SF State to host human rights summit
April 24, 2008 1:31 PM
The fifth annual Human Rights Summit, entitled “Privileged Destruction: Examining Environmental Justice” will be taking place on May 1 and 2 in Rosa Parks and Jack Adams Halls at SF State.
The two-day event will focus on environmental issues pertaining to human rights both locally and on a global scale. Topics include environmental issues in the Bay Area, capitalism, toxic waste, modern warfare, gender and sexuality issues and disparities in health care.
“The goal is to raise awareness around the San Francisco Bay Area about human rights, and in particular environmental justice,” said event organizer Mariana Ferreira, program director of Human Rights and Justice studies at SF State.
The Human Rights Summit will feature speakers from all over the country, including representatives from West County Toxics Coalition, Greenaction and the Indigenous Environmental Network.
The event is a culmination of the work of the humanities, ethnic studies, environmental studies and American Indian studies departments at SF State.
A large portion of the work being presented at the summit has been created and compiled by students of the anthropology department, said Joel Kassiola, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and speaker at the event.
Ferreira said this year’s Human Rights Summit will be the most comprehensive event since its inception five years ago, and expects it to receive the best response to date.
“It has grown steadily,” Ferreria said. “This fifth year promises to bring a much larger audience.”
The event will feature a wide variety of performance art and music, including a play on capital punishment, spoken-word poetry, and music ranging from jazz to punk to progressive rock.
The Navarette x Kajiyama dance group will be showcasing its performance art piece “The Revenge of Huitlaco.” The versatile local group said it is inspired by Japanese Taiko drumming, Latin American traditional dance forms, and has performed extensively in support of the Latino transgender community as well as the Mexican-American and Japanese-American communities.
On April 30, a wide range of national human rights organizations will come to SF State to promote the event, including Amnesty International, the African Immigrant and Refugee Resource Center Amnesty International, Center for Environmental Health, Environment California, Greenpeace, Literacy for Environmental Justice and others.
A journal of material presented over the previous four human rights summits will be released at the event. Topics of past human rights summits have included sexual violence, discrimination, indigenous peoples’ rights, genocide, medical access and education.
For more information about the fifth annual Human Rights Summit, visit their official Web site.
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