Chinese Delegation to Meet with Nonprofit Representatives at UM

OXFORD, Miss. – A group whose mission is to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries, while safeguarding world peace, is visiting the University of Mississippi this week.

A small delegation from the Chinese Association for International Understanding, or CAFIU, will visit campus this weekend (June 8-10) to meet with representatives of several nonprofit organizations in north Mississippi.“We wish to facilitate exchanges of knowledge and possible future collaboration between Chinese and Mississippi organizations,” said Michael F. Metcalf, UM senior international officer and professor of history.

The delegation consists of Du Kening, deputy secretary-general of CAIFU; Zheng Yao, director of European and American affairs for CAIFU; and Zhao Tianming, interpreter.

The program features an exchange of presentations by CAFIU and the north Mississippi nonprofits, followed by informative talks on how nonprofits work and the role they play in society.

The scheduled presenters include Tom Pittman, executive director of Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi; Jennifer Coleman, Oxford Chapter of the American Red Cross; John Garrott, executive director of the 4M Foundation, headquartered in Senatobia; and Mabel Murphree, district director for U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s office in Columbus and formerly of the CREATE Foundation.

Garrott and UM professor emeritus Robert Haws were hosted in 2005 by CAFIU, which contacted the university earlier this year to propose a return visit.

Founded in September 1981, CAFIU is sponsored by and composed of political parties, social organizations, prominent people, scholars and social activists from all walks of life in China. CAFIU has been carrying out active and wide-ranging international nongovernmental exchanges and dialogues in the hope to “Let the world understand China, and let China understand the world.”

Since its founding, CAFIU has formed ties and had exchanges with social organizations, political parties, research institutes in scores of countries and international organizations and has established extensive contacts with people from various circles in those countries.