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University of Iowa News

Feb. 17, 2006

UICHR Careers For Change Speaker Series Resumes March

Students thinking about life after graduation will again have a chance to meet people working in human-rights related fields during "Careers for Change," a speaker series sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR). The first talk of the spring semester will be a panel discussion of legal issues surrounding the "Immigrants Among Us," Wednesday, March 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room W401 of the Pappajohn Business Building on the UI campus.

Although the program is designed for undergraduates to learn more about careers in social justice and human rights, the series is free and open to UI faculty, staff and the public.

The panelists for "Immigrants Among Us" are: Cheryl Mason, immigration law attorney at Mason & Stepanova P.C., Iowa City; Rose Mraz, attorney at Justice for Our Neighbors, Cedar Rapids; Kelly O'Brien, LEP Coordinator and Spanish interpreter at Iowa Legal Aid; and Heidi VanAuken, Americorps member of Iowa Legal Aid.

Other topics and speakers for the spring series include:

March 22, 7-9 p.m., Room W401 Pappajohn Building: Stefanie Bowers, "Human Rights In Iowa City." Bowers is the Human Rights Coordinator for the City of Iowa City. She oversees the investigation of complaints alleging discrimination in violation of the Iowa City Human Rights Ordinance, provides staff support to the Iowa City Human Rights Commission and conducts education and outreach efforts to inform the public on human rights and illegal discrimination issues.

April 13, 7-9 p.m., Room S401 Pappajohn Building: Stephen Rapp, "International War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda." Rapp, a former U.S. Attorney in Iowa, has spent the last four years prosecuting suspects in the 1994 genocide that left 800,000 Rwandans dead. As chief of prosecutions for the head of the United Nations' International War Crimes Tribunal of Rwanda, he is coordinating at least 40 more trials, assisting in international efforts to find suspects hiding abroad, and teaching what he has learned practicing a largely uncharted area of international law. Rapp's talk is part of the World Affairs series on Global Justice and Human Rights.

April 24, 7-9 p.m., Room S401 Pappajohn Building: Linda Keith, "Is the Law a Mere Parchment Barrier to Human Rights Abuse?" Keith is a visiting professor in the UI Political Science department, where she teaches Civil Rights and Race Relations in American Politics, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, and the Judicial Process.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any of these events, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900 or

Founded in 1999, the UICHR is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, the yearlong UI commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Dec. 10, 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the center's mission is to support the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa, and beyond.

The UICHR is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Amy Weismann or Liz Crooks, 319-335-3900; Writer: Julia LaBua