Apr. 18, 2012

Ending Modern Slavery is Topic of Three-Day Visit by Kevin Bales

Kevin Bales

GENESEO, N.Y. - An international expert on modern slavery, Kevin Bales, will address "Human Rights and Social Justice: The State of the World" during a three-day visit to SUNY Geneseo April 25-27.

He will deliver his lecture "The End of Slavery?" April 25 at 7:30 in Newton Hall 214.

On April 26 at 4 p.m., there will be a screening of "Not My Life," a documentary about slavery in our time, in Welles Hall Room 24. The screening will followed by a discussion with Bales and the director of the documentary, Robert Bilheimer.

He will participate in a panel discussion, "A Roadmap for Human Rights," April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Newton Hall 214. Joining Bales for the panel discussion will be Diane Willkens, a 1975 Geneseo graduate and chief executive officer of Development Finance International; Kristina Hannam, associate professor of biology at SUNY Geneseo; and James Myers from the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

On April 27, Bales will meet with student groups in the MacVittie College Union April 27 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Mosaic Room (130).

All sessions are free and open to the public.

"There are some 27 million people in slavery in the world today, more than double the number taken from Africa in the entire 350 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade," said Rosemarie Chierici, associate professor and chair of SUNY Geneseo's Department of Anthropology. "There is also growing awareness worldwide about the humanitarian and social justice impact of global slavery, human trafficking and the exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations. We are pleased to have Kevin Bales join us to explore these troubling situations and explore strategies for ending them."

Bales exposed how modern slavery has penetrated the global economy. He founded Free the Slaves in 2001, the American sister organization of the United Kingdom's Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights group. In eight years, he has helped to liberate thousands of slaves in India, Nepal, Haiti, Ghana, Brazil, the Ivory Coast and Bangladesh and has worked with them to build new lives of dignity.

He has written extensively on modern slavery, including "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy," which has been published in ten different languages and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He earned a doctorate at the London School of Economics. He also has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in sociology from the University of Mississippi.

The events are sponsored by Robert Boneberg, a 1973 Geneseo graduate, the Office of the Provost, Multicultural Programs and Services and the Department of Anthropology.

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