Human Rights Day

The annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day is a day-long event. Each year a keynote speaker is featured along with several other speakers, interactive workshops, and a variety of other activities. While centered on the Indiana State University campus, the programming represents the work of many individuals from both ISU and the Terre Haute community, and will involve both public school and university students.

Human Rights Day 2018, March 6th in the Hulman Memorial Student Union 8:00am

Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo

“Coca leaf and Marijuana from the Sacred to the Profane”

"From the Sacred to the Profane” is a visual documentation on how Colombia's Nasa indigenous people use coca leaf and marijuana plants in their ceremonial life and seek to develop healthy alternative uses such as medicinal oils and ointments.With coca leaf, the indigenous produce flour, tea, and the popular soft drink Coca Sek and with marijuana they hope to produce textiles, paper, clothes, and industrial products in Cauca, one of main coca-growing regions of the country. Where the Nasa people have been living in a context of widespread abuse and violence due to a 36-year drug war conducted by the United States in Colombia. Costing the lives of 250,000 while the country was fumigated with glyphosate, which destroyed the ecosystem and made people sick for 16 years.

Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo, Colombian-American freelance photographer living in the USA. She has carried out assignments for the newspapers The Guardian, Trib-Star and El Espectador in Colombia. Her current photography concentrates on issues of indigenous people and their struggle for cultural survival in America and in Colombia due to land exploitation and violence. Alexandra's work bridges the fields of artistic and documentary photography using a range of digital and alternative photographic processes. Over time her focus has shifted from a personal exploration of her experiences as a Colombian immigrant in the United States to global concerns of cultural diversity and human rights in her native country, Colombia. She has self-published four books of photography: Diaries of Death, Stone Faces, Encounters and Dream and Nightmares. In Diaries of Death (2010), She photographically re-enacted the death of the victims of the massacres committed by paramilitary groups, basing the images on testimony collected by Human Rights Watch in Colombia. Stone Faces (2008) deals with the enrichment of cultural diversity and identity in United States of America produced by the phenomena of globalization. For Encounters (2011) and Dreams and Nightmares (2007), I created imagery accompanied by original poems that tell personal stories of love and death through dreams. Alexandra's work has been exhibited and lecured in Colombia, Dominican Republic and America. She graduated from Indiana State University with an MFA on Photography (2013) and an MA on Hispanic Literature (2004) and a BA on Communications and Journalism from Universidad Externado of Colombia (1990).

Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo

Chris Gambill

“Special Prosecutors and the Role of Robert Mueller”

The presentation will highlight the authority and circumstances for the appointment of a special prosecutor. The basis for the appointment of Robert Mueller. The scope of Mueller's authority. The potential results of Mueller's investigation.

Chris Gambill is a Terre Haute trial attorney with experience in trying over 75 jury trials to verdict. He has served as defense counsel in 5 murder trials including one death penalty case. He has also served as a special prosecutor trying major felony cases. He presently serves as the civil forfeiture attorney for eight different prosecutor's offices. Chris is a senior partner with Wagner Crawford Gambill and Jungers law firm in Terre Haute. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and completed his law degree from Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

Chris Gambill

Cathy McGuire

“Why we need to raise the minimum wage.”

This session will be a power point presentation that explores and explains why we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour. There will be information available as to how attendees can make a difference through the legislative process.

Cathy McGuire is a Terre Haute activist who was the convener of Forward Together Terre Haute which is part of the Moral Mondays movement started in N. Carolina by the president of the state NAACP there. This is their third year in Terre Haute. Forward Together works on issues like healthcare for all, , LGBTQ rights, voter rights, right to join a labor union ending racism and reproductive rights. In the past she has worked on women's rights, and peace issues. In 2014 she received an honor for her work for social justice from the Terre Haute Human Rights Commission.

Frida Umuhoza

“Forgiveness and Resilience”

Frida shares her personal story of survival of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide Against the Tutsis. She shares the struggles she went through after she lost her entire family, but most importantly how the power of forgiveness changed her life and the lessons she has learnt though the years. Frida also shares the importance of resilience in life.

Frida Umuhoza Author and Speaker Frida’s Biography Frida was born in the town of Nyanza, in the country of Rwanda on March 14th, 1980. Where she lived with her parents and 5 siblings. Frida and her family were victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsis. Her entire family was killed during that genocide that took a million of innocent lives within just 100 days. Frida was only 14 years old when she was buried alive alongside her 15 family members yet later, miraculously rescued by a young man who worked for her family. Frida is the only survivor of her family, but now a mother of three beautiful children, Maxwell, Natasha, and Asher Regis. A graduate of BGSU Firelands with a Degree in Communication. Speaking internationally and locally, Frida has shared her story of a miraculous survival, God’s grace, the power of forgiveness, inner healing and resilience in countries like England, Scotland, Germany, many countries of Africa, here in the United States and at a military prison in Colchester UK. She is a frequent speaker at high schools, Universities, Churches, Organizations and women groups. During 2013, Frida shared her story in Chapel at Wheaton College and was a keynote speaker at Bowling Green State University Firelands Campus. This also includes the UN Headquarters in New York during the 2016 Annual Commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsis where Frida shared her story. Frida is also the author of “Frida, Chosen to Die, Destined to Live” and IN THE SCHOOL OF RESILIENCE.


George Wolfe

“Changing our Political Culture: Human Rights and Transformative Approach to Governing”

Class division, big-money interests, hostility, inequality and self-centered ambition have corrupted modern-day politics. George Wolfe explains how the principles taught in peace education can be applied to restore American leadership and heal our divided world.

George Wolfe is Professor Emeritus at Ball State University where he served as director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies from 2002 to 2006, and Coordinator of Outreach Programs from 2007 to 2014. He is a certified mediator and was trained to conduct interfaith dialogue at All-Faiths Seminary International in New York City where he was ordained an interfaith minister. In 1991, he was awarded an open fellowship from the Eli Lilly Endowment which made possible his first trip to India where he became interested in the nonviolent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Wolfe received his doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University. As an educator, he has lectured both within and outside the United States on topics related to nonviolence, peace education, academic freedom, and the role of the arts in social activism. He has been a featured speaker in the Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua Institution and has served as a panelist at the annual International Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado. He has also served on the advisory council of the Toda Institute for Peace, Policy and Global Research, and was a visiting scholar at Limburg Catholic University in Hasselt, Belgium. In the spring of 2007, he presented peace education workshops in the island nation of Saint Lucia by invitation of the Ministry of Education. He is the author of several publications, including "The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future without War" which has been endorsed by Arun Gandhi, Bishop William Swing, and Judy O'Bannon, the former First Lady of Indiana.

George Wolfe

Georgianna Duarte

“Children & Youth: Trafficking & What You Can Do”

Yes, you can learn the indicators of human trafficking so you can help identify a potential trafficking victim. If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, report your suspicions to law enforcement by calling 911 or the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline line at 1-888-373-7888. Each person can make a difference. Be aware.

Dr .Duarte is a professor in early childhood education and life long advocate of young children. As a child advocate of unaccompanied children, she has invested years advocating for the rights of young children. She advocates and writes about the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She is an endowed professor in the Bayh College of Education and teaches courses in early education.

Georgianna Duarte

Lorrie Heber

“Climate Change and the Call to Care for Our Common Home”

Climate change has and will continue to have a profound impact on the ecology of Earth, economies, and human rights around the globe. We can slow the effects of climate change while preparing for an uncertain future. Session attendees will: 1) understand the causes and effects of climate change, 2) gain understanding of the disproportionate impact of climate change on the poor and disenfranchised, and 3) learn how advances in renewable energy can help arrest climate change and give hope to humans across the globe.

Lorrie Heber is the director of the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. After more than 28 years in public relations and marketing for not-for-profit organizations, primarily in healthcare, Lorrie finally aligned her work with her passion! Her work helps to support a just, sustainable future through organic agriculture, environmental education, restoration, public policy, and spirituality. She is responsible for overseeing farm animals including a herd of alpacas and flock of chickens, certified organic specialty crop garden and orchard, row crops, and classified forests. In addition to her work with the Sisters of Providence, she presently works with: • Riverscape, Board of Directors • Art Spaces, Marketing Advisory Council • TREES, Inc., Board of Directors • Vigo County Soil and Water Conservation District board of directors Lorrie holds a B.S. from Indiana State University in speech communications and an M.A. from St. Mary of the Woods College in leadership development. She and her husband, Tom, enjoy gardening, cooking, music and the company of friends and family.

Maria Woltjen

“House of Secrets: Immigrant Children on Their Own”

Maria Woltjen will talk about unaccompanied immigrant children and the impact of policies implemented by the new administration. Unaccompanied children come from all corners of the world, escaping violence, abuse and extreme poverty. (1) who are unaccompanied children, (2) how does the U.S. immigration legal system treat children, (3) new policies

Maria Woltjen is the founder and Executive Director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School. The Young Center is a national organization that advocates for the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children. These are children from all corners of the world—Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, India, China, Romania, Somalia. They are apprehended as they cross the border and then detained around the country. The federal government appoints the Young Center to serve as Child Advocate – similar to a guardian ad litem – for the most vulnerable of these children. The Young Center now has offices in Chicago, Houston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Harlingen, Texas. Throughout her 25 years as an attorney, Ms. Woltjen has focused on children’s rights, at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the ChildLaw Center at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and for the past ten years at the University of Chicago Law School. Ms. Woltjen’s focus is on reforming the immigration system—in which children are treated as adults—into a justice system that recognizes children as children, with rights and protection needs all their own. Ms. Woltjen is the recipient of the American Constitution Society 2013 Legal Legends Ruth Goldman Award and the 2017 UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Award. For more information, please see


Maria Woltjen


Natalie Lucas

“Taboo Topics: Climate Change and Human Rights-The Connection and Impact”

Impacts of climate change influence the rights humans have to live fulfilling lives, but we also have to consider how the solutions we propose will impact people too. This session will outline how the international community defines human rights, how climate change and the solutions impact those rights, and how we can design solutions to be just.

Natalie Lucas is the Executive Director of Care About Climate, an international nonprofit that manages and connects people together to share resources and experiences to address climate change. She has attend five United Nations climate talks and has served on the Youth Nongovernmental Organization Constituency Human Rights Working Group. Natalie also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sierra Club and has managed international campaigns to build up political will leading up to the Paris Agreement. She is originally from Arizona and has a Master's in Development Practice from the University of Arizona.

Natalie Lucas

Radasia Blaylock

Multicultural Services and Programs

“SafeZone - Level One”

Sycamore SafeZone (SSZ) is an ally development program created to establish a campus that is safe and affirming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students, faculty and staff. Beginning Level 1 - Safe Zone 101 – This training is designed to introduce participants to the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Safe Zone 101 will introduce terminology, pronouns, language, symbols related to sexual orientation and gender identity. This level of training is required for those that have not attended a previous Safe Zone training.

Radasia Blaylock is a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program. She currently serves as the Graduate Assistant for the LGBTQ Student Resource Center in the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs.

Radasia Blaylock

Ralph Leck, Brooke Bunch, Chase Meehan

“Social Justice Studies: Meet the Student Activists”

You are invited to meet with ISU students of Social Justice Studies. Can a university education be socially-meaningful? Brooke Bunch and Chase Meehan, ISU student activists who are pursuing a degree in social justice studies, will answer this question and many others.

Brooke Bunch and Chase Meehan are in the University Honors Program and are pursuing a degree in Social Justice Studies. Both, moreover, serve as officers in ISU's student Coalition for Social Justice. In addition, Brooke is finishing a second major in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Minor in Civic Leadership. Chase is an officer in ISU's chapter of Amnesty International and serves on the steering committee of ISU's Human Rights Day.

Chase MeehanBrooke Bunch

Stuart Mora and Lynne Murphy

“Poor People Fighting and Winning in Indiana”

Food Service Worker jobs are thought to be "low-skill and low-wage." These jobs were never low-skill as anyone who has worked in Now, Food Service Workers across Indiana are standing up and fighting to make their jobs Lynne Murphy is an Indianapolis native. She and her husband were homeless when she started her minimum-wage food service worker job eight years ago. Now, Lynne and Frank have good union food-service jobs, and their lives have changed enormously. Lynne is now the Vice President of their union, Unite Here Local 23 - Indiana, and she looks forward to sharing her story and inspiring students to stand up and fight for social justice across Our Great State!

Stuart Mora is the President of Indiana Chapter of Unite Here Local 23. He has been a leader of the labor movement in Indiana for the past 10 years and has helped build the food service workers' union from 0 workers to over 1000 workers in the past eight years. Stuart is also the founder of the House of the Little Flower Catholic Worker Community in Indianapolis and the Vice-Chair of the Marion County Democratic Party.

Stuart Mora and Lynne Murphy

Terri Morris Downs

“Immigrants in Indiana: How to become welcoming and inclusive”

(1) Basic information on immigrants in Indianapolis (2) How the Immigrant Welcome Center empowers immigrants with information and referral (3) Ways for people to become involved in building welcoming and inclusive communities

Terri Morris Downs is the executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Center in Indianapolis. Downs was involved in the development of the Immigrant Welcome Center and has served as the executive director of the organization since 2008. The Immigrant Welcome Center empowers immigrants by connecting them to the people, places, and resources that enable them to build successful lives and enrich our community. Since its opening, the Immigrant Welcome Center has served more than 10,000 immigrants and refugees. As executive director, Downs manages programs that support and help empower immigrant families by connecting them to resources needed to help them transition to life in Indianapolis. Downs also works with other nonprofits, community partners, and local corporations to support efforts to help make Indianapolis a welcoming community. Downs and her staff coordinate the Natural Helpers volunteer program, a program that connects immigrant newcomers with established immigrants who live in Indianapolis. Natural Helper volunteers connect immigrants to information and referral for jobs and job training, language assistance, housing, public transportation, health care and legal needs. Under her direction, the volunteer program has grown from 12 volunteers to 138 volunteers who speak 76 different languages and represent 47 countries. The Immigrant Welcome Center also operates seven neighborhood branches to help immigrant newcomers in neighborhoods where they live and work. In addition to the Natural Helpers program, the Immigrant Welcome Center provides educational programming through the Sara I. and Albert G. Reuben Series and coordinates the Welcoming Indianapolis initiative, a local affiliate of Welcoming America, which aims to connect immigrants and refugees with native-born citizens. Last year, the Immigrant Welcome Center launched the Indianapolis Immigrant Integration Plan to begin a communitywide dialogue on ways Indianapolis can become more immigrant-friendly.

Yuju Eunice Huang

“The Convention of the Rights of the Child”

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Convention and we are celebrating it from declining infant mortality to rising school enrollment. The Convention changed the way the world views and treats children. The acceptance of the Convention definitely helps to improve and raise the awareness of children’s rights. This historic milestone also serves as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full rights to the equality with their peers and the Convention must become a guiding document for every child in every nation.


Dr. Yuju Eunice Huang current teaches at Department of Teaching and Learning at Indiana State University. She has worked in the field of the Early Childhood Education since 1993. She earned her doctoral degree from Indiana State University in 2017. She served on the board of Wabash Valley Chapter of Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) since 2011. She is always active in promoting high-quality early childhood education for the community and also raise the awareness of children’s right. She is current served as the president of West Central Region (formerly Wabash Valley Chapter) of IAEYC. She is dedicated to promoting high-quality early childhood education as her career.

Yuju Eunice Huang




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