Two International Human Rights Advocates Highlight UF Law School Race Relations Conference

GAINESVILLE, Fla — Internationally recognized human rights advocate and author Randall Robinson and former Jamaican cabinet minister Dudley Thompson will be featured here next week at the third annual conference on race and race relations sponsored by the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Thompson and Robinson will join with academicians and community activists from across the country invited by the law school’s Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, organizers for the event scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union. Several sessions during the two-day conference are free and open to the public.

“Mr. Robinson is known for his strong stands on South African freedom and Haitian justice, and Commissioner Thompson was involved in the nationalist struggles of Tanganyika and Kenya,” said Desta Meghoo-Peddie, acting CSRRR director. “We are honored to have two men so vital to the history of civil rights throughout the world involved in this conference.”

Among other featured participants are diversity consultant and author Peggy Nagae, Penelope Andrews of Albany Law School of Queens College/City University of New York, Vernellia Randall of the University of Dayton, David Brennan of Mercer University, Lorraine Bannai of Seattle University and Charles Pouncy of Temple University School of Law. Faculty members from the UF law school and other colleges and departments of the university also will be participating.

Robinson, a 1970 Harvard Law School graduate, will be keynote speaker at a Thursday dinner, speaking on “Reparations: Issues and Solutions.” Robinson is the author of “The Debt: The Case for Reparations to African-Americans and African Countries,” which addresses among other issues whether reparations can remedy the continuing consequences of slavery, and the just-released “The Reckoning: What Blacks Owe to Each Other.”

He established the TransAfrica Forum in 1981, an organization spearheading the movement for influencing United States politics toward international black leadership. He worked on Capitol Hill as assistant to Congressmen Charles Diggs and William Clay, lived in Africa as a Ford Foundation Fellow, and was involved in the dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa.

Thompson served as Jamaican high commissioner to several African countries, and is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica. He served in Britain’s Royal Air Force during World War II, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, and practiced law in many Caribbean countries * playing a role in the independence movements of Belize and the Bahamas. He recently served as lead advisory to the Jamaican government at the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism held in South Africa, and also serves at direction of the Organization of African Unity on a group researching the issues of reparations for African Americans.

Additional conference information and registration details are available by contacting Meghoo-Peddie at 352.392.5013, or eMail: meghoo@law.ufl.edu.

Published: March 14th, 2002

Category: News

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