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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

University of Minnesota to Host Academic Conference "Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity"

Mexico is facing a human rights situation of grave proportions: According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 151,233 people have been killed in the past decade in a time of non-war, and thousands of women and girls are sexually assaulted or are victims of femicide. In this critical moment, the Human Rights Program, in conjunction with openGlobalRights, the Stassen Chair of International Affairs, and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico, is hosting an academic conference on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30, 2015, to bring attention and further discussion to the status of human rights in Mexico. Titled "Human Rights in Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity," the conference will bring together a talented group of scholars, practitioners, and experts to examine and reflect on a wide range of topics and issues related to the current human rights crisis in Mexico-from the role of civil society to the transnational human rights movements to the monitoring of violations.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Human Rights Scholar Discusses Human Rights and Nation Building in Sri Lanka

According to Professor Deepika Udagama, Sri Lanka is a country of contrasts, demonstrating a liberal ethos in regards to development and social issues but lacking the political capacity to  effectively acknowledge the pluralist nature of its diverse population. Udagama, the Head of the Department of Law at the University of Peradeniya, was featured at the October 7 session of the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies (HGMV) bi-weekly workshop, sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS), the Human Rights Program and the Department of Sociology. A specialist in International Human Rights law, Professor Udagama served as Sri Lanka's alternate member to the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of human rights in the early 2000s and co-authored a report for that body on Globalization and its impact on Human Rights.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sir Nigel Rodley meets with Human Rights Program, Students

On October 6, 2015, the Human Rights Program, joined by David Weissbrodt of the law school and students of the graduate minor in Human Rights, met for a luncheon discussion with Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, a human rights lawyer, scholar, and activist.

An early advisor to Amnesty International, Sir Nigel Rodley has been an influential contributor to the global human rights movement of the second half of the 20th century. Within the framework of the United Nations, he served as both the Special Rapporteur on torture (1993-2001) and as a Member of the Human Rights Committee beginning in 2001. He is also the President of the International Commission of Jurists. He has also served in an academic capacity, having formerly taught at Dalhousie University, the New School for Social Research in New York, and the London School of Economics. Currently, he is the Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex.

What's in a name? Exploring How We Define Genocide from Lemkin to International Law

How does the Native American experience line up with legal and other definitions of genocide?  This was the question at the heart of the presentation of Joe Eggers, an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies student who presented his work at the September 30, workshop on Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies (HGMV).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogging the UN: Reporting on the Social Good Summit

Amanda Kruger, a senior studying political science and history, was selected to blog about the UN’s goals on sustainability in New York City as part of its “Social Good Summit,” involving student activists in promoting positive global change.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop Public Reading Organized by Human Rights Scribe

On Saturday, October 24th, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW) will hold a reading at Hamline University. The reading, organized by MFA candidate Mike Alberti as part of the Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, will feature the work of several writers currently incarcerated in Minnesota state correctional facilities. MPWW instructors will read pieces of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction on behalf of their students, and two formerly incarcerated alumni of MPWW classes will read their own work aloud for the first time. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Program to Welcome Mexican Scholars and Activists for Dialogue on Human Rights in Mexico

The Human Rights Program, in conjunction with openGlobalRights, the Stassen Chair of International Affairs, and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico, is hosting an academic conference on October 29-30, 2015, to address the status of human rights in Mexico. "Human Rights in Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity" will bring together scholars, practitioners, and experts to reflect on the current human rights crisis in Mexico, including the role of civil society, transnational human rights movements, and the monitoring of violations. The conference is free and open to the public. All sessions will be presented in English.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Peace Talk with Atomic Bomb Survivor Michiko Harada

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb in two cities in Japan, the University of Minnesota was proud to host on September 29, 2015 Ms. Michiko Harada, who travelled for the first time to the United States from Nagasaki, Japan. With the support of the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, which was celebrating 60 years of partnership and support between the cities, Ms. Harada was able to take the time to discuss not only her story as a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) but also her motivation behind and work advocating for peace.