Head of Amnesty International to Speak at UW-Madison

DATE: Thursday, March 29, 2007
CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590, rlhess@wisc.edu

Madison, WI –Larry Cox, the executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) will deliver the Mildred Fish-Harnack Human Rights and Democracy Lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mr. Cox will speak on “The War on Human Rights,” Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison. The talk, sponsored by the UW-Madison Division of International Studies and the Global Legal Studies Center of the Law School, is free and open to the public.

As executive director of AIUSA, Mr. Cox promotes human rights as the basis for peace and security in the post-September 11 era. Mr. Cox believes the U.S. has abdicated its role as a leader in human rights.

A veteran human rights advocate, Mr. Cox was senior program officer for over ten years at the Ford Foundation’s Human Rights unit, focusing on the promotion of international justice and the advancement of domestic human rights. He has also served as the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, an international organization that works with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon to protect their rights.

The Mildred Fish-Harnack Human Rights and Democracy Lecture is designed to promote greater understanding of human rights and democracy, and enrich international studies at UW-Madison. The lecture is named after Mildred Fish, a native of Milwaukee and a vibrant and active student at the UW-Madison in the 1920’s. She married Arvid Harnack, a young German graduate student and returned with him to Germany where she taught American literature at the University of Berlin. Her strong beliefs in democracy and freedom were evident in her heroic anti-Nazi resistance work during World War II. Fish-Harnack is the only American civilian who was executed by the Nazis as an underground conspirator.