West Virginia State University to Host Inaugural Human Rights Conference April 10-12

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
April 3, 2014
West Virginia State University to Host Inaugural Human Rights Conference April 10-12

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) College of Business and Social Sciences in collaboration with the National Center for Human Relations will host the inaugural Human Rights Conference, “21st Century Agenda for Human Rights: Theory and Practice,” April 10-12.

This three-day event will include a variety of state and nationally known speakers and participants from a broad range of disciplines offering presentations, posters and panel discussions that address human rights.

“Human rights are an important part of how people interact with others. This conference will enable us to promote the importance of human rights,” said Dr. David Bejou, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences. “Our goal is for people to better understand human rights, it will then be easier for them to uphold and promote justice and the wellbeing of our families, our communities, our schools and our workplaces.”

The conference will kick-off Thursday, April 10, in the Grand Hall of the Erickson Alumni Center on WVSU’s Institute campus. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and be followed by an opening ceremony that will include a speech by Kanawha County Delegate Meshea Poore on the importance of human rights.

Friday will feature a full-day of concurrent sessions beginning at 9 a.m. exploring a variety of human rights topics including interfaith relations, poverty and economic equality, race relations, international relations, violence against women and children, human trafficking and social justice.

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

Friday’s activities will also feature a speech at 1:15 p.m. in the Davis Fine Arts Center Theater by Travis Williams, a well-known Georgia public defender. Williams is known for tattooing the names of his clients on his back when he loses their case.  He was recently featured in the HBO Documentary, “Gideon’s Army.” Following Williams’ speech, at 2:30 p.m. “Gideon’s Army” will be shown in the Grand Hall of the Erickson Alumni Center.
Friday at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Carolyn Stuart, Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, will deliver the conference’s keynote address in the Grand Hall of the Erickson Alumni Center.

On Saturday, conference participants are invited for a tour of historic Malden and the Dickinson Salt-Works beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continuing until noon.

Malden resident Larry Rowe will lead a tour of the replica boyhood home of Booker T. Washington, as well as the historic 1872 African Zion Baptist Church which Washington attended after his family moved to the area following the Civil War. Both sites are part of a historic complex maintained by WVSU.

The conference is open to the public. Registration is $80, or $25 for graduate students and $15 for undergraduate students. WVSU students may attend for free.

For more information, click here.

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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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