Stanford's Human Rights Lecture Series Keynote Address: Albie Sachs
- *FYI--*You might be interested in attending the keynote address of
Stanford's Public Lecture Series, which is free to the public. (See
below.) It will be held at CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center;
Stanford from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26th.
*Human Rights Lecture Series Keynote Address: Albie Sachs*
*"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood."
�Universal Declaration of Human Rights Adopted by the United Nations in 1948
The Stanford Summer Human Rights Program is an interdisciplinary
collaboration that explores emerging issues in human rights through a
series of courses, public lectures, and films. In 2013, the program will
continue the discussion of international human rights in the 21st century,
considering both state and non-state actors in securing rights for all.
The Human Rights Program is sponsored by Stanford Summer Session in
collaboration with Stanford Continuing Studies; the Center on Democracy,
Development, and the Rule of Law; Stanford Master of Liberal Arts; and the
United Nations Association Film Festival.
For more information on the companion course, �International Human Rights:
Strategy, Struggle, and the Quest for Dignity� with Anupma Kulkarni, please
visit **the course
Each year, as part of the Summer Human Rights program, a distinguished
international human rights advocate is invited to deliver the keynote
address in the public lecture series. Last summer, for the inauguration of
the program, we had two keynotes, one by Fatou Bensouda, the first African
and the first woman to serve as chief prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court; and the other by Philip Gourevitch, a staff writer for *The
New Yorker*, and author of prize-winning journalism on Rwanda. This summer
we are honored to host Albie Sachs, a courageous anti-apartheid campaigner
in South Africa who went on to help draft his country�s first democratic
constitution, and to serve as a judge on its highest court.
Sachs�s career in human rights activism started when he was seventeen years
old, continuing through college and into his law practice in Cape Town
where he defended people charged under the state�s racist statutes.
Attracting the displeasure of authorities, Sachs was first subjected to
�banning laws� restricting his activities, then arrested, and finally put
into solitary confinement. Upon release from prison, he went into voluntary
exile but never discontinued his human rights work. In 1988 in Mozambique,
Sachs was nearly killed when a bomb placed under his car by South African
agents exploded. He lost an arm and sight in one eye, but emerged from the
ordeal with renewed idealism for his cause and what he describes as simple
joy at being alive.
In 1990, Sachs returned to South Africa, where he worked to draft the
constitution for the newly democratic country. In 1994, he was appointed by
Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court, where he served as judge until
2009, writing decisions that changed the face of human rights in South
Africa, including a decision in favor of same-sex marriage in 2005.
He is the author of *Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter*, which chronicles
his response to the 1988 car bombing, and five other books including *The
Jail Diary of Albie Sachs*, which was dramatized for the Royal Shakespeare
Company and broadcast by the BBC.
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