Renowned actor Forest Whitaker sets up his Peace and Development Initiative in poor Paris suburb

AUBERVILLIERS, France (AP) — Renowned actor Forest Whitaker, who has portrayed a dictator, a Mafia hitman, a butler, has taken on what for some may be his most inspirational role. Whitaker officially inaugurated on Wednesday his Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative in Seine-Saint-Denis, meant to bring business, communication and conflict resolution skills to the young people of France’s poorest region. Free classes are being offered in a small space with big ideas in Aubervilliers, outside Paris. It is Whitaker’s first foray into Europe, and the ninth country where his non-governmental organization operates, all light years from the lights of Hollywood and wards  bestowed  on him for his film career. His presence in Aubervilliers forms part of an arc that included his work with child soldiers in Uganda.