Georgia Southern University Student Abolitionist Movement will host a Human Rights Conference this weekend with the South Sudan Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Akec Khoc, as the keynote speaker.
The conference costs $10 and will be in the Russell Union, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and will be from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. Registration is available leading up to the day of the event.
Women’s rights, specifically involving human trafficking, will be the main focus of the conference, along with children’s rights, gay rights and minority rights.
“Human trafficking is a huge issue in women’s rights because of lack of education and vulnerability to exploitation,” Zach McGalliard, president of SAM, said.
The conference is about awareness, Claire Torrell, vice president of SAM, said.
“We wanted a conference that would be more diverse with a lot of different issues,” Shauntay Harris, vice president of the African Student Association, said. “We’ve incorporated organizations such as Invisible Children, SAM and ASA and picked issues relevant to each organization.”
The morning panel on Saturday was organized by Amnesty International and includes several individuals with opposing beliefs and perspectives.
“There is going to be tons of information. It’s not like a conference where you just listen and learn. It’s the opportunity to put your opinions out there, share your knowledge and really learn something,” Torrell said.
Universal Unitarian Reverand Jane Page will speak on behalf of LGBTQ Rights around the world and Dr. Lori Ami will discuss women’s rights and trafficking with a focus on the demand side.
Adam Hazlip, graduate assistant in the Center for Multicultural Studies, will present on Mass Incarceration for Minority Rights.
There will be an online petition people can sign that will be sent to the Obama Administration as a follow-up to a petition last year that resulted in over 80,000 signatures, McGalliard said.
Students can register online at the Multicultural Student Center’s website or at SAM’s table that will be set up at the Russell Union from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. everyday. The first 20 people to register receive a free t-shirt.
The price of registration will cover a Caribbean Feast Friday night, breakfast and a McAllister’s lunch on Saturday.
Torrell said, “Every issue is important, we need each other. We are the next generation of students that will be able to change these things.”
Tayler Critchlow contributed to this report.