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April 24, 2009

Colin Campbell delivers address at World Issues Forum

Colin G. Campbell, president and chief executive officer of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, discussed citizenship and its history, the development of American citizenship and the challenges and potential of citizenship in the era of globalization during a lecture at the E. N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His talk, "Citizenship in a Global Age," was April 14 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

“As essential as it is to be more familiar with our own history and its implications for citizenship, there is clearly a need for citizens to grasp the new realities in which we live, the realities of globalization and what it means to be citizens in this context,” Campbell said. “I am not referring to a legal status of ‘global citizen’ so much as emphasizing the importance of opening ourselves to the world beyond our immediate experience; developing a far greater global sensibility so that we can be good citizens both here at home and in this rapidly shrinking world.”

“In this sense,” he said, “global citizenship rests upon an ideal, an ethical and moral construct. Just as American citizenship is strengthened by knowing and understanding the stories of the American Revolution, and of the intense engagement of the colonists, so global citizenship, or at the least global sensibility, rests on new forms of engagement with world issues. And it all starts with understanding.”

In 2007, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation convened the World Forum on the Future of Democracy. Since then, the Foundation has used both technology, including, and face-to-face contact to engage thousands of people worldwide in a conversation about the roles, responsibilities and rights of citizens in a democracy.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, now in its 20th year, brings viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the citizens of Nebraska to promote understanding and to encourage debate. Previous lecturers in this season’s forum included David Gergen, commentator and journalist; Ted Sorensen, former presidential adviser; Sarah Chayes, author and former NPR reporter; F.W. de Klerk, former president of South Africa; Ronald Dworkin, philosophy and law professor; Michael Olivas, law professor; and Vernon Briggs, industrial and labor relations professor.

More information about the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues and lecture podcasts is available at:

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265