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Student organization kicks off Human Rights Week


Southern Miss Students for Human Rights will host Human Rights week Feb. 29 through March 3, a week that the group has dedicated to creating awareness of issues that affect human rights both domestically and internationally.

Mary Ward, a junior public relations major, serves as the president for Students for Human Rights.

“As a leader in this group, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with other student organizations and watch my own group grow through this exciting event,” Ward said. “Human Rights Week will target students to expand their knowledge on various issues around the world and how we are affected here at home.”

On Feb. 29, the organization will have a social media campaign to promote the week and encourage others to get involved with the events.

Continuing on March 1, the Students for Human Rights will team up with the International Club and Amnesty International to host an event called “Human Rights Around the World” at 7:00 pm in the International Center 101 during which students from countries such as Nepal will talk about issues such as human trafficking, political corruption and poverty they have witnessed in their home countries.

Wednesday’s theme will be domestic violence awareness, and human rights club will host a karaoke fundraiser from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Java Werks to benefit the Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention.

A representative from the Shafer Center will be a guest speaker at the event to talk about the services that the center offers for victims of sexual and physical domestic abuse.

Finally, Thursday’s theme will be called “USM and You.” Students for Human Rights members will table at the fountain, allowing students to join the social media campaign by posting pictures that show how the Southern Miss community is working to take strides toward equality.

Edward Miller, a senior communications studies major, serves as president of the International Club.

Miller also serves as a senator in the Student Government Association and wrote a resolution which the Senate passed unanimously on Feb. 18 to establish the first week of March as Human Rights Week at Southern Miss in the years to come.

“By having a designated Human Rights Week, we believe more students and organizations will get involved with human rights,” Miller said.

Bob Press, associate political science professor, serves as the faculty advisor for the human rights club.

“Concern for human rights is concern for others,” Press said. “The events during Human Rights Week offer students a chance to express their commitment to a world in which people care about others and oppose abuses of the vulnerable.”

Students for Human Rights at USM is part of the USM Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, which also sponsors a human rights minor.

The group meets every Tuesday from 12:20-12:50 p.m. in LAB 104.

For more information, visit the organization’s Facebook page or

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Student organization kicks off Human Rights Week