Global human rights focus of UMass Dartmouth lecture series

UMass Dartmouth will host a series of major lectures this spring focusing on global human rights issues. Speakers include a man who spent 10 years imprisoned in Sudanese, a photographer who has used her camera to raise awareness of worldwide oppression, and an advocate of "grass roots globalization."

"It's important that we become more aware of the intersection of human rights and the global economy,'' said Adrianne Schaefer, a junior from Plymouth who is a member of the newly formed student group Social Change Society, and an organizer of the lectures. "These are issues that my generation needs to confront.'' 

All of the lectures are free and open to the public. The lecture schedule is as follows: 

April 5th,  Francis Bok, Main Auditorium, 7 p.m. 
At the age of seven, Francis Bok was taken captive by a Northern Sudanese raider and enslaved for the next 10 years. After escaping from his master, a corrupt police force, and the Sudanese security forces, Bok was given UN Refugee Status. Bok finally reached freedom in the United States, and has devoted his time to speaking out against slavery ever since. He wrote of his ordeal in the 2003 book, "Escape from Slavery." 

April 12, Paula Allen, Woodland Commons, 7 p.m. 
Paula Allen has been an "activist with a camera" for more than two decades. She has concentrated on photographing women around the world in their courageous and often invisible confrontations with violence and oppression. From Mexico to Kosovo, Allen has documented women's determination in the pursuit of freedom, truth and justice. 

May 2, Kevin Danaher, Woodland Commons, 4 p.m. 
As Global Exchange's co-founder, Dr. Danaher gives lectures and conducts workshops on issues ranging from the dynamics of the global economy to how we can replace the power of transnational corporations with local green economy networks. A longtime critic of the so-called "free trade" agenda, Dr. Danaher explains how we must work with other countries to reduce poverty and inequality if we want the cooperation of the world's people in ending terrorism. 

The series is being supported by the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Student Affairs. 

Also during the week of April 3, students have planned additional events to focus attention on global human rights issues. 

Meanwhile, a faculty led series of dialogues focusing on civic engagement and service learning is also being planned.  This series will feature a public lecture by Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen. The date and time of this lecture will be announced shortly.

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