Emory Report
March 19, 2007
Volume 59, Number 23

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March 19, 2007
Nigerian activist Mitee to speak at Emory during Human Rights Week

by beverly clark

Internationally renowned Nigerian attorney, activist and environmentalist Ledum Mitee will speak during Emory’s Human Rights Week on “Oil Exploitation and the Challenges of a Nonviolent Struggle in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.” The lecture will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in White Hall 208, and is sponsored by the graduate forum of Emory’s Institute of African Studies.

Mitee’s visit comes at a time when increased conflict has drawn international attention to the Niger Delta, and before Nigerian federal elections in April, which are seen as a major turning point for the country. A former prisoner of conscience, Mitee currently is president of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. He has worked tirelessly in the field of human rights and environmental protection, and is known as the co-defendant of prominent Ogoni leader and Goldman Environmental Prize-winner Ken Saro-Wiwa, whose execution in 1995 prompted international outcry.

Mitee, who will be on campus for two days, will participate in a panel discussion on democracy, human rights and oil in the Niger Delta at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 in White Hall 208. Other expert panelists include Timothy Holtz, co-founder, Doctors for Global Health, Emory School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health; Stephen Mills, director, International Programs, Sierra Club USA; and three Emory staff members from the Niger Delta region.

“Our goals for this event include creating 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 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.”

Human Rights Week 2007 events
Sunday, March 25
Walk for Women’s Lives, 2 p.m. Ga. State Capital
Atlanta Asylum Network, 5 p.m. 230 Dental School Building
Film: “Hari-Bhari,” 7 p.m. Harland Cinema

Monday, March 26
Cluster Bombs Panel Discussion , 4 p.m. 208 White Hall
Mandy Carter, speaker, 7 p.m. Harland Cinema

Tuesday, March 27
Lecture: “Oil exploitation and the Challenges of a Non-violent Struggle in Nigeria’s Niger Delta,” Ledum Mitee, Niger Delta, keynote speaker. 2 p.m., 208 White Hall
Coalition of Immokolee Workers, 4 p.m. 206 White Hall
Darfur Panel Discussion, 7 p.m. 208 White Hall

Wednesday, March 28
Lobby Training, 9 a.m. Ga. State Capital
Wonderful Wednesday, Human Rights Fair, 11 a.m. Asbury Circle
Niger Delta Panel, “Diverse voices: Democracy, Human Rights and Oil in the Niger Delta,” 4 p.m. 208 White Hall
Akbar Ganji, speaker, 7:30 p.m. Business School, Auditorium

Thursday, March 29
Film: “Uganda Rising,” 4 p.m. 103 White Hall
John Perkins, author, 7 p.m. Business School, Auditorium

Friday, March 30
Film: “Unconstitutional”, 4 p.m. 208 White Hall
Club Night, 9 p.m. Django’s

For more information on Human Rights Week at Emory, contact Katherine Chisholm at kvchish@sph.emory.edu.