Annual Human Rights Conference set for March 29-30 at West Virginia State University

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
March 22, 2017
Annual Human Rights Conference set for March 29-30 at West Virginia State University

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The fourth annual International Human Rights Conference will be held March 29-30 at West Virginia State University (WVSU) and explore the theme of women’s rights.

Sponsored by the WVSU College of Business and Social Sciences, the WVSU National Center for Human Relations and the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation, this year’s conference will feature a variety of state, local and national experts in the field of human rights. All activities are free and open to the public and will take place in the Erickson Alumni Center of the WVSU campus.

“It is the goal of the 2017 International Human Rights Conference to bring people on all sides of human rights issues together, to help them identify and understand their differences, and to help them understand why these differences exist,” said Dr. David Bejou, conference chair and dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences at WVSU. “It is hoped that by encouraging understanding, this conference will help eliminate barriers and bring people together, which will help to open the door for progress on all human rights issues.”

The conference will begin at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29, with opening remarks by Bejou, followed by a presentation on women’s rights by Julie Palas, interim executive director of the West Virginia Women’s Commission. Wednesday’s events will also include a panel discussion at 4 p.m. of LGBT rights featuring student government association presidents from WVSU, Fairmont State University, Marshall University and West Virginia Northern Community College.

On Thursday, March 30, WVSU First Lady Toinette Jenkins will speak on the topic of social justice and civil responsibility at 11 a.m. Thursday’s conference events will also feature a panel discussion at 10 a.m. on literary perspectives on human rights and a second panel discussion at 1:15 p.m. on the WVSU National Center for Human Relations.

For a complete lineup of speakers and activities, please click here.

Also throughout the conference, WVSU student-made posters that address a variety of human rights topics will be on display.

Registration to attend the fourth annual International Human Rights Conference is free for all participants. To register, visit

For more information, contact Conference Chair Dr. David Bejou at or (304) 766-3025.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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