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9/11 Ten Years Later: Remembrance, Reflections and Resilience

Summary: the Eighth AACR AnnualRoundtable Conference

9/11 Ten Years Later: Remembrance, Reflections and Resilience

The Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility (AACR) organized its eighth annual roundtable conference on May 4, 2011, in Washington, DC. The theme of the conference was “9-11 Ten Years Later: Remembrance, Reflections and Resilience.” This annual program was hosted by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, and sponsored by Hill and Knowlton, a major public relations firm based in Washington, DC.

AACR - 8th Annual Round Table Conference

In some respects, the tragic events of September 11, 2001 already seem lost to history. In other ways, the memories and pain are as fresh and raw as they were on that bright fallmorning. This conference explored the legacy and impact of 9-11 from a variety of perspectives. Panelists and participants from non-profits, academia,business and media shared their thoughts, insights, observations and reflections at this conference.

Dr. Joy Cherian, President and the founder of AACR welcomed all participants. He also introduced Dr. Michael Schneider, Chairman of AACR’s Advisory Board, and Director of the Syracuse-Maxwell Washington Public Diplomacy program, and asked him to moderate the first session.

Joy Cherian

Session 1 - American Multiculturism since 9-11: Challenges and Prospects

Two panelists of this session, Dr. Sonya Michel, Director of the US Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and Dr. Cathy Schneider, Associate Professor at the School of International Service, American University,presented their views on multiculturism in America with a special focus on certain national developments since September 11, 2001. They advocated the need for mainstream involvement of members of immigrant communities. Immediately after their presentations, several attendees spoke about their own views and ideas on building the modern day American society.

AACR Conference

Session 2 - Private Sector, Public Interests: Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate America in the Post 9-11 World

This session was moderated by Mr.Chad Tragakis, Senior Vice President, Hill and Knowlton, Washington, DC, and also the chairman of the AACR Committee on Institutional Civic Responsibility.

Dr. John Forrer, Associate Director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility, The George Washington University; Dr. Aleksandr Shkolnikov, Director, Policy Reform, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); and Mr. Fred Wenger III, PMP, Directorof Marine Corps Programs at The Louis Berger Group, Inc, spoke as panelists of this session. They endorsed initiatives of large and small companies to develop crisis plans in the event any tragedy like 9-11 takes place again. They urged corporate America to protect and advance American interests by fighting against extremism and improving the reputation of our nation. Several attendees expressed their views based on their personal experiences and actively participated in the discussion.

Keynote address by The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta

Norman T.Mineta

After lunch and a networking break, The Honorable Norman Mineta, Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton, former US Secretary of Commerce, and former Secretary of Transportation, delivered the keynote address of this annual program.He shared his personal experience facing discrimination on the basis of national origin during the Second World War at a Wyoming internment camp. He also presented his personal observations and reflections on the tragic event that took place on September 11, 2001 in New York City.

AACR Conference

The final Session - Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Ideas for Constructing an Enduring Legacy of 9-11

Ambassador (retired) Hal Sounders, Director of International Affairs, Kettering Foundation, and Ms.Pamela Aall, Director of Education Program, the United States Institute of Peace,were the panelists of this session. They shared their thoughts on the lasting implications of the 9-11 tragedy. They presented their personal experiences from their public life and various lessons learned. They also presented their thoughts and suggestions how we could sufficiently balance reverence and emotion with relevant historical facts and modern public policy.

At the end of this session, Mr.Tragakis thanked all panelists and participants.

2011 AACR Conference

The AACR is thankful to Mr. Chad Tragakis and Dr. Michael Schneider for their leadership initiatives that helped establish this conference as an important educational program. The AACR is also thankful to Ms. Theorina Li, a Corporate Fellow at Hill and Knowlton and a recent graduate from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, and Ms. Pavlina Majorosova, a Ph.D student at The New School for Social Research (one of the AACR Advisory Board members) for their assistance, which helped make this conference a grand success.

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