Leading Lady: Jenny Torres, Interim President of SMU’s Multicultural Greek Council

HC at SMU

Originally Posted: April 23, 2016

SMU is proud to be home to world changers, and it all starts with the moment a student decides to become a leader. We are proud here at Her Campus to present SMU’s Leading Ladies, taking charge and making a difference in the community.

This week, we got to know senior Jenny Torres, a human rights and public policy student who is also the interim president of the Multicultural Greek Council. Recently, she was honored with two Hilltop Excellence Awards: the Emme V. Baine Legacy and A. Kenneth Pye Outstanding Greek Leader Awards. Receiving two honors in one night is fitting for a woman who seems to do everything at once. READ MORE

Dedman College alumna Lisa Walters is working for the educational nonprofit Global Citizen Year in Ecuador, where a deadly quake hit

SMU News

Originally Posted: April 20, 2016

SMU Aluma in Ecuador and SMU police officer dad grateful for far-reaching support after quake

Lisa-Walters-in-Quito

DALLAS (SMU) – Everything Lisa Walters learned from earning recent SMU degrees in human rights and Spanish is being put to the ultimate test in Ecuador. She was about to board a plane back to her home in the South American country Saturday, April 16, when she learned Ecuador had been struck by a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

Lisa, the daughter of SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters, moved to Ecuador a week after her May 2014 graduation and now works as a team leader for the educational nonprofit group Global Citizen Year (GCY), a program that provides study abroad opportunities for young men and women in their “gap” or “bridge” year between high school and college. She was changing planes in Houston, on her way back to Quito after escorting a group of GCY students to California, when she learned the quake had killed hundreds, injured thousands, and left some 40,000 people searching for shelter, food and family members.

At the time, her usually unruffled police officer father was, “to be honest, frantic,” he says.

Since he and his daughter are close, they communicate almost daily by email or via the international–calling WhatsApp service. Chief Walters worried about her heading to Quito, which had closed its airport to allow in only flights carrying relief supplies.

After the duo connected during Lisa’s delay in Houston, she checked in as “safe” on Facebook –

much to the relief of her 687 friends on the social media network and her Ecuadorean husband of less than three months. Meanwhile, countless people were contacting Chief Walters to inquire about his and Lisa’s wellbeing.

“It was a pretty amazing feeling to hear from so many people, especially at SMU, who showed just how much they care about us,” he says. “It was heartwarming to say the least.”

As Lisa and her father connected with family members and friends during a multi-hour delay in Houston, her flight was finally cleared to return to Quito. But once there, she would spend nearly another full day trying to get a seat on a bus to take her to her home, three hours away in the Imbabura province that borders hard-hit Esmeraldes. READ MORE

 

 

Embrey Human Rights Program’s “Evening With Kang Il-Chul and Lee Ok-Seon”

SMU News

Originally Posted: April 20, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – During World War II, the Japanese military abducted, tricked or coerced as many as 200,000 women for use as sex slaves, euphemistically called “comfort women.” Most were from occupied Korea, with others from China, Southeast Asia and Europe – and two-thirds were killed or died after their abuse.

In a rare U.S. appearance, two of the survivors will be at SMU on Friday, April 22, for the Embrey Human Rights Program’s “Evening With Kang Il-Chul and Lee Ok-Seon,” held in partnership with Seoul, South Korea’s House of Sharing, an assisted living home where Il-Chul and Ok-Seon and five others find support.

The free public event will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception featuring Korean food and dance tributes, followed by a 7:15 p.m. discussion in McCord Auditorium, Room 306 of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those in the SMU and Dallas community to hear two of less than 50 surviving victims of Japanese military sexual slavery,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin. “Their powerful stories of exploitation and courage deserve to be heard – and the atrocities inflicted on them remembered and never repeated.” READ MORE

Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights, worldwide executions surge to highest levels in 25 years

Huffington Post

Originally Posted: April 5, 2016

Worldwide use of the death penalty rose sharply last year, with 2015 tallying the highest number of executions in 25 years, according to a report released Tuesday by Amnesty International.

At least 1,634 people were executed last year, according to available data as well as executions corroborated by the international human rights group.

The number, which is more than double the 2014 total, is a conservative estimate: Countries currently in conflict, like Syria, were not included since their data could not be corroborated, nor were specific numbers from China, where such data is considered a state secret. China alone is believed to carry out executions that annually number in the thousands.

“The rise in executions last year is profoundly disturbing,” Amnesty International’s Secretary Salil Shetty said in a statement. “Not for the last 25 years have so many people been put to death by states around the world.”

Despite the high rate of global executions last year, the number of countries that have the death penalty is growing smaller by the year. Fiji, Madagascar, the Republic of Congo and Suriname all abolished the death penalty in 2015, while Mongolia’s abolition takes effect on July 1.

At least 60 other countries that still have the death penalty but have not used it in a decade are what the United Nations considers “de facto abolitionists.” READ MORE

Tonight: NFL’s Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 To Talk Sports And Human Rights

SMU Magazine

NFL offensive tackle, and Dedman College alumnus, Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 will talk about the role sports play in furthering the conversation on American human rights issues during a panel discussion on Thursday, April 7 at 7:15 p.m. in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“A Conversation on Sports and Human Rights” will be moderated by WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen and will include SMU Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director Monique Holland.

“Sports provides an easy doorway for social analysis, and a common ground for open dialogue,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Assistant Director Brad Klein, who helped organized the event.

“In sports media and the conversations of fans, it is common to hear discussions about paying college athletes, women’s and LGBT rights, race relations, team mascots, athletes with disabilities, drug use in competition and more,” Klein adds. “In this way, sports has a remarkable ability to get people of different backgrounds and perspectives talking together.” READ MORE

“Triumph of the Spirit” nominations being accepted through April 1

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program is accepting nominations for its 2016 Triumph of the Spirit Awards that will provide a $25,000 prize to a successful champion of human rights and social justice issues on a national or global scale, and $5,000 to a Dallas-area human rights defender.

The deadline to submit nominations is April 1, 2016. Winners will be announced July 1 and will be honored this fall. For more information on the unique honor, funded through an anonymous donor, visit http://www.smu.edu/triumph.

“The bi-annual Triumph of the Spirit Awards celebrate individuals who’ve devoted their lives in successful, meaningful ways to the defense and advocacy of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” says Embrey Human Rights Director Rick Halperin. “Recipients serve as beacons of hope in ongoing struggles for truth, justice and dignity.”

Global winner of the inaugural 2014 Triumph of the Spirit Award was Peruvian champion of indigenous women’s rights Eliana Elias, co-founder/executive director of Minga Peru. Winner of the regional award was innovative educator Bhavani Parpia, founder/president of ConnecTeach.

The first Triumph of the Spirit Awards celebration at SMU drew nearly 300 students and educators, community/government/business leaders, philanthropists, artists, activists and others who were treated to artistic performances, compelling stories of human rights work, and the premier of the Embrey Human Rights Program video.

SMU is the only university in the South and one of only seven in the nation to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in human rights. Approved in 2011 by the SMU Board of Trustees, the degree was offered five years after SMU alumna Lauren Embrey, and her sister Gayle Embrey, helped fund the innovative program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

For more details about Triumph of the Spirit Awards or the Embrey Human Rights Program, contact EHRP Assistant Director Bradley Klein at 214-768-3241 or kleinb@smu.edu. READ MORE

#MustangsGiveBack is March 24! Support a Dedman College project and make a real difference for students

What will you support at SMU? Make a gift on March 24, 2016 and be a part of Mustangs Give Back, our one-day giving challenge.

Below is a list of Dedman College projects:

DedmanFund-300x200-11. Support Dedman College Scholars for a semester. 

Help us fund one semester for a Dedman College Scholar student next year! CLICK HERE

 

DallasBusTour1-600x4002. Introduce new students to Dallas

Introduce new SMU students to Dallas with a day-long bus tour of the city’s historic sites. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman3-300x2003. Create a new section of microeconomics

Fund a new section of this always-oversubscribed course, allowing students to take it when it best fits their schedules. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman2-300x2004. Support Minds, Brains and Robotics

This will provide funding for Minds, Brains and Robotics, a popular course in philosophy. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman4-300x2005. Create a new course in digital humanities

Help SMU create a new course in Digital Humanities. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman1-300x2006. Support the One-Day Jewish University

Provide classroom materials for guest lecturers for the annual SMU One-Day Jewish University. CLICK HERE

 

CivilRights1-300x2007. Send students on a journey into history

Provide partial scholarships for 8 students to experience the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. CLICK HERE

 

SupremeCourt-300x2008. Support Supreme Court scholarships

D.C. bound! Send 5 students with Professor Kobylka to learn about the Supreme Court. CLICK HERE

 

Refrigerator1-300x2009. Replace the rusty refrigerator

Help us retire the rusty old refrigerator in Dr. Son’s Chemistry lab. CLICK HERE

 

SchweitzerFellows-300x20010. Fund orientation for Schweitzer Fellows

Help us fund the overnight leadership orientation program for 10-15 graduate fellows. CLICK HERE

 

SantosRodriguez-300x20011. Fund a new human rights scholarship

Raise one semester’s worth of funds for a compelling new scholarship honoring Santos Rodriguez. CLICK HERE

WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen moderates conversation on sports and human rights with panelist and Dedman College alumnus Kelvin Beachum

SMU News

Originally Posted: March 17, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – A professional athlete, a sports journalist and an athletics administrator will assemble for a panel discussion about the role sports play in furthering the conversation on American human rights issues at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium on the campus of SMU.

WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen will moderate “A Conversation on Sports and Human Rights.” He will be joined by SMU alumnus and professional football player Kelvin Beachum and SMU Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director Monique Holland.

“Sports provides an easy doorway for social analysis, and a common ground for open dialogue,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Assistant Director Brad Klein, who helped organized the event.

“In sports media and the conversations of fans, it is common to hear discussions about paying college athletes, women’s and LGBT rights, race relations, team mascots, athletes with disabilities, drug use in competition and more,” Klein added. “In this way, sports has a remarkable ability to get people of different backgrounds and perspectives talking together.”

The April panel will pull back the curtain on what those debates look like in the locker room, the newsroom and in the front office. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel during the course of the discussion.

“There are important differences between the way athletics works in the U.S. compared to, say, politics,” Klein says. “Sports has a special ability to put a personal face on big issues. How many more people can name the quarterback of the Cowboys rather than their Congressional representative? Sports touch many people at a young age before prejudices and biases about identity are fully formed.”

The event is free and open to the public. READ MORE

“Triumph of the Spirit” nominations being accepted

SMU News

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program is accepting nominations for its 2016 Triumph of the Spirit Awards that will provide a $25,000 prize to a successful champion of human rights and social justice issues on a national or global scale, and $5,000 to a Dallas-area human rights defender.

The deadline to submit nominations is April 1, 2016. Winners will be announced July 1 and will be honored this fall. For more information on the unique honor, funded through an anonymous donor, visit http://www.smu.edu/triumph.

“The bi-annual Triumph of the Spirit Awards celebrate individuals who’ve devoted their lives in successful, meaningful ways to the defense and advocacy of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” says Embrey Human Rights Director Rick Halperin. “Recipients serve as beacons of hope in ongoing struggles for truth, justice and dignity.”

Global winner of the inaugural 2014 Triumph of the Spirit Award was Peruvian champion of indigenous women’s rights Eliana Elias, co-founder/executive director of Minga Peru. Winner of the regional award was innovative educator Bhavani Parpia, founder/president of ConnecTeach.

The first Triumph of the Spirit Awards celebration at SMU drew nearly 300 students and educators, community/government/business leaders, philanthropists, artists, activists and others who were treated to artistic performances, compelling stories of human rights work, and the premier of the Embrey Human Rights Program video.

SMU is the only university in the South and one of only seven in the nation to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in human rights. Approved in 2011 by the SMU Board of Trustees, the degree was offered five years after SMU alumna Lauren Embrey, and her sister Gayle Embrey, helped fund the innovative program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

For more details about Triumph of the Spirit Awards or the Embrey Human Rights Program, contact EHRP Assistant Director Bradley Klein at 214-768-3241 or kleinb@smu.edu.

Southern Methodist University is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. READ MORE