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Human Rights at UMB

What are “human rights?”

Should social and economic rights be given primacy over civil and political rights?

Is it ever o.k. to torture?

How should the United States deal with countries which prohibit women from going to school or permit female genital mutilation?

How should other countries deal with the United States if they believe that the death penalty amounts to cruel and inhuman punishment?

What is the best way to create a world community in which human rights are respected?

These are the kind of questions that would be addressed in an undergraduate human rights program. Recently faculty, students, staff, and human rights advocate formed the University of Massachusetts Boston Human Rights Working Group (UMBHRWG) and drafted a proposal, reprinted below, for a human rights center that would oversee such a program, sponsor human rights forums, and carry out other human rights related activities. The UMBHRWG meets every other Friday in Wheatley 4-141. If you would like to join the UMBHRWG, be on its mailing list, or endorse the proposal, please contact [email protected] or Clark Taylor at 617-287-7364.

The UMBHRWG’s proposal has been endorsed by faculty, staff, and students. It has been or soon will be presented to Chancellor Jo Ann Gora and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Arthur MacEwan.

Faculty members who have endorsed the proposal include: Elsa Auerbach, English; Gunther S. Boroschek, Management/Marketing; Elizabeth Bussiere, Political Science; Jim Campen, Economics; Paul Cantor, Norwalk Community College; Elilzabeth Clemens, Gerontology Center; Reyes Coll-Tellechea, Hispanic Studies; Meg Colo, Writing Center; Jeremiah Cotton, Economics; Estelle Disch, Sociology; Libby Fay, English; Leonor Figueroa-Feher, Hispanic Studies; Larry Foster, Philosophy; Reebee Garpfalo, Labor Resource Center; Janis Kapler, Economics; Darren Kew, CPCS; Esther Kingston-Mann, History/American Studies; Pepi Leistyna, Applied Linguistic; Andrew Leong, CPCS; David Levy, Management/Marketing; Donaldo Macedo, Applied Linguistics; Terry McLarney, CPCS; Chuck Meyer, Applied Linguistics; Elaine Morse, Women’s Studies; Jim O’Brien, Gerontology Center; Debi Osnowitz, Labor Resource Center: Barry Phillips, Justice Cluster CPCS; Gautam Premnath, English; Patricia Reeve, Labor Resource Center; Cindy Schuster, Hispanic Studies; Ester Shapiro, Psychology; Tim Sieber, Anthropology; Rusty Simonds, Political Science; Jack Spence, Political Science; Rajini Srikanth, English; Vicky Steinitz, CPCS; Michael Sullivan, Joiner Center; Clark Taylor, CPCS; Miren Uriarte, Gaston Institute; Primo Vannicelli, Political Science; Elaine Ward, Center for Immigrant & Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment; Ann Withorn, General Center; and Judy Zeitlin, Anthropology

Staff that have so far endorsed the proposal include: Vanessa Aller, Enrollment Information Service; Dan Currie, Manager, Enrollment Information Service; Diane Dujon, CPCS; and Sharon Ghantous, Undergraduate Admissions.

Student members of the UMBHRWG are currently conducting a survey to determine student support for the Human Rights Center and Program. The proposal to establish both is reprinted adjacent.