Date: September 24, 1999
Contact: Eliza Denoeux
Phone: (207) 872-3813
Didier Kamundu Batundi, the second fellow of the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College, will give a lecture on Wednesday, September 29, at Colby. The 7 p.m. lecture titled "Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: My Experience in a War-Torn Dictatorship" will be in the Olin Science Center, room 01. Kamundu Batundi's talk will be in French and interpreted into English. A reception will follow.
Kamundu Batundi, 29, received the 1998 Reebok Human Rights Award for founding and running a human rights organization that promotes peace and protects human rights across ethnic lines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He and his organization have secured medical care for torture victims, confronted an angry mob to save a busload of ethnic Tutsis from violence, documented rights abuses by the national army and local militias and petitioned for the release of political prisoners.
Other fall Oak Institute events include a presentation on Monday, October 18, by anthropologist Carolyn Nordstrom of the University of Notre Dame's Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The 7 p.m. lecture, "War, Peace and a Dog Called Remember," will be in the Pugh Center, Cotter Union. A reception will follow. Nordstrom has worked in several war zones, including Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Angola, studying local-level impacts of global militarization and civilians' experiences of and attempts to mediate terror-warfare. She served as a 1994 United Nations Elections Observer in Mozambique's first post-war election. All Oak Institute events are free of charge and open to the public.
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.
Note: Media interviews with Didier Kamundu Batundi may be arranged by contacting Eliza Denoeux, associate director of the Oak Institute, at 207.872.3813.