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Release: Immediate

Middle and high school students participate in International Day at UI Oct. 28

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nearly 100 middle and high school students from eastern Iowa and their teachers will gather at the University of Iowa to learn how to "internationalize" their classrooms as part of a day-long activity Wednesday, Oct. 28, sponsored by the Office of International Education at the UI College of Education.

The second annual International Day will feature programs for students in grades six through 12 on issues of international concern. Coinciding with the UI's year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many of the sessions will focus on human rights throughout the world.

The program begins at 9 a.m. in the R. Wayne Richey Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU). Co-sponsors are the UI College of Education, the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, the Stanley Foundation, and the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.

The day's activity will feature a presentation by Dith Pran, the celebrated Cambodian journalist whose harrowing escape from his native country was portrayed in the move "The Killing Fields." Pran will be visiting the UI as an Ida Beam Visiting Professor.

Enrollment is limited so advanced registration is required.

Participating schools select a team made up of one teacher and four students to represent them at the conference. The teams act as facilitators when they return to their home schools, helping to add international perspectives to their study of issues.

"Our goal in presenting International Day is to help teachers and students internationalize their views," says Paul Retish, director of the Office of International Education. "We hope that the students and their teachers get into serious discussions about international issues, such as human rights, and then take that enthusiasm back to their schools to expand the dialogue further."

Topics for International Day include human rights and China, discrimination, Mexican immigration to the Midwest, gender and human rights, journalism and human rights, children and human rights, women's rights and domestic violence.

Sessions are led by members of the UI faculty as well as activists from the Iowa City and from eastern Iowa communities.

Each participant receives a T-shirt as a souvenir. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact Krishna Das, Office of International Education (N297 LC), College of Education, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242; phone: 319-335-6387; email: