Southeastern guest speakers to focus on social justice issues
Contact: Christina Chapple
HAMMOND – Two guest speakers on the front lines of social justice issues will be featured in the annual Social Justice Lecture Series sponsored by Southeastern Louisiana University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Malik Rahim of New Orleans’ Common Ground Collective, a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support to hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast region, will speak on “Emergency Preparedness” on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
Peace activist Medea Benjamin, founding director of the human rights group Global Exchange and co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace, will be the lecture series’ guest on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre.
Receptions will follow both lectures.
Rahim, born and raised in Algiers, has worked as an organizer for decades around housing and prison issues. During Hurricane Katrina, he stayed to assist the community and has been speaking out about racism and the failures of government exposed by the Katrina disaster. Rahim founded Rebuild Green to work with community-based organizations’ efforts to advance social justice and environmental sustainability.
"By focusing on green building technology, renewable energy, mass transit systems, and green community development that empowers local people to take control of their local resources, the rebuilding of New Orleans can take our city from being a symbol of disaster to being a prototype sustainable city of the future,” Rahim said.
Benjamin has campaigned for social justice and human rights in Asia, the Americas, and Africa for more than 25 years. Described as "one of America’s most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and called "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she has been involved in issues such as overseas sweatshops, the World Trade Organization and promoting "fair trade" over "free trade."
Benjamin co-founded Code Pink, a women's peace group that has been organizing creative actions against the occupation of Iraq. According to the organization’s web site, since the September 11, 2001 tragedy, Benjamin “has worked to promote a U.S. foreign policy that would respect human rights and gain us allies instead of contributing to violence and undermining our international reputation.”
In 2005 Benjamin was nominated as one of 1,000 exceptional women from around the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She is also the author/editor of several books, including “Stop the Next War Now.”
For additional information about the lecture series, contact the Social Justice Lecture Series coordinator Anna Kleiner, 9850549-2006.