Events & Exhibits - Fall 2010

Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights

The Heritage Room will be hosting a traveling exhibit titled "Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights" from Aug. 31 to Oct. 25. Suzman, over the course of a nearly four-decade political career, was one of South Africa's most vociferous and energetic opponents of apartheid.
 
The exhibit, which features 29 hanging panels utilizing photographs, personal letters and political speeches, portrays Suzman's often solitary fight within the South African Parliament against apartheid, her work with anti-apartheid activists outside the government, and her friendship with Nelson Mandela, after meeting him in 1967 at the Robben Island Prison. It portrays the hostility and anti-Semitism she faced during her 36-year career in parliament (1953-1989) and while fighting apartheid.
 
Suzman was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her contribution to the pursuit of justice in South Africa. She received the United Nations Award of the International League for Human Rights in 1978. In 1989, Queen Elizabeth conferred on her an Honorary Dame Commander (Civil Division) of the Order of the British Empire. Suzman died on Jan. 1, 2009, at the age of 91. Flags across South Africa were flown at half-mast while tributes poured in from around the world.
 
Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman
The exhibit was conceptualized, researched and written by Millie Pimstone, graphically designed by Linda Bester, and developed by the Isaac Jesse Kaplan Centre for Jewish studies and Research at the University of Cape Town. The United States tour of the exhibition is sponsored by the Dobkin Family Foundation and the Tolan Family Foundation. The Scranton visit of the exhibit is being supported by a Diversity Initiatives Fund grant from the University's Office of Equity and Diversity.
 
There will be an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, featuring a lecture by George Washington University Assistant Professor of Sociology Fran Buntman, sponsored by the Schemel Forum and the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library. Professor Buntman has a specific interest in apartheid and is the author of Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid, published by Cambridge University Press in 2003. She will be speaking on "Suzman the Pioneer." The reception is free and open to the public.
 
 
 
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