DMU led a major conference called Universities #JoinTogether at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday 7 January to champion sustainability and promote the power of international collaboration.
A key part of the #DMUglobal mass trip to the city, students from DMU and other universities from around the world, including Russia, China, Canada and the USA, filled one of the building's iconic debating chambers.
Distinguished speakers included Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Maymuchka Lauritson, Human Rights lawyer from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, MEP Rory Palmer and Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby.
Students were invited to ask questions and consider how they can play their part in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – 17 targets to address global challenges. In particular, they discussed SGD 16, which calls for the building of strong institutions to promote peace, justice and inclusive societies.
Around 500 DMU students attended the UN conference. The overriding message from the event was that students must join together, be engaged, speak out and take action.
Law, Human Rights and Social Justice student Zeinab Al-Ahmar said: “It was a dream come true to speak at the UN. I have always been passionate about human rights and am well invested in doing what I can to make a difference.”
Drama and Media student Emma Bell said: “I stood up in the UN and was able to voice my opinion. I feel totally inspired.”
More than 1,000 final-year students and supporting academics are spending five days taking in inspirational study visits relevant to their degrees and cultural outings to expand their horizons under the banner of DMU’s #LoveInternational initiative, which launched in 2016 in response to concerns from students and staff in the wake of the EU referendum.
Health Studies student Kasthuri Haridas summed up the thoughts of many: “It’s actually so beautiful and the whole trip to New York has been so great. We have been helping people in need through #DMUlocal and I have seen things I never dreamed of. It’s been such a fantastic experience.”
There have been many memorable events in the last few days. Highlights include students from DMU’s Forensic Science students being visibly moved when they took a unique tour of the World Trade Center area and 9/11 memorial by guide Robert Yonskie, whose father was caught up in the events of 17 years ago.
At the Spyscape Museum on 8th Avenue, students from Computing, ICT and Computer Games Programming took part in decryption challenges to test out their spy skills.
Law LLB, Politics and International Relations students gained valuable insights in the American justice system with a tour of the famous Supreme Civil Court.
Elsewhere, hip hop pioneers treated students on music courses to a tour showing the birth and growth of East Coast hip hop across parts of the city.
Meanwhile, volunteers on the #DMUlocal strand of the trip prepared and served food for homeless people and low income families at the Broadway Presbyterian Church soup kitchen.
Follow all the events
We’re updating this page with videos, stories and photographs documenting our students’ experiences as they appear. As usual, you can also follow the activities on any of our social media channels at the links below.
Posted on Tuesday 8th January 2019