Human Rights Conference planned for the Palouse

Pullman, Wash.—The third annual Finding The Center Human Rights Conference will take place at The University of Idaho in Moscow, April 12-14. It is billed as an action-oriented conference that will focus on “The Power of Transformation.”

Randie S. Gottlieb will kick-off the Conference with a keynote address. Gottlieb is the founder of UNITYWORKS—an organization that provides diversity training for schools, businesses, and community groups. She is also co-founder of the Mona Foundation which supports grassroots educational initiatives aimed at raising the status of women and girls in the United States and abroad.

Other speakers include Balbir Mathur, founder of “Trees for Life”—an organization that helps people plant fruit trees in developing countries. Since its inception in 1984, more than 2.5- million people have helped plant 30-million trees.

Founding pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, Connecticut, Rev. John L. Selders Jr., will speak about his experiences leading The Human Connection Project. He travels the country speaking about internalized oppression and is an award-winning songwriter and performer.

Journalist and film-maker Anna Boluda will show her film, “Queer Spawn,” during the conference. “Queer Spawn” documents the lives of several children of gay and lesbian parents living in the United States. Boluda is known for producing documentaries that focus on politicized families and sectors of society.

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.

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.”

For more information, registration and space availability, contact Francisco Salinas in UI’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, (208) 885-7716 or visit

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