Emory Report
November 17, 2008
Volume 61, Number 12



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November 17, 2008

Expectations high for Obama
Expectations for Barack Obama are exceedingly high, agreed the four panelists brought together by the African American Studies department to discuss “Race, Gender and Presidential Politics.”

“Obama has a lot on his shoulders,” said Leroy Davis, associate professor of African American and American history. “He has become the epitome of not only what is good in the United States, but of the world. The whole world is watching.”

“He’s got a monumental task,” agreed Georgia Sen. Vincent Fort.

Other panelists included Andra Gillespie, assistant professor of political science, and Nathan McCall, lecturer in African American Studies. — Carol Clark

College presidents on ethics dilemmas
Emory has taken a stand in favor of sustainability, diversity and freedom of thought, and against conflicts of interest and plagiarism.

“But should we be taking a stand on whether or not the Iraq war is right? What about abortion? The Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” asked President Jim Wagner, setting up some of the dilemmas covered during a recent discussion at the Ethics Center on “The Role of the Ethically Engaged University.” Other panelists included the presidents of Morehouse College and Agnes Scott College.

Sometimes it is appropriate for a university to provide a forum for discussing an issue without taking sides, Wagner said. “One needs, sometimes, to make an absolutely firm decision not to take a stand. The university needs to champion — perhaps more highly than the individual does — intellectual honesty, academic freedom, the value of inquiry, curiosity and the pursuit of truth.” — Carol Clark

Fighting for human rights in Gaza
“As Israeli human rights groups, we’ve been trying to fight those restrictions, and we’ve been trying to fight them through the law, and we believe that the law matters,” said Sari Bashi, referring to the work of Israeli human rights lawyers on behalf of Palestinians living in Gaza.

Bashi was one of four Israeli lawyers who spoke as part of a panel hosted by Emory Law’s Center for International and Comparative Law. The panelists discussed how Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza affects Palestinian human rights and Israeli democracy. The event included opening remarks from former President Jimmy Carter. — Liz Chilla