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10th anniversary conference & celebration

On October 3-4, 2011, Scholars at Risk marked our 10th anniversary by celebrating the extraordinary people and institutions that have done so much to help so many endangered scholars worldwide. The theme of the anniversary--“Courage to Think”--reminds us that we all have a role in defending the space in society for creativity, inquiry, and individual and shared expression even, and perhaps especially, when doing so carries risks, from ridicule and failure to imprisonment and even death. Exercising this role takes courage, and we celebrate those who have shown it. Many thanks to all the partners, member institution representatives, scholars, friends and activists who joined us for the 10th anniversary events, and to all who join us in celebrating the courage to think over the coming years.  We look forward to continuing to build together a global movement for free inquiry, free expression, and human rights. Highlights of the conference included:

  • keynote dialogue and presentation of the inaugural Scholars at Risk “Courage to Think Leadership Award” to Aryeh Neier for his leadership and outstanding contributions to human rights and the protection of intellectuals.
  • “Courage to Think” dialogues highlighting the personal experiences of scholars from Syria, Pakistan and Europe threatened for advancing ideas against resistance;
  • workshops on SAR’s Academic Freedom Advocacy Team project aimed at promoting greater respect for academic freedom and university values; and

Participants included activists, intellectuals, academics and administrators from more than 21 countries—including Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe—and  exiled and refugee scholars who have fled persecution in their home countries.

Summary program

October 3rd

Morning workshops:
SAR Staff presents on membership issues, partner networks, speaker series, faculty participation, faculty research, advocacy work, and internships.


Courage to Think dialogues:
Gender and Blasphemy in Pakistan: Shemeem Abbas, Purchase College, SUNY with Mary Gordon, Barnard College
Democracy and Protest in Syria: Radwan Ziadeh, George Washington University with Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard University

Keynote dialogue and celebration:
Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Foundations
Jonathan Fanton, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Visiting Fellow at the Roosevelt House Public Institute at Hunter College in New York


October 4th

Academic freedom workshops:

Introduction
Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, University of Ghana

 
Defamation

Zifa Auezova, University of Amsterdam

Frederic Bernard, Université de Genève

Restrictions on the Right to Travel
Klaus Beiter, Max Plank Institute, Germany
Lami Bertan Tokuzlu, Istanbul Bilgi University


Wrongful Detention and Prosecution
Solomon Ebobrah, Niger Delta University

Retaliatory Discharge
Terrance Karran, University of Lincoln, London, UK

Network meeting:
Network-wide discussion of governance, advocacy, outreach, and strategic plan.  
 

Remarks by Executive Director Robert Quinn 

*Video Credit: Karin Vlietstra, University of Amsterdam.

'Courage to Think' video

Watch the video that premiered at Scholars at Risk's 10th Anniversary Celebration & Conference and learn about our work.


'Courage to Think' campaign

Scholars at Risk's 'Courage to Think' campaign celebrates courageous individuals who advance ideas against resistance.  Institutions are invited to get involved in the campaign through one or more of the following activities:

  • Host a "Courage to Think” dialogue on your campus. Invite a campus community leader, professor, student or visiting scholar to share the stage with a discussant, exploring ideas that may not have otherwise had the chance to be shared. more>>
  • Invite a scholar to speak on campus through the SAR Speaker Series. The SAR Speaker Series provides higher education institutions with opportunities to invite at-risk scholars to campus to share their stories, raise awareness about academic freedom and attacks on scholars, and inspire students, faculty and guests to appreciate the opportunities they have to pursue knowledge and share ideas freely and safely. more>>
  • Participate in "Share Your Stories" by sharing with SAR a video, photo, audio or other story about how you or your campus has been involved in protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom. more>>
  • Take it one step further and invite a scholar to your region through SAR's regional Speaker Series initiative. In an effort to expand the reach and impact of the SAR Speaker Series, Scholars at Risk seeks to partner with groups of higher education institutions in the same city, region or country to organize multiple events on the various participating campuses during a multi-day tour. more>>

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