Friday, August 10, 2012

Lincoln's role in ending slavery to be examined in KCKCC simulation


True justice for the victims of slavery will be the focus of the first Transitional Justice Model Simulation for colleges to be held at Kansas City Kansas Community College this fall.

The complex character of Pres. Abraham Lincoln will be at the forefront of the simulation which will be held at KCKCC Saturday, Sept. 22.

Colleges and universities in the greater Kansas City area and state of Kansas are invited to send delegate teams of four to eight members to the simulation designed to determine how governments and societies deal with their unpleasant past.  

The simulation is being organized by Dr. Ewa Unoke, an Associate Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law programs at KCKCC, who last February took five KCKCC students to the 10th annual National Model African Union conflict simulation in Washington, D.C. where they represented the country of Comoros Islands in a simulation of the “Sudan vs. South Sudan conflict” attended by 49 colleges and universities nationwide.

“Having the opportunity to participate in this simulation opened the eyes of us all,” said Eva Bett, one of the five students. “It allowed us to step out of our comfort zone and try to evaluate and create solutions for issues plaguing millions of people.”

At KCKCC, the delegate teams will be assigned countries to represent how American society deals with past historical injustices such as slavery and the Abraham Lincoln we know and the one we do not know.

“In his essay, ‘Forgiving and Forgetting: Lincoln and the Politics of National Recovery,’ Prof. Robert Meister argues that slavery remains an unfinished business,” says Dr. Unoke. “In his Gettysburg and Second Inaugural addresses, Lincoln seems to suggest that both the slave master and slave are both victims – the master a victim of ignorance; the slave the victim of oppression and that for the sake of national recovery, both the slave and the slave-master ought to be pardoned and not prosecuted.

“What this means is that constitutional justice and reparation to victims are seemingly ignored or rejected by Lincoln as conflicting resolution options. With subsequent U.S. leaderships following the Lincolnian solution since the end of slavery, it should be determined what is true justice for the victims and why.”

During the KCKCC simulation, students will play the role of diplomats in resolving the
issues of human rights abuses, historical injustices and the cultures of impunity.

Each college or university will have one to two representatives on each of the four committees of the model and will debate on whether or not alleged criminal offenders should be pardoned or punished – and if so, how?

In addition, students will role-play in transitional justice models and adopt resolutions toward resolving global, regional or intrastate conflicts.

The four model committees are:

Truth and Reconciliation Committee – The life of Lincoln and other personal stories of slavery and reparation will be researched and analyzed with the objective of reconciliation and national recovery.

International Criminal Tribunal Committee – A simulated legal trial of the perpetrators of slavery with a goal to punish in order to deter.

Peace Building Committee – Post-conflict agenda for reconciliation, reconstruction, rehabilitation and representation.

UN Millennium Development Committee – A forward-looking development plan or framework of action will be drafted which will satisfy the UN millennial goals agenda set for 2015.

Dr. Unoke said the simulation will enable students to learn about human rights concerns and hopes of people in different regions of the world; how peoples’ lives worldwide can be improved by the UN-KCKCC Transitional Justice model; and skills and behavior which contribute to international cooperation, peace and security; leadership training and conflict resolution skills.

The fee for the simulation is $30 per student with advisors admitted without charge. To register or to seek further information, advisors can contact Dr. Unoke by phone at: 913-288-7119; by e-mail at:; or visit the website: