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Colby College and the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights will present “Struggling for the Mother Earth: A Roundtable Discussion on Indigenous People and Human Rights in Colombia.” The event, part of this fall’s Oak Institute Lecture Series, will be held Wednesday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m. in room 01 of the Olin Science Center. It is open to the public and free of charge.

The panel will be led by Colby’s 2000 Oak Human Rights Fellow Hector Mondragon, a crusader on behalf of peasants, indigenous peoples and other dispossessed groups in Colombia. Other panelists will include indigenous leaders and human rights activists Armando Valbuena, president of the Indian National Organization of Colombia; Omaira Bolanos, activist for indigenous groups in the Cauca Valley; and Roberto Perez, leader of the U’wa nation, an indigenous community struggling to protect ancestral lands from the effects of oil exploration and extraction.

The one-semester Oak Human Rights fellowship was established to allow a front-line human-rights worker to take a sabbatical for research, writing and teaching as a scholar-in-residence at Colby. In addition to the fellowship, the institute supports human rights programs on campus and scholarships for international students at Colby.