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UT to Host April 26 Human Rights Day Conference

Published: April 14, 2014

The University of Tampa will hold its third annual Human Rights Day Conference on Saturday, April 26. Conference attendees will investigate and celebrate human rights through panels, presentations and creative works from UT faculty and students as well as outside speakers.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 9th floor of the Vaughn Center and is free and open to the public.

The keynote speaker is Douglas McElhaney, a career officer of the United States Foreign Service, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2004 to 2007. He will speak on “Human Rights: An Ambassador’s View” at 10:05 a.m.

Other scheduled events include:

  • Educational Rights: “The Restriction of Educational Rights for Aboriginals and Immigrant Groups in Canada: Four Historical Case Studies,” John Friesen, professor of education at the University of Calgary, 11 a.m.
  • College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education Panel: James Aubrey, UT assistant professor of French, language and linguistics; Susan Brinkley, UT associate professor of criminology and criminal justice; David Krahl, UT assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice; Todd Parke ’14 and Megan McTaggert ’14, UT students; 11:30 a.m.
  • Migration as a Human Right: “Migration as a Human Right: Thoughts from a Historian of Natural Disasters,” Spencer Segalla, UT associate professor of history, 12:30 p.m.
  • Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking: Giselle Rodriguez, state outreach coordinator, 2 p.m.
  • Human Rights and United Nations Organizations: Megan McTaggert ’14, UT Students for Human Rights; Mani Thangadurai MBA ’15 and Anisha Russell ’14, UT UN Student Alliance Chapter; and Javier Alamillo and Sara McMillan, UNA-USA Tampa Bay Chapter; 2:20 p.m.
  • AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Initiative: “Producing Human Rights Learning Modules in Your Own Discipline,” Bruce Friesen, UT associate professor of sociology, 3:10 p.m.
  • LGBTQ Rights: Santiago Echeverry, UT associate professor of art, and Paul E. Finocchiaro, UT assistant professor of theatre, 3:30 p.m.
  • Film Viewing and Discussion: Viewing of Girl Rising with discussion by Arthur Hollist, UT associate professor of English, 4 p.m.

The conference is organized by Bruce Friesen and Marcus Arvan of the Human Rights Think Tank (, and is sponsored by the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education, Baccalaureate Program and UT’s philosophy and religion, history, government and world affairs, and sociology departments.

For more information, contact Friesen at or (813) 257-3464, or Arvan at or (813) 257-3674.