
Wuest stressed the importance of understanding the context in which events occur. She said the objective of WAC is to make this understanding easy and enjoyable.
"The founders' goal was to keep America engaged in the world and informed about international events," Wuest said. "That goal is as important today as it was at the end of World War I."
Retired AP world geography teacher Susan Hollier introduced many of her students at The Woodlands High School to the council.
"My goal is to create culturally literate global citizens, and World Affairs Council [of] Houston is an integral part of that," Hollier said. "Well over 1,000 students in The Woodlands have been affected by World Affairs Council. My students have met and talked to Condoleezza Rice and important people that they never would have had an opportunity to meet."
*Dates for future lectures have not been announced. All lectures are free.
- "Hopes and Fears on the Streets of Egypt,"
- Samer S. Shehata, University of Oklahoma
- "Security Policy Issues Now Facing the Middle East," Prince Turki Al Faisal, Saudi Arabia
- "Growing Security Challenges in Africa,"Col. Thomas Dempsey (ret.) National Defense University
Lecture series venue
Lone Star College System
Star of Texas Ballroom
5000 Research Forest Drive,The Woodlands
World Affairs Council Houston
2500 E. TC Jester Blvd., Ste. 350, Houston