Emory Report
April 9, 2007
Volume 59, Number 26

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April 9, 2007
Earth Day forum to feature award-winning 'Blood Oil' journalist

by beverly clark

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Sebastian Junger, in conjunction with Earth Day 2007, will speak on “The Militant Threat to the U.S. Oil Supply” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in the Math and Science Center, Room E208. The lecture is sponsored by the graduate forum of Emory’s Institute of African Studies.

Junger has reported on such issues as human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, war crimes in Kosovo, guerilla warfare in Afghanistan and hostage-taking in Kashmir. He also is one of the first American journalists to draw international attention to increasing violence in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, with his article “Blood Oil” appearing in Vanity Fair.

The open forum discussion will address Junger’s recent journalistic coverage of the environmental, political and health impacts caused by the oil extraction in the Niger Delta. Forum participants will include Emory staff members from the Niger Delta region and graduate students from the Rollins School of Public Health.

Junger’s visit to Emory follows Nigerian attorney, activist and environmentalist Ledum Mitee, who spoke last month during Emory’s Human Rights Week on “Oil Exploitation and the Challenges of a Nonviolent Struggle in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.”

“Our goal is to create awareness within and beyond the Emory community of the extreme poverty of the indigenous people of the Niger Delta and the destructive exploitation of their land,” said anthropology graduate student and event organizer Kenneth Maes. “We want to acknowledge the current injustice that’s happening, the need for accountability, and the opportunities to enact change in the face of oil-driven political violence. We also want to facilitate community dialogues that involve students, Nigerians, academics, civil servants and policy makers so that they may begin to discuss policy change.”

For more information, visit www.ias.emory.edu, e-mail kmaes@emory.edu, or call 404-861-1776.