‘Memoirs of a Boy Soldier’ Author Speaks at CSU

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Human rights activist Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, will give a talk related to the book at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the University Hall auditorium.

Ishmael Beah In his book, Beah, 26, describes how he, as a 12-year-old in Sierra Leone, fled attacking rebels and wandered a land wrecked by violence. By 13, he’d been forced to serve in the government army and experience wartime violence.

Eventually, he regained his humanity and re-entered civilian life through a UNICEF rehabilitation center. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he completed a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College (Ohio).

A member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee, he has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.

Thumbnail of cover from Beah Book The book is the source for a common reading this fall by hundreds of students taking Columbus State’s First-Year Seminar courses.

The three-credit First-Year Seminar is designed as a rigorous, activity-based mandatory course for most incoming first-year students plus older students and transfers with fewer than 30 credit hours. About 40 class sections are meeting, with instructors including CSU President Tim Mescon, the university’s vice presidents, deans and other administrators, plus retired faculty members from various disciplines.

These classes aim to prepare students for college-level academic success, focusing on critical thinking, study, oral presentation, writing, information literacy and research skills.

The common reading of Beah’s book is designed to foster peer-to-peer connections and complement the seminar’s “foundations of global learning” objective to introduce and whet the students’ interest in international topics.

For more information, call Terry Irvin at 706-565-4015 or the Center for International Education at 706-565-4036.