Book group provides space to engage with human rights issues

Diane Gillespie

This fall, IAS Professor Emeritus Diane Gillespie will facilitate a discussion of the book, However Long the Night, by Aimee Molloy.  However Long the Night  chronicles the work of Gillespie’s sister, Molly Melching, founder of the Senegal-based community development organization, Tostan.  Molloy’s account details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey of 40 years in Africa, where she became a social entrepreneur and voice for the rights of girls and women.  All are invited to attend – be added to the email list and stay tuned for details!

Human rights have been a core area of study and practice since UW Bothell opened in 1990.  Founding Faculty Member and Professor Emeritus Bob Schultz instituted the Washington D.C. Human Rights Seminar in 1991, providing students the opportunity to engage with human rights policy at national and international levels.  While in D.C., students participate in intensive seminars and briefings with a variety of institutions and policy makers.  Since 1991, more than 400 students have participated, and alumni often reference it as one of their most formative learning experiences.

Alumni of DC Seminar gathered for a reunion in 2015, and an outcome was the formation of the Human Rights Book Group.  Several alumni discovered a shared desire to continue digging into human rights issues, as they did through the D.C. seminar and other courses at UW Bothell.  Alum Anna Legaspi commented, “I realized that this [book group] could be the perfect way to stay current and dive into the myriad human rights issues in the world today. Some of the deepest and best intellectual conversations I’ve ever had took place in the Human Rights Seminar in D.C.  This book group could continue those conversations with the same (and other like-minded) people.”

While started by D.C. alums, the group is open to anyone concerned about human rights.  Past reads have included: I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai; The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander; Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; and In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by Walter Echo-Hawk.

To receive information on upcoming Human Rights Book Group discussions, email iasalum@uw.edu

However Long the Night (cover)