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Call for Nominations: 2014 Human Rights Awards

tenzin.jpgEach spring, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies celebrate the tremendous work of students in human rights with the Inna Meiman Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award. Faculty and staff: Please help us recognize the work of students in Human Rights by nominating committed undergraduates for the below awards. Students: We encourage you to self-nominate or nominate a peer who has truly impressed you. Please note that all applications and nominations are due by Monday, April 21, 2014.

The Enduring Spirit of Labor

enduring spirit.pngA series of events surrounding an art exhibition on labor and justice
Presented by The Human Rights Program, The Institute for Global Studies and The Department of Art

View the flyer.

Art Exhibition: April 22nd - May 3rd

Public Forum on the Intersection of Art and Activism: April 23rd, 6 - 7 PM

Public Reception: April 23rd, 7 - 9 PM

Historical Art Exhibition: April 1 - July 18

Aminatou Haidar Beyond Iberian Colonialisms.pngThe Global Studies Department at the University of Minnesota and the Iberian Studies Initiative for collaborative research present a conference that will illuminate and draw together the histories of Iberian colonialisms with the present realities of African immigration and cultural production. International scholars, poets and speakers will explore why contemporary poets are rallying to the Saharan cause.

Friday, April 5, 2014
Nolte Center 125
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker Aminatou Haidar is a Sahrawi human rights activist, advocate for the independence of Western Sahara, and president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Known as "Sahrawi Gandhi" for her nonviolent protests, she was imprisoned from 1987 to 1991 and from 2005 to 2006 on charges related to her independence advocacy. In 2009, she attracted international attention when she staged a hunger strike after being denied re-entry into Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Haidar has won several international human rights awards for her work, including the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2009 Civil Courage Prize. In 2012 she was nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize.

A related film screening and an educator workshop are also to take place April 4th and 5th. For more information, please view the complete event schedule here.

Meatpacking.pngThis past week, the Human Rights Program received news that a petition to the Inter-American Comission of Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the widespread, unsafe working conditions in US meatpacking plants will be heard before the court on March 25th. This petition--an effort of the Human Rights Program in partnership with the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, and the Southern Poverty Law Center--expressed severe concern on account of the dangerous and degrading work environment faced by meatpacking and poultry processing workers in the US.

Japanese cultural orientation.jpgWednesday, March 19, 2014
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Heritage Gallery
McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

The U of M Human Rights Program will host a night of wine, hors d'oeuvres, conversation, and fundraising this Wednesday in support of our students. College of Liberal Arts Interim Dan Raymond Duvall will give remarks and four former human rights interns will share their stories. The Human Rights Program supports opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to gain irreplaceable field experience in human rights organizations around the world. This summer we plan to send our magnificent human rights students to Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland, and Turkey, among other locations. They need our financial support. We also work to attract the best and brightest scholars and advocates to the University of Minnesota to study. Having a robust internship fund will help us to accomplish this goal. The reception will feature four former human rights interns: David Greenwood-Sanchez, Anna Meteyer, Kristen Rau, and Paul Walters. We hope to see you there!

foto.jpgVerena Stern is an Austrian Doctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, researching the situation of the undocumented immigrants in the European Union (E.U), particularly the Somali undocumented immigrants in Austria.

"I am a second year Political Science doctoral candidate at the University of Vienna, but I joined the University of Minnesota because of the reputable research and experts on the subject, and because of the large Somali community in the Twin cities," said Stern.

alejandro-baer.jpgOn Thursday, February 20th, University of Minnesota professor Alejandro Baer gave an enlightening lecture on his research on social memory, its cultural representations and its consequences. As the Director for the Center of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and as an Associate Professor in the department of Sociology, Baer is interested in identifying the culture of memory, looking at mass violence from different perspectives, and examining human rights within a sociological context. Continuing the theme of this spring's lecture series called "Reframing Mass Violence," Thursday's event was titled, "The Collective Memory of Mass Atrocities: Traveling Ghosts of the Holocaust."

Untitled 2 miles.pngOver 7 years ago, Dr. Miles created an online archive of 60,000 pages of government documents describing the medical system in "War on Terror" prisons, published at the online Human Rights library, hosted by the University of Minnesota. "Those documents were made available by the government through the Freedom of Information Act, but the government did not want the public to be able to analyze them," says Dr. Miles. "My idea was to connect the information for each case such as autopsy reports and death certificates in order to tell the larger story. The documents are useless unless you connect them. As a physician, I can read some of the documents better than historians could. Consider death certificates for example. I can see what is on the document and what is missing." The archive has over 1.5 million visitors- mainly researchers, attorneys who are engaged in prison work, and academics who study the system.

Untitled 2.pngSaturday, March 8
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, East Bank

Join us for a free public screening of The Act of Killing. We will be showing the Director's Cut, and a Q&A session with the highly-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated director, Joshua Oppenheimer, will follow from 8:30 -9:30pm. The filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.

March 6, 7, 8 & 11

Providing a forum for interdiscursive theoretical discussions and dialogue, The State of Iberoamerican Studies Series, at the Spanish and Portuguese Department, supports a number of critical symposia that bring together not only the monologues of traditional scholarly disciplines, but also the powerful, struggling and often unarticulated voices, postures and assumptions of contemporary non-canonical, grassroots cultural discourses. Organized by Luis Ramos-García, Nelsy Echávez-Solano, and Alberto Justiniano in collaboration with the College of St. Benedict / St. John's University; Teatro del Pueblo; and other interdepartmental, intercollegiate, and international organizations, this symposium on Human Rights as well as Art and Theater festival will take place at the University International Center; the Department of Art (Studios); Whiting Proscenium, Rarig Center; and at St. John's University Hispanic Studies.

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