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The area studies centers at UNC and Duke partner with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to offer globally-focused professional development during International Education Week. International Education Week, held in November annually, is a national week of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

International Education Week 2021 Series for K-12 Educators:
Food, Water, and Sustainability around the World and at Home

Virtual: November 15 – 19, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
In Person: November 20, 2021 | 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Now more than ever, we live in an interconnected world of limited resources and limitless possibility. In celebration of International Education Week, the Duke-UNC area studies centers and the NC Department of Public Instruction will host a series of events for educators to explore issues related to food, water, and sustainability. Throughout the series, we will explore the interconnectedness of agriculture, water, community health and well-being, culture, sustainable development, and climate.

Each session will highlight content and resources related to a different world region: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia. Teachers can attend one session to learn about a specific area, or attend all sessions to gain a broader understanding of our global environment. Attending educators will receive content and resources to equip students with the critical thinking skills and global perspective necessary to solve the sustainability challenges of the future.

Participants will receive a certificate for 1.5 PD hours for each event attended.

Register in advance:
To learn more about or register for our in-person event at Pho Lao in Morganton, NC, visit 


A week of programming:

+Monday, Nov. 15: “From the Siberian Steppe to St. Petersburg: Environmental Issues and Activism in Russia”

Featuring journalist Angelina Davydova
Hosted by the Russian Flagship Program & Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies

In this session, Angelina Davydova, a journalist and expert on international and Russian climate policies, will share some of the environmental challenges facing Russia, the policies adopted to combat them, and the initiatives in civil society responding to both.

+Tuesday, Nov. 16: “From Cattle and Three Stone Fires to Instant Pots: Food, Water, and Sustainability in East Africa” | RECORDING

Featuring Dr. Amy Cooke, UNC Environment, Ecology and Energy Program
Hosted by the African Studies Center

+Wednesday, Nov. 17: “Water in the Middle East: Significance, Survival, and Sustainability”

Featuring Dr. Sarah Shields, Department of History, UNC
Hosted by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies
Water is essential for life everywhere. Although that seems a simple enough statement, its implications are overwhelming, especially for an arid zone like the Middle East. This webinar will offer a historian’s views on this crucial environmental resource as it has influenced the history of the region.

+Thursday, Nov. 18: “Grape, Olive, Pig: Food Culture and Identity in Spain”

Featuring Dr. Cristina Carrasco
Hosted by the Center for European Studies
Dr.Cristina Carrasco will discuss how red wine, jamón serrano and olive oil shape the diversity of Spanish cuisine and how these ingredients are being used in sustainable ways. This workshop will include a cooking demonstration via Zoom.

+Friday, Nov. 19: “Cup of Green: Sustainable Coffee Production in Latin America”

Featuring Ryan Ludwig, Counter Culture Coffee
Hosted by the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Ever wonder how every teacher’s favorite caffeinated beverage can make the world more sustainable? In this session, Ryan Ludwig from Durham, NC-founded Counter Culture Coffee will discuss the importance of coffee in Latin America, how coffee is produced, and how Counter Culture Coffee and other roasters can practice environmental and social sustainability in the U.S. and in Latin America.

+Saturday, Nov. 20: “Lao Cuisine in the Appalachian Foothills”: In Person Workshop at Pho Lao in Morganton, North Carolina

Featuring Ms. Dara Phrakousonh, Pho Lao
Hosted by the Carolina Asia Center
On Saturday, November 20, the Carolina Asia Center is pleased to sponsor a continuing education session at Pho Lao in Morganton, North Carolina (Burke County). Ms. Dara Phrakousonh will speak about Laotian food culture, the Lao community here in North Carolina and which crops and foods from Laos have been easy to adapt to the North Carolina physical and cultural landscape.