Serbian delegates meet with UA leaders


Martin H. Belsky, J.D., dean of the School of Law (left), and Lee A. Gill, J.D., associate vice president for inclusion & equity/CDO, are two of the UA leaders making presentations to the delegation from Serbia.

Six Serbian leaders participating in the Open World Program are meeting with University of Akron leaders this week to share and explore sustainable solutions for civil and human rights organizations.

Visitors include Mirjana Zoran Bogdanovic, executive director, Gay-Straight Alliance; Luka Zvonko Bozovic, Youth Initiative for Human Rights; Jelena Bosko Dzombic, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights; Dragon Milan Ristic, finance manager, Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights; Jelena Boro Visnjic, program director, Feminist Culture Center BeFem; and Ksenija Lazovic of Belgrade, Serbia, facilitator.

The delegates will meet or hear presentations from Lee Gill, UA vice president for inclusion and equity/chief diversity officer; Dr. Rosa Githiora, interim director of Women’s Resources; and Martin H. Belsky, dean and Randolph Baxter Professor of Law; and Akron-area leaders.

Delegation will hear many voices during stay

They also will visit the Akron Mayor's office for meetings with Akron Peace Makers to discuss Youth, Diversity and Empowerment. Rounding out their stay in Akron, the delegation members will visit two local schools, Lawndale Elementary School for a discussion on cyber-bullying, and Archbishop Hoban High School for a presentation on the Peace and Justice work that students have done there.

Akron International Friendship (AIF) is hosting the delegation for Open World, which is managed by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress and enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level. 

The delegates will attend several cultural and community activities, including a Zips men's basketball game at the James A Rhodes Arena where they be able to see, in action, forward Nikola Cvetinovic, who is from Serbia.

The Open World Program is a nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. More than 16,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 states since the program's 1999 inception. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. For more information on Open World, please visit For more information on Akron International Friendship, please visit

 About The University of Akron

The University of Akron is the public research university for Northeast Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the “Best in the Midwest” in its 2011 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Nearly 30,000 students are enrolled in UA's 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or