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Jack Healey

Posted Feb. 28, 2008

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Jack Healey, a leader in the human rights movement for more than 25 years, will give a rare public talk titled "Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Burma Today" at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in Bucknell University's Trout Auditorium.

The talk, part of the University's celebration of its 150-year-old connection with Burma, is free and open to the general public. For more about the series, visit "The Burma-Bucknell Connection."

Healey, dubbed "Mr. Human Rights" by U.S. News & World Report, is currently executive director of The Freedom Campaign. He is the founder of Human Rights Action Center and is the former executive director of Amnesty International-USA.

As the U.S. News story described him: "Nondescript and slightly rumpled, there is no hint that he is anything special. No clue that he is friends with a pantheon of celebrities -- from Bruce Springsteen to Meryl Streep -- or that VIPs from Hollywood moguls to New York power brokers call to ask what they can do for him."

Amnesty International
In the 1980s, Healey helped to make Amnesty International a household name by pioneering four successful music tours, including the Conspiracy of Hope and Human Rights Now! tours featuring U2, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Miles Davis, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Lou Reed.

The Freedom Campaign is currently working on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, the only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the world. Suu Kyi's political party won more than 82 percent of the vote in Burma's last election. But instead of being declared the elected leader of the country, Burma's military junta placed her under house arrest where she has remained for more than 10 of the last 16 years.

Healey also is executive producer of For the Lady, a 27-artist compilation album featuring songs donated from Paul McCartney, U2, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, Avril Lavigne, and others. Sales proceeds go to the U.S. Campaign for Burma in an effort to free Aung San Suu Kyi and end human rights violations in Burma.

March on Washington
Among his life-long credits, Healey, a former priest, helped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organize the March on Washington in 1963. From 1969 to 1974, he devised walk-a-thons to raise $14 million for Freedom from Hunger.

After four years with the Peace Corps, he became director of Amnesty International-USA and increased membership from 30,000 to 400,000. He left in 1994 to found the Human Rights Action Center (HRAC) with the goal of moving the world toward nonviolence through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

As HRAC director, Healey recently rebuilt a factory in Bosnia for war widows, started a campaign to print the UDHR in the passports of all citizens, and produced five days of sold-out music in Seattle and CDs called Groundwork with Mel Ciccone and Punks for Human Rights with Joe Strummer. He has also raised $1 million for the fight against world hunger, working with artists R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, and the Wall Flowers.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Feb. 28, 2008

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