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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Run for Rights

On April 27th runners from around the world will participate in the James Joyce Ramble, a 10K road race in Dedham, MA.

When one thinks of road races, the popular impression is of a mass of serious runners who are competing for money, prizes, or to qualify for championships. The James Joyce Ramble is that and more. It is an event with a mission of fostering human rights and celebrating literacy.

For the past twenty years runners and spectators have joined together to support the James Joyce Foundation and Amnesty International in raising awareness for human rights violations, most specifically those perpetrated against artists, writers and free thinkers throughout the world. The mission of the Ramble is to raise public consciousness about these injustices, and hopefully inspire support for Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.

Each year the Ramble is run in support of unjustly imprisoned individuals or groups. Previous races were run in support of Wei Jingsheng, a leading voice for human rights in China, and Czech President Vaclav Havel, among many others. Last year the Ramble was run in honor of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal journalist murdered by Pakistani nationalists on January 27, 2002. This year it is being run on behalf of a group of businessmen in the Maldives who were jailed for launching an Internet newspaper.

While the mission of the race is to educate people about human rights violations and inspire them to do something to end such violations, the ramble is also a celebration of literacy and literary achievement. Along the course actors dress in period clothing, and read from selected works of James Joyce. At the conclusion of the race, there is a forum on international human rights violations. In addition, post-race festivities include food, music, and various booths with information about other human rights groups.

I have run the Ramble five times-and each year the event is more inspiring and rewarding. I highly encourage people to participate either as runners (all levels are present), or as supporters. For more information about the event go to www.ramble.org.

By Bonnie McManus