March 4, 2016
For immediate release
BRANTFORD – Marina Nemat was just 16 when she was arrested in her hometown of Tehran, Iran. She spent the next two years in a political prison where she was tortured and came close to execution. In 1991, Nemat came to Canada, and now, more than three decades later, she is a bestselling author and a leading speaker on human rights.
Nemat — author of Prisoner of Tehran and After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, which cover her experience before, during and after her time as a prisoner — will be the keynote speaker at the Human Rights and Human Diversity Conference at Laurier’s Brantford campus March 8.
“When we love despite evil, when we care despite evil, when we stand against evil with what can fight it the best — that is humanity,” said Nemat. “Evil cannot fight evil. My prison friends and cellmates taught me that, even in a place like Evin Prison, there is a clear road to humanity. And I will never ever forget that.”
Nemat will be speaking in the SC Johnson Building, room 127 from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The HRHD conference, which is being organized by Laurier’s Human Rights and Human Diversity Students’ Association, will feature presentations from students and faculty in addition to Nemat’s keynote address.
Students in the Human Rights and Human Diversity program will present to their peers on an issue they’re passionate about, while Catherine Stewart and Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, professors in the department, will lead specific workshops.
“The Human Rights and Human Diversity conference brings the whole program together to share a variety of opinions on human rights issues,” said Sharyne Williams, HRHD Students’ Association co-president. “Discussions bring us closer to solutions and we are giving our students the opportunity and space to start a conversation on the topic of their choosing.”
Stewart will lead a presentation on International Women’s Day – which is celebrated globally on March 8 – exploring the history of the day and focusing on the topic of sexual assault. Wilson-Forsberg’s workshop will focus on the Human Rights and Human Diversity program, informing students about potential career paths in the field following graduation.
Stewart’s workshop will take place in the SC Johnson Building, room 127 from 11 a.m. to noon, while Wilson-Forsberg’s will run from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the Carnegie Building, room 206.
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