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Human Rights Conference registration open

Pullman- Registration is now open for the third annual joint Idaho-Washington regional “Finding the Center: An Action-Oriented Human Rights Conference,” April 12-14 at the University of Idaho.

The theme of the conference this year is “The Power of Transformation.” It is designed to provide new tools, techniques and skills for furthering the cause of human rights and dignity for all.

The conference brings to the area noted speakers and workshop leaders from throughout the country to share their knowledge and insights with education leaders, local government and religious and civic organizations to draft strategies to create the blueprints for human rights in their own communities.

“The future of human rights in our communities is up to us, and the definition of our aspirations can only come through deliberate focus and action,” said Conference Planning Committee Co-Chair Francisco Salinas.

Speakers for the conference include:

– Randie S. Gottlieb, founder of UNITYWORKS LLC, founder of the MONA foundation and recipient of the Ansin Intercultural Research Award.

– Balbir Mathur, founder of “Trees for Life,” an organization that helps people plant fruit trees in developing countries.

– Rev. John L. Selders Jr, the founding organizing pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, Conn., care coordinator of Zezzo House (an 18-unit housing project), lecturer at Yale university and the University of San Francisco, and lead principal for The Human Connection Project.

– Anna Boluda, journalist, filmmaker and Fulbright Scholar. Boluda produces film documentaries focusing on politicized families such as multi-racial, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, single parent and families with disabilities. She will show her film, “Queer Spawn,” during the conference.

Conference participants will also see a multimedia performance by Living Voices called Northwest Passages. The performance will take the audience through the gold rush, labor struggles and world war. These events shape the passages of a Swedish family who immigrate to Washington State to build a new life and struggle against prejudice.

The conference opens with the keynote address April 12 in the university’s Administration Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Sessions between 8:30 a.m. and noon April 13, in the Student Union Building Ballroom, are free and open to the public.

Conference co-Chair, Debi Robinson-Smith, said she is very excited about the quality of speakers and performers this conference is able to attract.

“Following the conference, we want people to return to their families, schools, and work places feeling confident in their ability to talk about differences and truly respect people who are different from them,” said Robinson-Smith. “This is becoming increasingly important as our society is becoming more global in nature.”

People are encouraged to register for the conference online at Registration forms can also be obtained at the University of Idaho’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) #230, or WSU’s Women’s Resource Center, Wilson Hall #8.

The Registration for the conference is $100 per participant and includes access to workshops, speakers, five meals and conference materials. Some scholarships for the conference are available. To apply for a scholarship, call (208) 885-7716.

“Finding the Center” represents a unique collaboration by University of Idaho, Washington State University, the Cities of Moscow and Pullman, the Center for Health, Education and Economic Resources, the Latah County Human Rights Task Force, the YWCA of WSU, and the Fund for Idaho.

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