Henry Ford College Hosts “Nukes and Your Future? – A Student & Community Forum” on March 1

Henry Ford College (HFC) will host “Nukes and Your Future? – A Student & Community Forum” on Wednesday, March 1, from 6-8 p.m. This event takes place in the Forfa Auditorium, located in the Andrew A. Mazzara Administrative Services & Conference Center (ASCC) (Building L) on the main campus.

This forum is the first in a series of educational forums organized by the Democratic Institute Consortium (DIC) and the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) at Wayne State University in Detroit that examines the threat of nuclear weapons in the world today. A panel of experts will speak about the threats and challenges that the global community as a whole must confront to address the growing rhetoric from Washington, D.C. and Moscow about the development of more nuclear weapons.

Panelists include the following:

  • Cynthia Stiller, HFC associate dean of the Social Science, Arts and Fitness Division;
  • Dr. Frederic Pearson, director of the CPCS at Wayne State and author of two books about the international arms trade: “The Global Spread of Arms” and “Arms and Warfare”;
  • Dr. Alvin Saperstein, professor emeritus of Physics at Wayne State; and
  • Dr. Prasad Venugopal, associate professor of Physics at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM).

This series of educational forums aims to:

  • Educate citizens about the dangers of nuclear weapons and the consequences of world leaders legitimizing their use as a tool of war and foreign policy;
  • Mobilize the entire global community to sign a declaration denouncing the development, the possession and the use of nuclear weapons; and
  • Lead to the development of a series of peace conferences that further mobilize the global community to push the concerns of nuclear proliferation and the subsequent solutions onto the agenda of all world leaders through students, educators, and policymakers.

During the Cold War, the biggest threat to humanity was the threat of nuclear war. The U.S. and Russia eventually recognized the dangers associated with a nuclear arms race and took steps to ban testing these nuclear weapons. These countries also and eventually reduced their stockpiles of such weaponry. The end of the Cold War in 1991 brought hope that nuclear war had been averted and that the threat would eventually be eliminated as these two nations started to decommission their nuclear arsenals.

Unfortunately, the hope that nuclear weapons would never be used again has yet to be realized.

“The statements made during the presidential campaign regarding the potential use of nuclear weapons for national defense, development of powerful nuclear weapons by Russia in 2016 and tensions caused by nuclear tests in North Korea represent ominous signs that nuclear weapons are once again being considered as legitimate. Even though the nuclear deal signed between the major powers and Iran has appeared to move the threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran to be less likely in the short-run, there are still serious concerns that this threat could once again be a reality,” said Dr. Anthony Perry, professor of Political Science at HFC, who organized this forum.

Perry also said that to move toward this goal of eliminating nuclear weapons by countries, the issue needs to be addressed by the political agendas of nations throughout the world. This begins with addressing the apparent acceptance of the rhetoric that the use and the development of nuclear weapons as acceptable must stop immediately by all parties.

“I believe like many people that all nuclear weapons must be eliminated. Humanity cannot afford to accept nuclear weapons and their use as legitimate. The impact of countries around the world that possess nuclear weapons and more countries seeking nuclear weapons increases the likelihood that such weapons could be used with disastrous consequences. For humanity’s sake, the world community must unite to push for the end of nuclear weapons,” said Perry.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions and/or further information, contact Perry at 313-845-6383 or adperry1@hfcc.edu.

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