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Release: Sept. 6, 2000

Conference challenges students, teachers to examine human rights in classroom

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The issue of human rights will come alive for Iowa middle and high school teachers and students Nov. 1 when the University of Iowa hosts its fourth annual International Human Rights Day conference.

The daylong conference, whose theme this year is "International Day 2000," will give participants an opportunity to discuss various aspects of human rights -- from discrimination and poverty to racism and health issues -- in small groups and find ways to carry what they learn into the classroom and community.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Ravi Nair, a consultant to the United Nations and visiting faculty member of Yale University. Nair will also conduct a human rights education workshop for participating teachers during the conference.

The free event will be held in the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus. Lunch will be provided and participants will receive a T-shirt for attending. Teachers are encouraged to register early for this year's program, since space is limited.

Nair, who will be on the UI campus from Oct. 29 to Nov. 5 as an Ida Beam Visiting Professor, is executive director of the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center. He also serves on the executive committee of the Geneva-based International Service for Human Rights.

International Human Rights Day conference co-sponsors include the UI Center for Human Rights, the UI College of Education Diversity Committee, the UI Associate Provost for Health Sciences, the UI Office of Affirmative Action, the UI Office of International Programs, the Stanley Foundation, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, the Grant Wood Area Education Association and the Iowa City School Districts.

For more information, contact Kris Das at (319) 335-6387 (e-mail, Margaret Evans at (319) 335-6289 (e-mail or Greg Hamot at (319) 335-5382 (e-mail Information is also available on the UI Center for Human Rights web page at