William Thornton and Dee Wood Harper will be provided a consultation to a group of seven human rights and correctional specialist from the Republic of Uzbekistan on May 6, 2014. They are here in New Orleans sponsored by the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council (NOCDC) and the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership (IVL) Program. The New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization that arranges professional appointments and cultural activities for over 500 international leaders sent to New Orleans annually. Among the thousands who have participated in the IVL program since its inception are numerous distinguished leaders from the public and private sectors including: Nicolas Sarkozy; Margaret Thatcher; Frederik W. de Klerk; Oscar Arias Sanchez; Tony Blair; Anwar Sadat; Morihiro Hosokawa; and Boutros-Boutros Ghali.
The group from Uzbekistan are interested in an Dr. Thornton and Dr. Harper's academic perspective on homicide/murder in New Orleans, incarceration and the death penalty. Harper and Thornton are uniquely prepared through their research and publications to provide this consultation. For example, their recent publication of a two volume work on violence covers all of these issues in considerable detail (see: William E. Thornton, Lydia Voigt & Dee Wood Harper (2013). Why Violence? Leading Questions Regarding the Conceptualization and Reality of Violence in Society. Durham N.C.: Carolina Academic Press; Dee Wood Harper, William E. Thornton & Lydia Voigt (2012). Violence: Do we know it when we see it? A Reader. Durham N.C.: Carolina Academic Press).