An evening of activism, inspiration, celebration: human rights speaker series featuring Kevin de León & Charlie Clements. Moderated by William Monning. Free webinar. Register to attend: go.miis.edu/janblack2020
“All Boats Rise: Turning the Tide Against Poverty”
Nations throughout Central America were torn apart during the Presidential administration of the ‘80s and today’s crises of refugees clamoring to cross our border and separated children is the direct result of failed American policy. But the ripple extends: promoting economic prosperity and possibilities for Latin America leads to greater peace and security here at home. Gain an insider’s perspective of how we can learn from the past to achieve a more prosperous future for all. Celebrate as Jan Black presents the inaugural Human Rights Activism Award honoring an alumnus who has achieved distinction in the area of human rights.
This is the third event sponsored by the Jan Knippers Black Fund for Human Rights Protection. The purpose of the fund is to support community programs, events, and activities related to human rights and to provide a student internship with Amnesty International USA. With a life of dedication to promoting human rights, Jan is pleased to match all donations to her fund made at registration.
Jan Knippers Black has an extensive world view and lifelong commitment to global human rights. Now Professor Emerita at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Jan taught an array of subjects, including grassroots development, international and comparative politics, media, and human rights. She is a founding generation Peace Corps member in Chile, and served several terms on the national board of Amnesty International USA. Jan’s compelling story has inspired scores of students to immerse themselves in communities whose challenges they seek to understand, thanks to the many learning experiences she has led to places including Cuba, Chile, Iran, Bhutan, and the Balkans.
Throughout his remarkable career, Kevin de León has been an educator, activist, community organizer, and the first Latino President pro Tempore of the California State Senate in over a century, serving from 2014-2018, and representing the 24th State Senate district, encompassing Downtown and East Los Angeles. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 14. Before assuming elected office, de León was a community organizer and taught English as a Second Language and U.S. Citizenship. An advocate for improved funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods, modernizing school facilities, and expanding health insurance for children, he fought schemes to take funds from public schools through taxpayer-funded vouchers and academic censorship in public schools. The son of a single, immigrant mother, he was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college, attending the University of California-Santa Barbara and graduating from Pitzer College with honors.
Dr. Charlie Clements is a human rights activist and physician, specializing in public health. As president of Physicians for Human Rights he attended the treaty signing in Ottawa and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies a week later in Oslo for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. He served as executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and adjunct lecturer in public policy, and was a faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Early in his medical career, during the civil war in El Salvador, Charlie worked in rural villages, an experience he recounted in the book Witness to War (Bantam, 1985). He co-founded the Salvadoran Medical Relief Fund and Pax Americas, a political action committee and was a special guest at the 1992 signing of the peace accords ending the Salvadoran Civil War. He is currently is Professor and Clinical Coordinator of the Joint Physician Assistant and Public Health Program at Touro University California.
From 2015-18 Senator William Monning served as the California Senate Majority Leader. First elected in 2012, he represent the 17th Senate District, which includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz counties and portions of Monterey and Santa Clara counties. From 2008-2012, he represented the 27th Assembly District, covering much the same area. Among his many notable achievements during his tenure in the state Legislature he: worked to reduce childhood obesity and other preventable chronic illnesses; helped provide mentally-capable, terminally-ill Californians the option to request a doctor’s prescription for aid-in-dying medication; supported the California Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord; and offered legislation to provide short- and long-term drinking water solutions to Californians lacking access to safe, affordable drinking water. Before elected service, Monning taught at the Monterey College of Law and Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where he co-founded Global Majority, Inc., an organization committed to education, training and advocacy in the field of non-violent conflict resolution. He also served as a Senior Fulbright Specialist, receiving Fulbright scholarships to teach and research in Peru and Chile, served on the Monterey County court-directed mediation panel and was Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.