Lutheran World Relief Director to Give Lecture

Posted on March 23rd, 2012 by

Noted human rights expert and Director of Lutheran World Relief programs in Colombia Zoraida Castillo will speak at Gustavus Adolphus College at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26 in Room 103 of Olin Hall. Castillo’s lecture is free and open to the public and is titled “Lessons for Building Peace in Colombia.”

Castillo will share her experiences with the ongoing work of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and its non-governmental organization and church partners to build peace in some of the communities most affected by the decades of internal conflict in Colombia.

Castillo leads the development and implementation of LWR programming in Colombia and works with LWR internationally to ensure that programs in Colombia advance LWR’s mission of helping to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering in the world. Castillo works with LWR partners, including Afro-Colombian, indigenous, and small-scale farming communities to strengthen community networks, advance human rights, and enhance rural development through investments in small-scale agriculture.

She also works closely with LWR partner organizations nationally and internationally to advocate for public policies that support rural development, human rights, and peace building in Colombia. Castillo holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Gustavus professors Mayra Taylor (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) and Thomas Sigler (Geography) will serve as panelists in a discussion following Castillo’s talk.

Along with the evening lecture, Castillo will also share remarks during the College’s daily chapel service at 10 a.m. on March 26.

Castillo’s appearance at Gustavus is made possible by a Sesquicentennial Grant. The event is sponsored by LALACS (Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies) and Peace Studies. Questions about this event can be directed to Associate Professor of Political Science Mimi Gerstbauer at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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