May 2013 Archives

kate.jpg As I write this, I'm still coming down from the adrenaline rush of defending my MFA thesis, a book-length essay about the connections between spiritual contemplative practice and the evolution of solitary confinement in American prisons. Looking back, it's difficult for me to imagine what my thesis would have looked like had I not received support from the Human Rights Program through the Scribes for Human Rights Fellowship last summer. The financial support, contacts, and expertise I gained as a Fellow helped me to grasp the terrifying reality of solitary confinement through the impact it has on individual lives.

Justice Postponed in Guatemala

In a conviction that initially reassured observers around the world, former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, was found guilty on May 10 of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was the first head of state held to account for such atrocities in a national tribunal. Continue reading Lauren Carasik's coverage of the Ríos Montt trial at the Boston Review.

Photos: Women and girls who've changed their world

Through his exhibition "Stirring the Fire," photographer Phil Borges is shedding light on gender issues worldwide and celebrating women and girls who have become catalysts for change in their communities. Many had to break through the same kind of barriers to achieve social and economic justice. Click here to view CNN's coverage of Phil Bordges's photography.

Hundreds of people who live in Minnesota are here because they fear persecution, even death, in their home countries. "They're held in jail and they're treated horribly," says Mark Lee, a lawyer who helps refugees win asylum here. "They're beaten and abused in ways that is hard to imagine." Continue reading MPR's profile of Make Lee.

Barb.jpgFor the first five months of 2013, thanks to a Fulbright-García Robles award, I have had the pleasure and challenge of teaching and researching about human rights in Mexico. My experience here has been among the most rewarding of my career. I have been based in Mexico City, which is the most stimulating place I have ever lived, with its crush of people, traffic, street life, culture and politics.

Axworthy.jpgThe Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, distinguished Canadian politician and current president of the University of Winnipeg, envisioned the future of humanitarian intervention before a crowd of students and community members on Tuesday, May 21. Axworthy's experience in the Canadian Foreign Ministry in the 1990s allowed him the opportunity to contribute invaluably the creation of the Mine Ban Treaty, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine--the subject of Tuesday afternoon's talk.

Inna.jpgThe Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies are thrilled to present Whitney Taylor and Katie Menke, both graduating seniors, as the recipients of the 3rd annual human rights awards. Whitney Taylor received the Sullivan Ballou award, and Katie Menke received the Inna Meiman Award. These two exemplary students have demonstrated incredible aptitude, commitment, and passion in their service of others throughout their time at the University of Minnesota, and we are proud to recognize their outstanding accomplishments this coming Friday, May 3rd. We hope you will join us in the celebration! Lunch and cake will be provided.

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