2015 Human Rights Day


Kelsey Timmerman, Keynote Speaker

Kelsey Timmerman is the author of WHERE AM I WEARING? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes and WHERE AM I EATING? An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and has aired on NPR. Kelsey is also the cofounder of the Facing Project, which seeks to connect people through stories to strengthen community. He has spent the night in Castle Dracula in Romania, played PlayStation in Kosovo, farmed on four continents, taught an island village to play baseball in Honduras, and in another life, worked as a SCUBA instructor in Key West, Florida. Whether in print or in person he seeks to connect people around the world.


Adam Gaunt 

Adam Gaunt is a Graduate Assistant/Program Coordinator for the Office of Diversity. He received his B.S. in December, 2013 in Management Information Systems. Currently he is enrolled in the M.B.A.  program at ISU with an anticipated graduation date of May of this year.


Stephen Ferry

Stephen Ferry was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. At the age of 12, Stephen learned to develop film at a local camera store. Stephen has traveled to dozens of countries, covering social and political change, human rights, and the environment. He has collaborated with The New York Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Geo and many other publications. Stephen regularly collaborates with Human Rights Watch as a visual investigator. A fluent Spanish speaker, Stephen has developed a understanding of Latin American culture, society and politics over 20 years of covering the region. Stephen's first book, I Am Rich Potosí: The Mountain that Eats Men (Monacelli Press) was published in 1999, and his second Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict (Umbrage / Icono) came out in 2012. Stephen’s work has received numerous prizes in the World Press, Picture of the Year and Best of Photojournalism contests. He has received grants  from the National Geographic Expeditions Council, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the Howard Chapnick Fund, the Knight International Press Fellowship, the Getty Images Grant for Good, Open Society Foundations, the Magnum Foundation and the Tim Hetherington Grant. Stephen teaches documentary practice at the Fundación para un Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), in Cartagena, Colombia and the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC.   


Stuart Mora - United Here 

Workplace leaders and organizers from UNITE HERE will share stories of the economic injustice and workplace abuses that they have experienced and how they have organized the union to address many of their issues through relationships, community-building, and strategic campaigning. The worker leaders will come from Marian, Butler, IUPUI, and Earlham. They are mostly food service workers who are contracted through multi-national corporations by their universities and have all organized in the last four years. UNITE HERE! is the union that represents food service and hospitality workers across North America. Our union has over 300,000 members and represents nearly 3,000 workers and growing in the state of Indiana.


Myra Dahgaypaw

Myra Dahgaypaw is a human rights activist from Karen State, Eastern Burma. She was an Internally Displaced Person for 12 years and a refugee for 17 years, until she fled to the United States. Due to the oppression, torture and killing by the Burmese SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) troops, Myra lost many of the people she knows, including, but not limited to, her own immediate family members, close relatives and close friends. Myra started to become a passionate community organizer when she was thirteen years old. She has been a strong community organizer and a committed human rights advocate for over a decade and currently is engaged with various human rights issues in Burma. After working as a Burmese human rights advocate at the United Nations for almost four years with the Burma Fund UN Office, Myra is now working with the U.S. Campaign for Burma (USCB) as the national campaigns director. USCB is an organization dedicated to empowering grassroots activists around the world to rally for human rights and to bring an end to the military dictatorship in Burma.


Mike "Stinger" Glenn

One of Mike’s passions is his All-Star Basketball Camp for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing which celebrated their 35th Anniversary in June 2014. This non-profit organization is the nation’s first basketball camp for hearing-challenged athletes and is offered every summer free of charge to as many as 120 deaf athletes across the country. In 2013, Mike Glenn had his debut as an actor playing himself in an award-winning movie, Spirit of Love: The Mike Glenn Story, recipient of numerous awards. The film won “Best Inspirational movie of the year” at the ICM Country Music Association in Nashville Tennessee.   Mike Glenn is the recipient of numerous awards including: The #1 Vote for Academic All-American Basketball Player; NBA Walter P. Kennedy Citizenship Award; NBA “Spirit of Love” Award; the Gate City Bar Association Professional Athlete Award; Leadership Atlanta, Class of 1988-89; the Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award by the Roberto Goizueto Business School at Emory University, 2001; the Hosea Williams Award for Community Activism by Georgia State University, 2009; and the Operation Lifesaver, Inc. “Champion” award, 2010.Recently Mike was elected to the board of directors of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), and was selected to the All-Century team at Southern Illinois University in 2014 as well as the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 2015. Currently, Mike Glenn is a television basketball analyst for Fox Sports South.  He can be seen on Hawks Live, the pre-game, half-time, and post-game show for the Atlanta Hawks.  Mike Glenn’s Latest Book: My Next Shot Goes In: Ten Sacred Characteristics of NBA Players that Lead to Success.


Dr. Ralph Leck

Dr. Ralph Leck is a specialist in modern European intellectual, cultural, and gender history. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in History and a Certificate in Critical Theory from the University of California, Irvine, where he studied with Jean-François Lyotard and attended the lectures of Jacques Derrida. Dr. Leck is the former Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Marian University. His publications include Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology: The Birth of Modernity, 1880-1920 (available Amazon.com) and “Anti-Essentialist Feminism Versus Misogynist Sexology in Fin de Siècle Vienna,” Modern Intellectual History (2012). He is currently working on a book project entitled Vita Sexualis: The History of Sexual Science in Europe, 1860-1900.


Soulaf Abas

Professor Abas's areas of emphasis are painting and printmaking. She has participated in many painting symposia, workshops and art shows in Egypt, Slovakia, Lebanon, Jordan, and the U.S. Her current body of work involves paintings and prints depicting the uprising in Syria, her home country.


Ernest Coverson

During his days as a student Ernest found his passion in fighting for the rights of all human beings.  He became active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Detroit Youth Council and instrumental in reactivating the Ferris State NAACP University Chapter.  Ernest was recognized by his fellow members for his leadership skills and was rewarded with various elected position within the organization including a seat on its National Board of Directors. He has spent over 15 (volunteer & professional) years working in domestic and international advocacy with expertise in political campaigning, social justice and community organizing.  Ernest joined Amnesty International USA in 2010 as Field Organizer for the Midwest Region, where he is responsible for the training, organizing and mobilization of the volunteer member force within seven states.


Brian Phillips


Kristin Lems

The New Yorker calls Kristin Lems “a charmer in the most literal and least artificial sense of the word.” Gloria Steinem said she’s “a one woman argument against the notion that the women’s movement has no sense of humor”. Her classic spoof “Mammary Glands” is a regular on Dr. Demento and other radio playlists. Kristin Lems has written and performed her witty and passionate songs for progressive social movements for several decades, winning many awards for her contributions. She founded the National Women’s Music Festival in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in the 1970s and will open the festival’s 40th anniversary celebration in Wisconsin this summer. She has 7 CD releases and is busy working on a new one for summer release.