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Human Rights Watch director to speak March 5

February 29, 2012

Smiling woman

Sarah Leah Whitson

March 5, Monday — The inaugural UC Davis Provost’s Lecture in Human Rights features Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni and Visitor’s Center, AGR Room. Whitson’s talk “At last, an Arab Spring: Black Swans of the Middle East; Human Rights Watch Reports from the Ground,” will address the role of the international community in Arab uprisings and challenges ahead.

The lecture opens UC Davis’ celebration of Human Rights and Humanities Week March 5-9. More information: http://humanrightsinitiative.ucdavis.edu/human-rights-and-the-humanities-week-march-5-9-2012/.

Whitson is an expert on Middle East and North Africa issues, having led landmark investigations of human rights conditions in Libya and Saudi Arabia since joining Human Rights Watch in 2004. She graduated from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Whitson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Whitson’s full bio: http://www.hrw.org/en/bios/sarah-leah-whitson.

The Provost’s Lecture in Human Rights demonstrates UC Davis’ commitment to human rights, said Ralph J. Hexter, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor and a longtime advocate of human rights on college campuses.

"A commitment to human rights has always been central to UC Davis — to what we believe as an institution, and to our mission of public service," said Hexter. "In recent years, the subject of human rights has not only gained a new prominence, and urgency, around the globe, but also received a growing amount of scholarly attention — a key component in the advancement of this cause. I am personally delighted to contribute to our campus’ work in this crucial area through the establishment, this year, of the Provost’s Lecture in Human Rights."

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