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.

Jennifer Baumgardner

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Film Showing – “I Was Raped”

Baumgardner PosterMonday, October 27, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

First cut showing of the documentary, followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

The “I Was Raped” Project highlights the prevalence of rape in our culture and the silence and shame that surrounds it. The goal of this project is to add nuance to the cultural conversation around rape as well as give rape survivors a voice. In the film, eight women and one man tell their rape stories.

Co-sponsored by Women’s Studies, Community Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, Office of the Dean of Students, and The Zatae Longsdorff Center for Women.

Topical Background
In the general population of the United States, rape statistics show that one out of every six women will be raped in her lifetime. On a typical college campus, one out of eight women will be raped during her time at school alone. However, the numbers of reported rapes are drastically lower than the numbers of actual rapes committed. Surveys show that an estimated sixty percent of all rape victims leave their assaults unreported. Victims are more likely to suffer from depression, alcohol abuse, post traumatic Read more

Dr. Joseph Taylor – "Joseph Priestley Award"

Binary Pulsars and Relativistic Gravity

Joseph Taylor PosterTuesday, October 21, 2008
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:30 p.m.

Pulsars are neutron stars — the extremely dense, strongly magnetized, rapidly spinning remnants of supernova explosions. They also appear to be nature’s most precise clocks. Discovery of the first orbiting pulsar opened a new subfield of astrophysics in which the relativistic nature of gravity is tested through precise comparisons of “pulsar time” with atomic time here on earth. Among other results, the experiments have demonstrated the existence of gravitational waves, as predicted by Einstein’s theory of gravity.

About the Speaker
Dr. Joseph Taylor is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University. He is the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Dr. Taylor taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, from 1968 to 1980, and since then in the Physics Department, Princeton University. From 1997 to 2003 he also served as Dean of the Faculty at Princeton. He earned a BA in physics, with honors, from Haverford College in 1963, and a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1968. His research is in radio astronomy, especially the study of pulsars and their applications to experimental gravitation.

Dr. Read more

David Stovall

Assistant Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education and the

Department of African Studies, University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC)

Same Dynamics, New Directions: Centering Race, Class and Gender in Transformative Education

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Join us for “Continuing the Conversation”
Friday, October 1, 2008
HUB Side Room 206 – 12:30 p.m.

Why are many teacher training programs still reluctant to forefront the complexities of race, class, and gender in k-12 education? The discussion identifies a process that centers the preparation of teachers in an explicit investigation of race, class and gender in teaching. Within this discussion is a set of processes that colleges and universities can engage to begin an intentional commitment to transformative education.
David Stovall Poster
Topical Background
Critical race theory analyzes the roles of race/racism in daily life. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences have utilized this approach to name, analyze and work against the oppressive power of racism. In education, critical race theory has enabled educators to understand the dynamics of race/racism in the classroom and in the communities that schools serve. Critical race theory is “critical” in that it challenges conventional theories of race while working
Read more

Aishah Simmons

Award Winning Filmmaker

Film Showing: “No! The Rape Documentary”

Aishah Simmons PosterWednesday, October 15, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

This groundbreaking documentary explores the international reality of rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism and cultural work of African Americans.

Topical Background

Every two minutes another person is subjected to sexual assault. In total, 17.7 million American women have been victims of rape or attempted rape. Through the ground-breaking work of Aishah Shahidah Simmons, more people than ever are becoming educated about these tragic facts.

No! The Rape Documentary is a film that explores the issue of rape on an international scale. Specifically, the film works to bring the prevalence of sexual violence in the African-American community to the forefront. Survivors, scholars and viewers alike have praised the film. Further, as a testament to the power and reach of the documentary, it has been seen in countries from Nepal to Brazil, Rwanda, and Hungary, crossing boundaries both physically and linguistically.

The issue of sexual abuse is especially pertinent in a college community, where college age women are 4 times more likely to be assaulted than women outside the 18 to 22 Read more

Isabel Franc, prize-winning lesbian novelist

Isabel Franc Poster

LGBT Rights in Spain: Writing and Social Change

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

What role can the writer play in bringing about social change? Franc, who grew up during the repressive dictatorship of Franco, addresses this question in the context of Spain’s gay and lesbian movement.

Topical Background
From the end of the Spanish Civil war in 1939 until 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco governed Spain autocratically, based on nationalism and traditionalism. As part of an imposed national unity, Spanish was the only official language, even though other languages were widely used in certain regions of the country. Censorship controlled every aspect of culture. Dissidents and opponents of the regime were imprisoned or they simply disappeared. During his rule, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community was severely stifled. Not only was homosexuality illegal, but there were very few references to homosexuality in literature, cinema and music. Any references that did survive censorship were negative in tone. Despite this culture of oppression, a clandestine gay scene began to emerge in Barcelona in the 1960s.
Franco’s death in 1975 provided an impetus for drastic political and social change. Spain transitioned peacefully and relatively smoothly from Read more

Dikembe Mutombo

NBA all star with the Houston Rockets and human rights activist


Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:00 p.m.

Dikembe Mutombo, the center for the Houston Rockets in the NBA and a central figure in improving the quality of life for people in his birthplace, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will discuss human rights issues. Mutombo is chairman and president of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation Inc., which is dedicated to improving the lives of people of the Congo through an emphasis on primary health care and disease prevention, the promotion of health policy, health research and increased access to health care education.

Co-sponsored by American Studies, Sociology, History and Athletic Departments. Read more

Debate: Should Pennsylvania Legalize Marijuana?

Allen St. Pierre,

Executive Director, NORML and the NORML Foundation

David Freed,

Cumberland County District Attorney

Professor Daniel Kenney,

Dickinson College, Moderator

Marijuana Poster
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Thousands of Pennsylvanians each year are arrested for possessing and using marijuana. Does this policy of jailing marijuana users make any sense? What are the reasons for this policy? What are the reasons against it? Our panelists will debate these issues prior to a general question-and-answer period.

“Continuing the Conversation”
Stern Center, Room 102 – immediately following the debate

Topical Background
The debate concerning the legality or illegality of marijuana use has been going on for at least 70 years. However, Starting in the 1970s, twelve states (AK, CA, CO, ME, MN, NE, NV, NY, NC, OH and OR) began to decriminalize marijuana for personal use. Despite this trend, Pennsylvania continues to incarcerate and fine people convicted of possessing and distributing marijuana. Currently in the United States, more people are arrested per year for marijuana-related crimes than for all violent crimes.

Why is it that although the possession of obscene materials in one’s own home can’t be prosecuted, the private possession and use of marijuana are still Read more

Drinking Age Debate

Legal Age 21 after 23 Years: Has it Worked? Is it Working?

Drinking Age Debate Poster
Thursday, March 6, 2008
7:00 p.m. – Holland Union Building, Social Hall

John McCardell, Founder and Director, Choose Responsibility
Chuck Hurley ’67, Chief Executive Officer, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Douglas Edlin, professor of political science, moderator

Link to NBC Nightly News Coverage of this program
Results from ballots passed out at the Drinking Age Debate Program:
57 People Voted for Lowering the Drinking Age to 18
28 People Voted for Keeping the Drinking Age at 21
(140 audience members – 85 ballots received)

The National Minimum Legal Drinking Age Act (NMLDA)has now been on the books for almost 24 years. During that time, we have had the opportunity to observe, measure, and experience its effects. Like most laws, the NMLDA has intended and unintended consequences. The purpose of this program is to explore those consequences in as serious, informed, dispassionate, and comprehensive a way possible, and to consider whether any change in the law, or any reorientation of public policy is warranted. This debate involves statistics, probabilities, charts, formulae, and tables. It also involves human lives. Every life lost to alcohol, in whatever setting, is lamentable, tragic. Read more

Sister Helen Prejean

Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues

Sr. Helen Prejean poster
Thursday, October 4, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents: Wrongful Executions. Sister Helen is a Southern storyteller who brings you on a journey and shares her experiences involved with her death penalty ministry while working with the poor. She is the author of Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents: Wrongful Executions. Book signing to follow. Co-sponsored by The Legislative Initiative Against the Death Penalty, Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley, community service and religious life, and the religion, philosophy, and English departments.

Join us for a student-led discussion “Continuing the Conversation” to be held on Friday, October 5, 12:30 p.m. at The Clarke Forum. Bring a bag lunch.

Issue in Context
Since 1976, there have been 1,095 executions in the United States. The death penalty has been used as a form of punishment in America since the founding of the colonies as Europeans brought the practice with them to the New World. The methods of execution have evolved over the years from hanging, to the firing squad, the electric chair in 1890, the gas chamber in 1924, and Read more

Research Protection vs. Research Promotion

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Research Protection vs. Research Promotion
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Research Protection vs. Research Promotion

Issue in Context
The basis of all science lies in repeatable experiments that yield evidentiary results for or against a hypothesis. The only way to obtain relevant results about human response is to utilize human subjects in the experiment. However, doing experiments with human subjects instigates a deluge of complications. The demand for better regulation of human research experiments began with the Nuremburg Code after the Nazi exploitation of unconsenting prisoners of concentration camps. Now Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) carefully examine every step of the research process, from experiment design to the relevance of the potential findings to selecting human subjects. These boards, established by the US Department Health, Education and Welfare, are responsible for determining and preserving the fine line between sufficiently protecting research subjects and unnecessarily hindering research processes.

About the Speaker
Marjorie A. Speers, Ph.D is the current executive director of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). From 1999 to 2001 she was acting Executive Director of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. She also managed the development of a report on the research oversight system, “Ethical and Read more

Code of the Street: Violence and the Inner City Poor

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Code of the Street: Violence and the Inner City Poor
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Code of the Street
Issue in Context
In an attempt to explain why many urban youths are prone to commit acts of violence and aggression, Dr. Anderson has identified a common set of street mores, termed the “code of the street.” Often termed “street justice,” the code allows individuals to command respect in society and alleviates the problems of inner city violence by relying on a strategy of deterrence. Often, the threat of implied violence is used to avoid the use of actual violence

The code reaches beyond the limits of the law, and helps residents gain a sense of security and belonging. The concept of “street justice” provides an alternative method for afflicted inner-city areas to manage their own problems in the face of an increasingly ineffectual police force.

About the Speaker
Elijah Anderson is the Charles and William L. Day Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the director for the Philadelphia Ethnography Project, associate editor of Qualitative Sociology, and a member of the board of directors of the American Academy Read more

Indigenous Australia: A Contemporary Snapshot

Wednesday, February 8
Indigenous Australia: A Contemporary Snapshot
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Australia Poster
Issue in Context
Indigenous Australians, commonly called Aborigines, form one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world. Native art, music, a strong faith, and family systems are key characteristics of the rich aboriginal culture, from the didgeridoo to dreamtime to fire-stick farming. Believed to have arrived in Australia about 40,000 years ago, there were 350-750 distinct groups with different dialects and languages when English colonists arrived in the eighteenth century.

Settlers did not value the native customs and values and gradually forced simulation across the country. Massive dispossession of traditional lands, disease and direct violence caused a 90 percent population decrease of Aborigines between 1788 and 1900. The population plummet eventually leveled as communities developed resistance to diseases and adapted to their circumstances. However, many of the tribal cultures and languages had been lost. Their traditional nomadic lifestyle was no longer viable with the increase of appropriated land, and many Aborigines worked on farms, paid for their labor with food, clothing and other basic necessities. They were not legally Australian citizens, and could not vote. Further family and cultural damage occurred from the Australian government’s Read more

The First September 11: The Tragedy of U.S. Moral Ambivalence Toward Democracy and Torture in the "Condor Years" in Latin America

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The First September 11: The Tragedy of U.S. Moral Ambivalence Toward Democracy and Torture in the “Condor Years” in Latin America
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

First September 11
Issue in Context
When Americans hear the term 9/11, few associate it with the September 11, 1973 overthrow of Chile ‘s democratic government that marked the onset of cooperation between the United States and military regimes in Latin America. During the next decade, Washington turned a blind eye to the conduct of military regimes in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil that perpetrated horrific human rights abuses against both violent revolutionaries and defenders of democracy. In the name of combating the spread of communism, the United States backed a secret campaign to liquidate Latin American dissidents who sought asylum in other countries, “Operation Condor.” The Operation’s spies entered neighboring Latin American countries to track, monitor, and kill political adversaries. The most notorious Condor assassination took place in Washington, DC, in September 1976, when agents planted a car bomb that killed Chile’s former foreign minister Orlando Letelier and an American woman.

About the Speakers
John Dinges is a former foreign correspondent to Latin American countries and author of three Read more

The Age of Genocide

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
2005 Morgan Lecture
The Age of Genocide
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Issue in Context
Genocide is defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as the deliberate and systematic destruction,“in whole or in part of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

During World War II, Winston Churchill stated that the world was facing “a crime without a name.” In the wake of the Holocaust, Raphael Lemkin, a Polish legal scholar, sought to formulate a term that could encompass the killings, the objectives, and the methods of the Nazis against the Jewish population of Europe. Lemkin coined the word “genocide” from the Greek “genos” (race or tribe) and the Latin suffix “cide” (to kill). Lemkin’s struggle for the universal recognition of international law defining and forbidding genocide brought about the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Remembering the Holocaust, American leaders such as Jimmy Carter and George Bush, Sr. promised that “never again will the world fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime,” but the history of the 20th century proved that genocide happened again and again across the globe. Read more

Race, Class, and Violence in America: Building Coalitions for Change

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Race, Class, and Violence in America: Building Coalitions for Change
Stern Center, Great Room 7:00 P.M.

Race Poster
Issue in Context
Between 1973 and 1994, the poverty rate for children in young families has doubled. Meanwhile, violent crime committed by youths has increased more than 78% in the past six years. According to statistics, shortly after the year 2050, the white majority in America will dissipate. This information is used on hate websites to negatively influence and scare young people into believing America is not the country it once was. It is clear that coalition building is more important than ever if the current younger generation is to have any hope for a successful future.

Thirty years ago, white residents of a Boston neighborhood, known as Southi, pelted school buses carrying black students with rocks and tomatoes. This area of south Boston had the highest concentration of impoverished whites in America in the 1970’s; Southie also represented the face of racism in the northeast. Mob murders, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and frequent funerals for young people were rampant. Few insiders then or now have spoken out about this aspect of Boston.

Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in Southie Read more