Human Rights – 2008 – 2009 Annual Theme

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. “These rights are thought by many to be the ultimate foundation of human dignity, freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”
From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the famine in the Congo, the genocide in Darfur, to the injustices and inequities that plague our own country, issues regarding human rights affect us all. During 2008-2009, The Clarke Forum will explore these issues in a number of different contexts and from a variety of different perspectives. In particular, we plan to address torture, terrorism, racism, sexism, homophobia, immigration, human trafficking, health care, and the right to basic human needs, including food, clothing, and housing.

Mehdi Bozorgmehr

backlash poster web

Associate Professor of Sociology, City University of New York

Backlash 9/11

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

For most Americans, September 11, 2001 symbolizes the moment when their security was altered. For Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans, 9/11 also ushered in a backlash in the form of hate crimes, discrimination, and a string of devastating government initiatives. From the viewpoint of the targeted populations, the backlash spoke louder than official proclamations to the contrary. Instead of capitulating, however, organizations representing Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans mobilized to demonstrate their commitment to the United States while defending their rights. They distanced themselves from terrorists and condemned their actions; educated the public about the Middle East and the Muslim faith; and actively involved their constituents in voter-registration, know-your-rights forums, and civic and political integration activities.

This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of the post-9/11 events on Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans as well as their organized response for inclusion in America’s social, religious and political mosaic. Through fieldwork and interviews with leaders of community-based organizations across the country, the authors have researched the unfolding of this process since its inception. Backlash 9/11 introduces a Read more

Elaine Brown

Executive Director of the Michael Lewis Legal Defense Committee and former leader of the Black Panther Party

The Condemnation of Little B–New Age Racism in America

elaine Brown posterWednesday, September 9, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

In 1997, Michael “Little B” Lewis, a 13 year-old black adolescent, was sentenced to life imprisonment following his adult conviction for a murder Brown says he did not commit. What is the nexus between this tragedy and the relentless ramifications of slavery for black people in America, duplicitously entrenched now as a national policy of “New Age Racism?”
This program is sponsored by The Women’s Center, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Sociology, The President’s Office of Institutional & Diversity Initiatives, and The Office of Diversity Initiatives.

Topical Background
The case of Michael Lewis, known as “Little B,” to some extent symbolizes current race relationships in the United States. At 13 years old, Lewis was arrested, tried and convicted as an adult for a murder that Brown believes he did not commit. Lewis was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. This case is an indirect reflection of the state of race relations in the U.S., as indicated by Read more

Dr. Michael Walzer

Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and Author

Walzer Poster

Just and Unjust Wars

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

What are the underlying principles that distinguish just from unjust wars? In particular, how do the principles of proportionality and responsibility apply to situations of asymmetric warfare, such as the recent violence in the Gaza Strip?

Topical Background
Just War Theory has two dimensions: jus ad bellum and jus in bellum. The former refers to the justification for war while the latter refers to the conduct of war. A major issue regarding both dimensions is the principle of proportionality. This principle requires that the benefits of the war must be proportional to its expected harms and that the force used must be proportional to the wrong suffered and the possible anticipated benefit. The number of civilian casualties has an important bearing on the principle of proportionality.

Other dimensions of jus ad bellum include legitimate authority, intention, and last resort. Additional dimensions of jus in bellum involve distinction and military necessity. Distinction requires that force be directed solely at enemy combatants instead of non-combatant civilians. The concept of military necessity dictates that an Read more

Violence in Gaza: A Panel Discussion

Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Depot – 7:00 p.m.

David Commins, Benjamin Rush distinguished chair in liberal arts and sciences and professor of history at Dickinson College
Itzchak Weismann, visiting assistant professor of history at Dickinson on leave from the University of Haifa in Israel
Sherifa D. Zuhur, research professor of Islamic and Regional Studies, U. S. Army War College
Moderated by Ed Webb, assistant professor of political science and international studies at Dickinson Read more

Euthanasia: Whose Right to Die is It?

Monday, April 13, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.
Euthanasia Poster

“Continuing the Conversation” will be held
immediately following the presentation, Stern 102.

Dr. Greg Lewis, Carlisle physician
Carol Poenisch, daughter Dr. Kevorkian’s 19th patient
Linda Smith, hospice nurse
Jim Hoefler, Dickinson professor of political science and policy studies

A panel discussion reflecting diverse perspectives, viewpoints, and experiences regarding physician-assisted suicide.

This program was created by the Clarke Forum Student Board.

Topical Background
In the 1990 case of Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether American citizens have a constitutional “right to die.” The Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that “the Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ The principle that a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment may be inferred from our prior decisions.” “Accordingly, the liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause must protect, if it protects anything, an individual’s deeply personal decision to reject medical treatment, including the artificial delivery of food and water.”

Seven years later, in the cases of Washington v. Glucksberg Read more

Kevin Bales

Author and President of Free the Slaves

The End of Slavery

Kevin Bales PosterTuesday, April 7, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

The world’s leading expert on contemporary slavery will share his vision on how to end slavery in our time. Co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

Topical Background
According to human rights organizations, scholars, government agencies and journalists, slavery exists in virtually every country of the world and in almost every U.S. state. A growing antislavery movement has been hard at work documenting and exposing this troubling discovery.

Although slavery is illegal in every country of the world, it is estimated that there are more slaves today than ever before: 27 million, which is twice as many as the number of Africans enslaved during the four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade.

Slavery has evolved since the American Civil War when antebellum slavery meant that one person was owned completely by another and could be inherited as property. Today’s slavery, however, is defined as one person forcing another to work without pay, by the use of violence or psychological manipulation.

The different types of slavery that still persist today are:

•Chattel Slavery, where slaves are considered their masters’ Read more

Nadine Strossen

Former President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)

Morgan Lecture

Challenges to Civil Liberties

Nadine Strossen PosterThursday, April 2, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

An interactive and informal conversation with the former ACLU president concerning current and future threats and challenges to civil liberties.

Co-sponsored by Department of Sociology, Department of Political Science, Office of Dean of Students, Women’s Center and Career Center.

Topical Background
In reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration enacted a series of strong counter-terrorism measures. These policies included aggressive detention procedures, extraordinary rendition of prisoners to various countries, harsh interrogation tactics, and a sweeping domestic and international surveillance policy. While these anti-terrorist policies were all pursued in the name of protecting the country, some contended that they represented a serious threat to civil liberties. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the nation’s oldest and largest civil liberties organization, vigorously opposed these policies from their inception, fighting them in courtrooms and legislative bodies, with varying levels of success.

Both supporters and opponents of former President Bush are closely watching the Obama Administration to see what policies he will pursue in the ongoing war on terrorism. President Obama has already made significant changes, such Read more

Alicia Partnoy

Author and Human Rights Activist from Argentina

Alicia Partnoy Poster

Writing and the Disappeared of Latin America

Monday, March 30, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

A survivor’s perspective on the role of the writer in the struggle against feminicide and the “disappearing” of political dissidents in Latin America.

Co-sponsored by Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and First-Year Seminars.

Topical Background
After Perón’s death in 1974, the Argentinean government was left in the hands of his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, who empowered the military and the police to eradicate subversion. In 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and carried on a seven-year campaign against individuals who opposed it. Many people were kidnapped and taken to secret detention centers where they were tortured and eventually killed.

Human rights groups in Argentina estimate the number of “disappeared” to be close to 30,000. Many of these were peaceful citizens, writers, workers, and housewives not involved in politics. The dictatorship forced many individuals into exile, especially intellectuals, artists, and political activists. Between 1970 and 1985, nearly half a million citizens left Argentina for other Latin American countries, the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, especially Spain.

About the Speaker Read more

Loretta Ross

Founding Member and National Coordinator of SisterSong

Loretta Ross Poster

Is Choice a Human Right? Reproductive Justice in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies.

Topical Background
Some consider a safe and healthy birth a human right. In the U.S., however, it is not a right that is fully protected for all women, especially women of color. African American women die during childbirth three to four times more often than white women.

SisterSong Women’s Health Collective is an organization attempting to limit needless deaths by shifting the focus of reproductive justice to the oppression women encounter during child birth through “their bodies, sexuality, labor and reproduction.” As the organization’s motto states, SisterSong is committed to “doing collectively what we cannot do individually.”

SisterSong began in 1997, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, and provides access to health services, along with relevant information and resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. In an effort to achieve reproductive justice, this collective works to “strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color” through public policy work, advocacy, service delivery and health education within our communities on the Read more

Chuck Cosson ’88

Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft, Author, and Metzger-Conway Fellow

Chuck Cosson Poster

Free the Internet?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Governments around the world are pressuring internet-related companies to comply with local laws that arguably conflict with internationally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy. How should companies like Microsoft respond

Topical Background
In the early 1960s, the United States government wanted to create a network that would allow officials to exchange classified scientific and military information on research and development. With concerns about the Cold War and a fear of the Soviet Union’s technological capabilities, those in command needed a communications system that would function during and after a nuclear attack.

In response to this situation, the government established the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a “galactic” computer network. Officially called ARPANET, this new system employed the theory of packet switching, where encoded messages are broken up into small pieces and transmitted over a channel, which formed the basis of internet connections. At first, ARPANET was connected to only four major computers at universities in the western United States (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah). Initially limited to only Read more

Michael Scheuer

Bestselling Author and Former Head of the CIA’s bin Laden Unit

Michael Scheuer Poster

Marching Toward Hell

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

“Continuing the Conversation” immediately following the presentation, Stern 102

What policies should the Obama administration pursue with regard to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Iran in the ongoing war against terrorism?

Topical Background
On September 20, 2001, President Bush officially launched the controversial “Global War on Terrorism”. “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda,” Bush proclaimed, “but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

Terrorism was defined in the first National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, published in February 2003, as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.”

The Bush administration initially identified two primary objectives in its “Global War on Terrorism”: to stop terrorist attacks against the United States, its citizens, its interests, and our friends and allies around the world and to create an international environment inhospitable to terrorists and all those who support them.

About the SpeakerMichael Scheuer Photo
Michael Scheuer worked at the CIA on national security issues related to Islamic extremism for Read more

Ruthann Russo ’80

Author, Ph.D., JD, MPH, RHIT and Metzger-Conway Fellow

Russo Poster

7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Book signing to follow.

President Obama has reviewed Dr. Russo’s book and provided supportive testimony for her work regarding how Americans can be proactive in their healthcare planning for themselves and their loved ones. Ruthann Russo Picture

The U.S. healthcare system is complex and challenging, but positive steps can be taken. Dr. Russo’s book, 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare, was reviewed by President Obama and he provided supportive testimony for her work. The following is a brief outline of the book:

•Step 1: Create Your Vision. Learn to develop a plan for your healthcare and health status using your own values, vision, and mission statements.

•Step 2: Own Your Story. Be informed about your medical records or healthcare biography.

•Step 3: Build Your Relationships. Be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a patient and learn how to improve communication between you and your physicians and other members of your healthcare team.

•Step 4: Assess Quality. Define exactly what quality in healthcare means to you and learn how to use internet-based tools to assess the Read more

Dan Fishback

New York Theater Artist

Dan Fishback Poster

You Never Get to Make Out

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Mathers Theatre – 7:00 p.m.

Dan Fishback is queer and Jewish and can’t tell the difference between the two. In his new talk, “You Never Get To Make Out,” the performance artist wonders why life in the shadow of death and destruction is so genuinely hilarious. Through a combination of humorous anecdotes and serious intellectual analysis, Fishback paints a portrait of post-Holocaust, post-80s-AIDS anxiety in an age of irony and detachment. Based largely on his new play, “You Will Experience Silence,” Fishback created this informal talk as a way to casually discuss philosophical issues without the dramatic pretenses of character, set design and heavy lighting equipment. Called “a cross between Woody Allen and Karen Finley,” his boisterous presence serves as a bridge between contemporary indie sensibility and classic Jewish humor.

Fishback with Boxes Fishback with Pig
Dan Fishback has been making surreal, political queer theater in NYC since 2003. His current work is being supported by the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. His past theater projects have been performed at Galapagos Art Space, Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and many other New York venues. In 2007, he sat on Read more

Generation Next and the 2008 Election

Generation Next PosterThursday, January 29, 2009
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:30 p.m.

Jeff Milstein, senior broadcast producer
Scott Keeter, director of Survey Research at Pew Research Center
Adora Mora, documentary participant
Moderated by Judy Woodruff, award-winning PBS journalist

What role did young Americans play in electing the first African-American president in the historic 2008 election?

Co-sponsored by the Office of Dean of Students, and Vice-President for Enrollment and College Relations.

View the PBS Generation Next documentary.

Video of the Program
Read more

Glenn Greenwald – EVENT CANCELLED

Bestselling Author and a Contributing Writer at

Greenwald Poster

Restoring Human Rights After Bush

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

What must President Barack Obama do to reverse former President Bush’s assault on our basic constitutional framework, reaffirm core American values, and protect basic human rights?

Co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science. Read more

Anthony Bonanno ’68

LL.M., Partner London Office Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Metzger-Conway


Human Rights: An Analysis of Saudi Arabia and the Impact of Islam

Bonanno PosterMonday, November 24, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Using Saudi Arabia as a case study, this talk will explore human rights in the Middle East from the perspective of the Muslim world and Sharia law. Particular attention will be paid to capital punishment, sexism, homophobia, immigration, divorce and inheritance.

Topical Background
Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Saudi royal family within a framework that is based on sharia law. Sharia law, in turn, is derived from the Qur’an, other religious texts of Islam, interpretations and precedents. Elements of sharia law, in some ways, stand in opposition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The practice of sharia law in Saudi Arabia has witnessed the oppression of minority groups, including religious and sexual minorities. In particular, women’s rights are often a point of contention because of the extent to which gender-based discrimination pervades Saudi society. These problems and concerns reappear in many other countries of the Middle East.

Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” concept is certainly worth considering when Read more

Election 2008: The Press and the Profundity of Race

Pamela Newkirk, associate professor of journalism, New York University

Pamela Newkirk PosterTuesday, November 11, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Andrews Fund.

Reception to follow sponsored by the Central PA Alumni Club.

Topical Background

In one of the most electrified and contested presidential elections in history, the American public faced daily bombardment of the latest statistics, allegations and controversies for more than a year by pollsters, pundits, analysts and journalists alike. But what was the role of race in the media coverage of the 2008 presidential election, and how might it have shaped popular opinion or fueled racial divisions?

Religion, race and gender have always played significant roles in America’s development. To say that the 2008 presidential election was historic is now a cliché. President-elect Barack Obama confronted (and continues to face) the issues of race that were left unresolved by our founding fathers and has persisted as a malignancy in the body politic ever since.
The media reported on an issue that has been debated for decades in elections featuring Black candidates: the “Bradley effect.” Tom Bradley was a former African-American mayor of Los Angeles who narrowly lost the 1982 California governor’s race to Republican George Read more

What Happened and Why? Election Wrap Up

Luke Bernstein ’01, Executive Director of the PA State Republican Party

Mary Isenhour, Executive Director of the PA State Democratic Party

Election Wrap up PosterThursday, November 6, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

“Continuing the Conversation” session following the program in Stern Center, Room 102. Refreshments sponsored by the Central PA Alumni Club.

The session to be moderated by James Hoefler, Political Science Department.

The race for president will surely take many interesting and unexpected twists and turns as the fall campaign season rolls on toward Election Day, November 4. Pennsylvania is traditionally one of the “must have” swing states and its 21 Electoral College votes promise to be among the most contested prizes in the county again this year. Join us for a session with two ultimate insiders for some insightful analysis of what happened and why.

About the Speakers

Luke Bernstein ’01, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Republican Party, worked last year with former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and guided the state GOP to many critical and successful wins in 2007. During the 2008 presidential race, he worked within the Republican Party to promote Republican Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain.

Mary Isenhour, executive director of the Pennsylvania Read more

What Voters Need to Know: The Implications for Domestic Policy

Election PosterThursday, October 30, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

A panel of Dickinson College professors will examine U.S. domestic policy to better understand the challenges Senator Obama or McCain will face if elected. Student representatives from College Democrats and College Republicans will ask questions of the panelists prior to the general question and answer session.

Topical Background
A country’s domestic policy is a set of guidelines which outline how the federal government will direct its internal affairs (the everyday lives of its citizens and their communities). The growth of transnational issues means that very few issues today are considered solely the province of domestic policy. However, topics such as the health care system, including both Medicare and Medicaid, the state of the economy and job creation, the rise of gas prices, the debate over illegal immigration, the educational system, the regulation of business and industry, and the protection of civil liberties have all been debated throughout the 2008 presidential election because their impact is visible and immediate for many American voters. More recently, attention has centered on the financial crisis, which has produced a credit freeze that many fear could result in an economic depression. A panel of Read more

What Voters Need to Know: Implications for International Policy

Election Poster

Panel Discussion with Dickinson Faculty

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

A panel of Dickinson College faculty will examine United States foreign relations to better understand the policy environment Senators Barack Obama or John McCain will face after the elections. Students representatives from College Democrats and College Republicans will ask questions of the panelists prior to a general question and answer session.

Topical Background
A country’s foreign policy is a set of guidelines which outline how the country will interact with other state and non-state actors economically, politically, socially and militarily. In our globalized world, an understanding of the important foreign policy issues in a presidential election is essential. Issues of this type that have been repeatedly discussed in the 2008 presidential race include the United States’ military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation, energy independence and global climate change, and the rise of new powers such as China and a resurgent Russia. When these security issues are combined with questions of diplomacy, such as U.S. relations with the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), international trade policy, foreign aid, and the perception of Read more