Connecticut College is ‘Striving for Global Justice’

Connecticut College’s five interdisciplinary academic centers will host a semester-long program that will explore the theme “Striving for Global Justice” through their diverse perspectives of arts and technology, the environment, international studies, public policy and community action, and the study of race and ethnicity.

The goal of the program is to create a shared intellectual endeavor motivated by the compelling issues of global justice — around gender, environmental, socioeconomic, digital, and ethno-racial issues. “Striving for Global Justice” kicked off with a keynote speech by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and human rights activist Nicholas Kristof, who discussed his book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which addresses the maltreatment, marginalization and brutality toward women across the globe. The book also tells the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals, including Connecticut College alumna Beatrice Biira ’08, whose education was made possible by a donation made through Heifer International.

Several events within the “Striving for Global Justice” program are free and open to the public. They include:

Tackling Global Gender Oppression, Empowering Women and Thinking Critically about Kristof’s Approach
A diverse group of Connecticut College faculty will participate in an in-depth panel discussion and critique of “Half the Sky” on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room of Charles E. Shain Library. They are Sunil Bhatia, professor of human development; Tristan Borer, professor of government and international relations; Afshan Jafar, assistant professor of sociology; Julia A. Kushigian, the Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor, Department of Hispanic Studies; and Mab Segrest, the Fuller- Maathai Professor of Gender and Women's Studies.

Connecticut College Alumni Taking Action & Pursuing Social Justice Careers
Connecticut College alumni who work in fields related to issues covered in “Half the Sky” will return to campus for a panel discussion that will offer first-hand knowledge and approaches to empowerment and advocacy. The panel includes:

  • Lauren Burke ’06, executive director and co-founder of Atlas: DIY (Developing Immigrant Youth), a cooperative empowerment center for immigrant youth and their allies. She is also the supervising staff attorney at the New York Asian Women’s Center and an adjunct clinical professor at Brooklyn Law School. 
  • James Rogers ’04, co-owner or Pushcart Coffee and Cowboy Pizza, LLC, both located in New York City. Rogers previously worked for AmeriCorps and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in Bogota, Columbia.
  • Tiana Davis Hercules ’04, program director in the mayor’s office, City of Hartford. Hercules implements the mayor’s Opportunities Hartford initiative, a results-based strategy to deliver comprehensive services to Hartford residents in the areas of education, employment and economic stability.

The discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room of Charles E. Shain Library.

Canadian Tar Sands Lecture
Melina Laboucan-Massimo is a Lubicon Cree who grew up in the Canadian oil sands region and has seen firsthand how its development has affected her nation's people, culture and land. Now an activist, she will deliver “From Our Homelands to the Tars Sands,” a lecture on indigenous resistance to the tar sands projects and the proposed expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, on Thursday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. in Ernst Common Room of Blaustein Humanities Center.

E-Waste Lecture
Jim Puckett is director of the Basel Action Network, the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade (toxic wastes, products and technologies) and its devastating impacts. He will discuss the global expansion of e-waste injustices and what the international community is doing to address this serious issue in his talk, “The High Tech Trashing of the Global South,” on Friday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Ernst Common Room of Blaustein Humanities Center.

February 15, 2013