Home » Houston History

HISTORICAL -World Affairs Council – Texas Gulf Coast


Proceedings of the 1981, three-day conference on nuclear issues that considered “Theories and Practices of Nuclear Deterrence,” “The International Energy Problem,” “Problems of Proliferation and Control” and “Medical Consequences of Nuclear War.”

Proceedings of the 1981, three-day conference on nuclear issues that considered “Theories and Practices of Nuclear Deterrence,” “The International Energy Problem,” “Problems of Proliferation and Control” and “Medical Consequences of Nuclear War.”

Proceedings of the 1981, three-day conference on nuclear issues that considered “Theories and Practices of Nuclear Deterrence,” “The International Energy Problem,” “Problems of Proliferation and Control” and “Medical Consequences of Nuclear War.” ❖ Launched in 1954 by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is annual grassroots conversation involving thousands of participants in face-to-face discussion groups conducted nationwide during February and March.

In 1976, 14 individuals founded the Gulf Coast Council on Foreign Affairs (GCCFA), as a result of their participation in the national Great Decisions foreign policy study-discussion program sponsored by College of the Mainland in Texas City. Archival records reflect the formative years of an organization devoted to promoting global understanding among local citizens. Public and student participation in conferences, international trips and local symposia encouraged public dialogue around complex issues of international importance. For example, GCCFA sponsored a conference in 1981 on Nuclear Questions with national and international experts represented among the speakers.

Programs encouraged public awareness of global conditions involving international political, economic, and military issues and introduced participants to the diversity of cultures around the world. In 1982 GCCFA organized an 18-day trip for Texas lawyers and legislators to the People’s Republic of China to study the Chinese legal system. Plans included visits to courtrooms, meetings with representatives of the legal system, as well as a sightseeing trip to the Great Wall. Similar pilgrimages became annual events that encouraged students and citizens to experience international cultural
systems while considering global implications of public policies.

GCCFA designed programs that reflected the growing internationalization of the Texas Gulf Coast region, aiming to provide information and invite participation without assuming particular positions. GCCFA operated from the premise that every citizen in a democratic society has the right and perhaps an obligation to be informed. Working actively to offer educational experiences locally as well as abroad, the Council invited speakers to address a range of issues within international contexts.

By 1984, the Council had hundreds of members with chapters in Houston, Clear Lake, Lake Jackson and Galveston. During the same year, the organization’s name changed to Gulf Coast World Affairs Council, and leadership moved to the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, a move that allowed the organization to reach broader participation in a burgeoning urban setting. During 1987-1988, the organization’s name changed again to Houston World Affairs Council. Now called World Affairs Council of Houston, this prestigious organization works to promote effective communication in a global community.

An inventory of the World Affairs Council (Gulf Coast/Houston) Records, 1976-1998 is available online through info.lib.uh.edu/p/houston-history-archives.

Author Dr. Teresa (Terry) Tomkins-Walsh is historian and archivist for the Houston History Archives with the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. Located in Special Collections at the UH Libraries, the Archives collects historical documents on the growth and development of Houston with particular concentrations in energy, environmental and ethnic history. Contact her at tomkinswalsh@uh.edu.

Launched in 1954 by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is annual grassroots conversation involving thousands of participants in face-to-face discussion groups conducted nationwide during February and March.

Launched in 1954 by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is annual grassroots conversation involving thousands of participants in face-to-face discussion groups conducted nationwide during February and March.

Layout 1

 

HISTORICAL -World Affairs Council – Texas Gulf Coast


Comments are closed.