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Human Rights Forum Nonviolence advocate Tom Swenson-Healey and other local activists who have spent time in Israel and Palestine examine the region's political climate (and prospects for peace). LGBT Community Center, 1115 E. Pike St., 206-323-7588. Free. 7-9 p.m. Wed., Nov. 30.
Arts Forum CityClub assembles newcomers to the local arts scene—including Seattle Rep head David Esbjornson, Bellevue Arts Museum director Michael Monroe, and incoming ArtsFund president Jim Tune—for a panel moderated by outgoing ArtsFund prez Peter Donnelly. Rainier Club, 820 Fourth Ave., 206-682-7395. $40 ($32 CityClub members). Noon-1:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 1.
Charles Garfield In observance of World AIDS Day, the founder of the advocacy group Shanti speaks about the organization's work on behalf of AIDS patients at a benefit luncheon sponsored by Multifaith Works. Washington State Convention and Trade Center (Ballroom A), 800 Convention Pl., 206-324-1520. Free (donation requested). Noon. Thurs., Dec. 1.
In Their Own Words Well, sort of. Gloria Grow of the Fauna Foundation, a Quebec-based nonprofit, recounts the rescue of 15 lab-bound chimps who now live in a sanctuary. Sponsored by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. Seattle Center (Shaw Room), 205 Harrison St., www.neavs.org. Donations suggested. 7-9:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 1.
Richard Brent Turner As part of the Central District Forum's American Heritage Series, the religious historian and author of Islam in the African-American Experience talks about how America's 2.6 million black Muslims have adopted (and adapted) the faith. Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 206-323-4032. $7 ($5 CD Forum members/students/seniors). 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 1.
David Domke The University of Washington political science professor explores the uneasy intersection of politics and religion, always timely under Dubya, in a talk sponsored by the UW's Ernest Becker Foundation. Seattle University Student Center (Room 130), 901 12th Ave., 206-232-2994. Free. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 1.
Drug Policy Conference Sponsored by the King County Bar Association, this event includes academic and activist speakers addressing potential alternatives to the so-called War on Drugs. Red Lion Hotel, 1415 Fifth Ave., 206-267-7001. $65. 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 1. One Union Square (Boardroom), 600 University St., 206-267-7001. $50. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri., Dec. 2.
Ruth Messinger The head of American Jewish World Service talks about her recent visit to Darfur, the Sudanese region where genocide has killed 400,000 people and displaced another 2.5 million. Davis Wright Tremaine, 1501 Fourth Ave. (26th Floor), 206-525-0915. Free. 7:30-9 a.m. Fri., Dec. 2.
Gordon Taylor In his new nonfiction book, Fever and Thirst: Dr. Grant and the Christian Tribes of Kurdistan, the local writer examines the career of a 19th-century New York doctor who traveled to what is now northern Iran. Elliott Bay Books, 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. Free. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 2.
Prison Conference Western Washington University hosts "Beyond Bars: The Politics of the Prison Industrial Complex"; speakers include journalist Kirsten Anderberg, addiction expert Pippa Breakspear, and ex–Black Panther Mark Cook, a native of Seattle who's done time at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. 516 High St. (Bellingham), 360-650-3680. Free (lunch provided). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3.
Cori Wegener An assistant curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and a retired U.S. Army Reserve officer, she'll discuss her 2003 stint as liaison to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, focusing on the looting of the Iraq National Museum following the American invasion. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. (Tacoma), 253-272-4258. $7.50 ($6.50 students/seniors/military). 3 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3.
Lewis Black The comedian and Daily Show commentator, known for his political candor and loudness, sounds off on the state of the nation. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-325-2993. $45-$75. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3.
Health Care Panel Foolproof, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the nonprofit advocacy group CodeBlueNow host a discussion of America's health care woes; panelists include ex–Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson and former Florida congressman Paul Rogers, with the P-I's Mark Trahant as moderator. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-325-3554. $5. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 5.
Agent Orange Relief Campaign A touring group of American and Vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam War speak about the aftereffects of the notorious herbicide Agent Orange and re-examine 1973's Paris Peace Accords, which ended the war. American Friends Service Committee, 812 N.E. 40th St., 206-283-6676. Free. 7 p.m. Mon., Dec. 5. Congregational Church, 106 Fifth Ave. (Kirkland), 206-283-6676. $10 suggested (includes Vietnamese buffet). Dinner: 6 p.m. Program: 7-9 p.m. Tues., Dec. 6.
Arts Forum Seattle Rep artistic director David Esbjornson, Pacific Northwest Ballet head Peter Boal, and ArtsFund president Jim Tune chat about the state of the local arts scene. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. $5. 7:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 6.
Jany Jacob The former Peace Corps volunteer talks about the organization's current goals and her own experience abroad. Northeast Library, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7539. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 7.
Eric Baer The Highline Community College geology professor assesses the volcanic potential of Mount Rainier. 2400 S. 240th St. (Des Moines), 206-205-3121. Free. 7-8:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 7.