Usm rights group to host events


The Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties (CHRCL) at The University of Southern Mississippi will host several events for the campus community this semester.

CHRCL will begin the season with an open-campus forum on immigration Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Gonzales Auditorium. The forum will likely discuss President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. A panel of guest speakers will address the audience following the forum.

CHRCL will hold a Southeastern Human Rights Conference with the theme of “Human Rights around the Globe” on March 31 and April 1 at USM and will include training in human rights advocacy. Faculty, staff and students are invited to present papers related to any article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“As a center, we seek to provide a platform for students and faculty to engage in discussions that will further unite our community in order to make a positive change,” said Michael McDonald, Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties Intern. “While USM as a community embraces diversity, it is vital we keep the discussion open regarding past and current social issues in order to promote unity and empathy.”

CHRCL for Human Rights and Civil Liberties sponsors Students for Human Rights, which meets every Tuesday at 12:15 in LAB 207. CHRCL also sponsors the human rights minor.

“I really care about people and the issues in America and the world,” said Students for Human Rights member Gaqueta Alexander. “I have been learning about human rights since I was in grade school, so I wanted to find a way to get involved.”

CHRCL at Southern Miss was founded in 2004.

“From the beginning it has involved both faculty and student leadership,” said CHRCL co-director Bob Press. “[CHRCL] has sponsored two national human rights conferences, held forums on a wide variety of topics and sponsored the human rights minor. It also helped clear the criminal record of Clyde Kennard.

Many faculty and staff, including Barry Haywood, Tim Rehner, David Cochran, John Meyer and others have helped over the years along with student leaders such as Tangee Carter, Dylan Harris, Tearannay Street, Katrell Nash and others.”

CHRCL is planning a special event during Black History Month and will announce details soon.

Center Advisory Board applications are now being accepted. The board meets monthly and interested faculty and students should contact CHRCL for more information.

CHRCL also sponsors Students for Human Rights, which holds weekly meetings on Tuesdays from 12:15 to 12:50 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building 207.