Annual Webster Human Rights Conference to focus on global disability rights


Global awareness for the discrimination against people with disabilities is the center of discussion at this year’s human rights conference. Several leading activists and scholars in the field of disability rights will address issues in the U.S. and abroad within a global context.

“…It will be a really good safe space for people to talk about (disability rights) from a human rights context,” said Dr. Lindsey Kingston, the director of Webster University’s international human rights program.

The keynote speaker will be Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese citizen who was imprisoned in 2006, then placed under house arrest in 2010 for approaching the subject of discrimination and human rights issues in China.  In 2012 he escaped to Beijing and requested asylum with the United States Embassy.

Other guest speakers include: President and CEO of Access Living, Marca Bristo; Director of Disability Rights International for Mexico, Sofia Galván Puente; Executive Director of Colectivo Chuhcan Raúl Montoya-Santamaria, the first organization in Mexico for people with psycho-social disabilities; Jean-Francois Trani, assistant professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University St. Louis, and The DisAbility Project and Common Threads Dance Company.

“I think it should be really interesting; because especially on college campuses, we have a lot of students that struggle with mental health and with physical disabilities that we are not always very open to talking about,” Kingston said.

The two-day conference will be held Oct. 9 and 10, in the East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave. There is no fee for the event and anyone wishing to attend should register online.


Reporting by: Holly Shanks

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