October 19, 2011

Human rights activist to speak on campus

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Human rights activist Deborah Brown will present a lecture on “The Arab Spring and Its Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy” next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Brown’s presentation is at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, in the Hiram H. Lesar Building auditorium at the SIU School of Law.  The lecture is free and open to the public.  A reception at the law school will follow.

The lecture is on United Nations Day, which celebrates the 66th anniversary of the U.N.’s founding. The Southern Illinois chapter of the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. (UNA-USA), the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, and SIU School of Law are event sponsors.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend Deborah Brown’s lecture, and she will be available for interviews at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, at the law school.  For more information, contact Olga Weidner, president of the Southern Illinois Chapter of UNA-USA at 618/549-7527 or by email at oweidner@siu.edu.

Brown is the first Leo Nevas Human Rights Fellow of the UNA-USA, a program of the United Nations Foundation, said Olga Weidner, president of the Southern Illinois Chapter of UNA-USA.  Brown has a “strong interest in human rights and governance issues in the Middle East,” and lived and traveled throughout much of the region, according to a recent UNA-USA news release.

Brown also was a program reporting officer for the National Democratic Institute in Lebanon, where she participated in the organization’s international observation in that country, and a lead writer for the institute’s final election assessment report.  She was an election observer in the 2010 South Sudanese elections, and also worked for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, supporting electoral and civil society programs in the Caucasus and Central Asia, according to the organization.

Her numerous internships include work at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Democracy, the U.S. House of Representatives, and Amnesty International.

Brown has a master’s degree in democracy and governance and Arab studies from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and human rights from Barnard College. 

For more information on the event, contact Weidner at 618/549-7527 or by email at oweidner@siu.edu.