March 21, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will join schools across the nation in hosting the Human Rights Awareness Tour in April. Events at Bucknell will be held April 7 to 11.

The Human Rights Awareness Tour features a group of traveling student organizers, non-governmental organizations, film makers, bands, photographers, journalists, artists, poets and performers who have united in an effort to promote human rights and establish the notion as a nationwide concern.

"This exciting campus event presents a great opportunity for members of the Bucknell community to educate themselves about human rights issues and ways that they can get involved with the many organizations that work to limit abuses worldwide," said Bucknell junior Cate Russell, student organizer and member of Students for Fair Trade. "We'd like to invite everyone to attend and learn."

Events at Bucknell include two featured speakers as well as a documentary film, art exhibit, coffee night and a fashion show. The following events are open to the public without charge.

Human Rights in Africa
Berhanu Nega, an international scholar with Bucknell's economics department, will give the  talk, "Human Rights and Western Policy in Africa," on Monday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center.

A former professor of economics at Bucknell and at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, he established and directed the first independent economic policy research institute in Ethiopia. He also established the Ethiopian Maize Agro-Industrial Share Company, dedicated to the production of affordable foods for Ethiopia’s population.

Nega, who became the first elected mayor in Ethiopia's history in 2005, was charged with treason, inciting violence, and trying to overthrow the government along with most of the other leaders of the opposition. He spent a year and a half as a prisoner of conscience before being released this past July.

Labor Rights
Julie Elkins, spokesperson for the President's Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility out of the University of Connecticut, will discuss, "Labor Rights," on Thursday, April 10, at 5 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center [Note change in time and location.]

The University of Connecticut, along with several other universities across the country, founded the Workers' Rights Consortium to secure safety and appropriate remuneration for laborers.

Elkins helped to draft the Designated Suppliers Program which asks universities to demand that logo apparel be manufactured in factories that comply with its clauses. These include, among many others, the right to a fair, living wage, which is often much higher than minimum wages of the country; a safe working environment, in which the employees are not subjected to toxins or forced into unpaid overtime; and the freedom to form a workers' union without prosecution.

Other events include:

Tuesday, April 8: "The Big Sellout," 7:30 p.m., Gallery Theatre, Elaine Langone Center. This documentary explores the impact of the privatization of basic public services across the globe, and tells the story of individuals who live with the effects of privatization politics in their everyday lives. For more details, visit the official site at

Wednesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 10: an exhibit of still photography and art at the Bertrand Library.

Wednesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 10: touring artists will perform on the uphill lawn of the Elaine Langone Center.
Wednesday, April 9: Fair Trade Coffee Night Fair: 6 to 9 p.m., Arches Lounge, Elaine Langone Center. Tour member Phil Czaja will give a presentation of fair trade. The event features coffee and chocolate, information on fair trade and sweatshop-free companies, acoustic music and poetry reading.

Friday, April 11: No Sweat Fashion Show, 5 to 7 p.m., Bison, Elaine Langone Center. The No Sweat Fashion Show will feature student models, acoustic music, and a presentation on sweatshops by fashion show coordinator Catherine Dagon. Information on sweatshop-free companies and organizations will be available.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted March 21, 2008