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By Michelle Lewis

This Nonprofit's Mission is to Expand Your Horizons and Sharpen Your Brain

By Michelle Lewis Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:06 pm

This nonprofit has several events to expand your horizons and sharpen your brain this week. Some of them are happening on the same night, so you will have to choose. But if you were able to attend all of them, by the end of the week you would know a lot more about Muslim – Western relations, the condition of children in Kenya, the 1989 Romanian revolution, the wonders of nanotechnology, etc., etc.

What nonprofit can do all this? One of my very favorite nonprofits: UNC, of course!

This Wednesday night at 6:00pm, the public is invited to a free showing of “Crossing Borders” at the FedEx Global Education Center on Pittsboro Street. This award-winning documentary follows four Morrocan and four American university students as they travel together through Morocco and, in the process of discovering “The Other,” discover themselves ( http://crossingbordersfilm.org/). A panel discussion led by UNC students who recently returned from Morocco will follow the screening. Parking is available in the Global Education Center’s underground lot.

On Thursday night at 7:00pm, the public is invited to a free showing of “These are Our Children” at the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building Auditorium, right next to the FedEx Global Education Center on Pittsboro Street. This award-winning documentary reveals how the devastating effects of poverty, HIV/AIDs, and violence on Kenyan children are being reduced through simple and inexpensive grassroots interventions (more information here).

If you’d prefer to view a film about the Romanian revolution, then head down to the Varsity Theater on Thursday night at 6:30 to watch “Videograms of a Revolution.” This film documents the Romanian revolution that led to the overthrow of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Compiled from amateur footage, news footage, and excerpts from a demonstrator-controlled Bucharest TV studio in late December 1989, “Videograms of a Revolution” tells the story of “how the mediated image not only records but engenders historic change.” Tickets for the public are only $4.

Or perhaps that’s not quite up your alley. Don’t worry, this wonderful nonprofit has yet another option for you Thursday night! Head to UNC’s Friday Center and learn about the amazing world of nanotechnology. It’s part of the Friday Center’s “What’s the Big Idea?” lecture series. (I’ve been attending these lectures and they are fabulous as well as pretty darn unbelievable.) This Thursday, starting at 7pm, UNC professor Dr. Joseph DeSimone will explain how a new technology called PRINT could enable scientists to create the medical equivalent of a smart bomb – a nanoparticle that stores chemotherapy drugs and travels through the body on a mission to target and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Tickets are only $10 per person. To purchase a ticket, click here.

If your brain has room for more after this packed week, then head to the FedEx Global Education Center on Saturday for the 2011 Visualizing Human Rights Conference. It will be an incredible day filled with filmmakers, poets, visual artists, and photographers, who use their skills to bring to light the struggle for dignity and human rights. The conference is free, but advance registration is required (click here).

Then, next Tuesday (November 8th), give your mind a soothing break at the Ackland Art Museum’s “Yoga in the Galleries” class. It’s only $5, but you need to pre-register here.

Now I bet you know why UNC is truly one of my favorite nonprofits.

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