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TAMIU Welcomes Human Rights Activist John Prendergast

By Evelyn Camero
On April 10, 2012

On Mar. 29, 2012, Texas A&M International University welcomed human rights activist John Prendergast. Prendergast visited the university campus with the purpose of delivering a speech on how students could engage in social justice and social change issues. Prendergast's presentation took place in the University's Student Success Center Ballroom at 6 p.m.

Prendergast has worked in the White House during the Clinton administration, the State Department, members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prendergast is also a best-selling author who has fought to bring peace to Africa for more than 25 years. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, which serves as an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Before Prendergast initiated his speech, the audience was entertained with a poem of Dr. Barbara Greybeck. Before she recited her poem, she explained that her poem was centered around, "her commitment to women and the impact of war rape in women." Greybeck also added that her poem was inspired on Prendergast's book The Enough Moment.

In addition, the audience also enjoyed the performance of the TAMIU dance students, who had prepared a dance piece inspired by Prendergast's poem. The dance piece was under the direction of Assistant Professor of Dance Andrea Vasquez. The performed piece incorporated African music and modern dance techniques.

John Prendergast was introduced by economics major Cornelius Kipkorir, who gave a few words before Prendergast took the stand. Prendergast initiated his speech by letting the audience know about his work, and also expressed his excitement to be on campus. Prendergast's speech concentrated on the negative effects that Hollywood has had on the perceptions of the African continent. Prendergast explained that there has been many movies that Hollywood has produced that concentrate on the many issues that the African continent has undergone that don't highlight the positive changes that the country has achieved.

The activist added that Africa is a continent that has had many positive changes that Hollywood has ignored to include in their films, so the perceptions of Africa can be changed. Moreover, Prendergast suggested that all people can create change by simply joining a cause. He explained that any activist group no matter how big or small is a channel to be able to create change in our community or the world.

If you would like more information about John Prendergast you may visit his Enough Project website at www.enoughproject.orgor call (202) 682-1611. If you would like more information on the presentation and future speakers, you may reach Dr. Marcela Uribe at (956) 326-3133 or Dr. Rosemary Plank at (956) 326-2446.

Evelyn Camero can be reached at

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