Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel will headline the 2010 PeaceJam Northeast Youth Conference, at the University of Hartford from Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28. Nearly 300 high school students from the northeastern United States will attend the Conference, joining an international movement that brings young people together with Nobel Peace laureates to inspire and educate the students to become leaders in working for social justice and peace.
Pérez Esquivel is a native of Argentina. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his leadership in the struggle for human rights and democracy in Latin America. In 1976, he initiated an international campaign aimed at persuading the United Nations to establish a Human Rights Commission. In the spring of 1977, Pérez Esquivel was imprisoned without cause and tortured for 14 months, as one of thousands of the "Disappeared". He was released as the result of an international letter-writing campaign by Amnesty International, who declared him their International Political Prisoner of the Year for 1978.
Pérez Esquivel will deliver a free public lecture on Friday, March 26, at 7:00 p.m. in Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford's campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. The University will present him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters before his talk. The lecture will be delivered in Spanish with a translator.
The annual PeaceJam Youth Conference is an opportunity for students ages 14 to 19 to meet other young people who are interested in creating peaceful change in themselves, their communities, and the world. The students will interact extensively with Pérez Esquivel, attend workshops and perform community service in the Greater Hartford community. They will also present "Global Call to Action," projects which address such issues as breaking the cycle of violence, ending extreme poverty, stopping racism and hate, and global warming.
Local students from the following will attend the conference: American School for the Deaf (West Hartford), Branford High School, Cheshire Youth Services/High School, Enfield Youth Council, Family Life Education (Hartford), Glastonbury Youth Services, Hooker Middle School (New Haven), L.E.A.P. (New Haven), Middletown Youth Services/High School, South Windsor Youth Services/High School, Waterbury Youth Services, Watkinson School (Hartford), and Wooster School (Danbury).
For more information on PeaceJam, visit NextGenLeaders.org or contact Barry Felson at bfelson@NextGenLeaders.org or 203.687.4340.