MAWI Speaks in Utica on Wednesday, October 17th
October 15th 2012 · 0 Comments
Part of UNSPOKEN Human Rights Film Festival, Conference, Art and Music
UTICA, NY – The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees presents the second annual UNSPOKEN Human Rights Festival in Utica October 17 to 20th featuring a film festival, a national UNSPOKEN conference themed Create Space for Gender Peace TM, art exhibits, and entertainment. This multi-faceted forum gives voice to uphold human rights for our world with local, national, and international perspectives providing a powerful, moving experience.
Best-selling author, refugee, Harvard graduate and Harvard Commencement speaker Mawi Asgedom, whose inspirational story has moved millions and earned him a spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show’s “One of the Twenty Best Moments of Oprah’s career”, was resettled to the United States as a young child. He will speak at the Uptown Theatre on Wednesday, October 17th at 7pm. Mawi has written eight books that are used in thousands of classrooms across America, is a nationally recognized educator, and has spoken to over 1,000,000 students.
Mawi has also inspired corporate Fortune 500 Audiences and the general public with his moving, family friendly presentations. His story of fleeing civil war in Ethiopia as a child, surviving years in a Sudanese refugee camp and being resettled in America is amazing in itself. And that was just the prologue. Once here he had to overcome poverty, language and culture barriers, and personal tragedy to achieve the American dream. His story, its unlikely heroes, his personal convictions, all leading to his great success is powerful, moving and inspirational.
The 2012 UNSPOKEN International Film Festival will be held from October 18-20 at the Uptown Theatre in Utica. Compelling stories will be told through films selected from well over 100 entries from around the world. Viewing times have been added Sunday, October 21 due to the number of outstanding film submissions—films that simply demand to be shown. The film festival offers the opportunity to be engaged with and experience short and feature length films identifying actions that uphold human rights and exposing human rights violations from around the globe. Live talks and discussions with filmmakers accompanying many of the UNSPOKEN festival films offer rare insights, informed perspectives, and thought provoking solutions to these pressing issues. Mike Patrei of the Ilion Film Company, one of the creators of the Unspoken Human Rights Festival and the filmmaker responsible for the award-winning documentary Ballou, will preside over the 2012 UNSPOKEN Film Festival.
MAWI Speaks Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees Community Page 2
UNSPOKEN also celebrates the beauty and meaning of shared diversity– human rights and human dignity through the arts. Artists, authors, poets, painters, photographers, dancers, sculptors translate their human rights and cultural experiences in unique and inspired ways. One such exhibit is The Last Supper by Julie Green, which explores the last meals of inmates condemned to die on the death row. The Human Dignity Visual Arts Shows will be open October 17th through October 20th at The Other Side and throughout October at the Tamontane Café.
The 2012 UNSPOKEN Conference will be held on October 18-20 at the Radisson Hotel in Utica. The conference will explore the gendered perspective of human rights. Violence against women and girls has been identified as one the most pressing global health concerns. It will also explore how consent, coercion and conflict affect our world, including how violence against women and girls affects individuals, families and communities from local, national and global perspectives. The conference will also consider the impacts of war, resettlement, social norms, economic systems, community and healing. Local, national and global perspectives will bridge the universal nature of gender violence and possibilities of Gender-Peace TM. Presenters include Gil Garcetti, Cheryl Hamilton, and Gannon Gillespie.
Further details concerning the UNSPOKEN Human Rights Festival October 17-20 are available at www.iamunspoken.com.
For over 30 years Utica, New York and the Mohawk Valley have welcomed refugees from across the globe, often times fleeing the very worst human rights’ violations. In 2005, Utica was recognized by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees as “the town that loves refugees.” Over 14,000 refugees along with thousands of immigrants have resettled to Utica, built a life here, and become part of the fabric of this city. It is right and fitting that a human rights’ festival is happening here, where so many residents understand first-hand the absence of human rights.
UNSPOKEN is presented by the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and sponsored by: Chobani/Shepard’s Gift, The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., M&T Bank, he Bank of Utica, New York Sash, SUNYIT, The Uptown Theatre, Witness.org, Ilion Film Company, Mohawk Valley Community College, The Tramontane Café, Utica Public Library, Café Domenico, Quadsimia, Mid-York Library System, Utica College, The Other Side, PJ Green, Inc., Hamilton College, Upstate Institute and The Center for Women’s Studies and Peace & Conflict Program at Colgate University. UNSPOKEN Conference: This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-UW-AX-0038 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Sponsorship information is available by emailing Kevin Marken at email@example.com