Foundation to sponsor keynote speaker at Human Rights Week

The Education Foundation will sponsor Amanda Schmitt’s presentation at the ninth annual Human Rights Week at Middleton High School in February.

HRW takes place Feb. 12-16. More than 25 people are expected to present. Most presentations run 35 minutes. There are typically two presentations per block. Presentations will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Schmitt, a 2005 MHS graduate and art curator in New York, will speak about being part of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year edition. She and other women were part of a piece on the Silence Breakers. The session will begin at 2:20 p.m. on Monday.

Human Rights Week was held in February in 2015 and 2016, but social studies teacher Tim Davis said MHS officials decided to move it back to November in 2016 before returning to February this year.

Members of the organizing committee include Raad Allawi, Megan Andrews, Sophia Grande, Raina Hess, Marcus Knocke, Marissa Munoz, Peter Opitz, Max Prestigiacomo and Jack Rader.

Davis noted that a number of speakers are coming in from around the country along with Haiti.

JD Stier, a human rights activist who worked in the Obama White House, will speak on conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday morning. His session is sponsored by a District Global Initiative Grant. A refugee panel including Zarko Draganic of Bosnia, Aqbal Al-Juboori of Iraq and Vlada Ilic of Serbia will be offered on Thursday morning. That session was made possible by a donation by Roger Ervin and Blumont.

Steven Werlin, Cathy Parrill, Rodolphe Eloi and Franck Toussaint will to an 80-minute keynote presentation on development in Haiti on Tuesday morning, while Michael Johnson, the CEO of the Dane County Boys & Girls Club, will present on race and equity in the Madison area on Thursday afternoon.

Check out biographies on all of the presenters at Human Rights Week.

A fair trade sale will again be held, this time on Friday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lobby of the PAC. Products that are labeled fair trade mean the people that produced the product were paid a fair wage and had good working conditions. Groups participating in the Fair Trade Sale include SERRV, Madison-Rafah City Project, Heart of the Sky Fair Trade, Just Coffee, Terra Experience, DOERS Wisconsin, Ethical Trade, Ubuntu Trade, Heart of the Sky Fair Trade, and Trades of Hope.

The sessions are free and open to the public. Human Rights Week is made possible because of the generous support of the MCPASD Global Initiatives Mini-Grant Fund.