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Heralding Freedom: The Gulag and Human Rights Today

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Date and time
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Jimmy Carter Library presents a panel discussion of Heralding Freedom: a discussion of the Gulag, the American Civil Rights Movement, and human rights. The Soviet Gulag prison system imprisoned millions of innocent people during its infamous history. A panel of human rights leaders discuss its impact on Russia and the world today, as well as offering comparisons to the American civil rights movement. Former US President Jimmy Carter and former US Ambassador Andrew Young discuss the suppression of political and religious dissidents in the former Soviet Union, the US civil rights movement, and the current work of The Carter Center on human rights. The event coincides with Human Rights Day and the opening of a special exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site called *Gulag: Soviet Prison Camps and Their Legacy*. This event is cosponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site.

Jimmy Carter was the 39th US President. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of US diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world. On the domestic side, the administration's achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. In 1982, he founded The Carter Center. Carter Center fellows, associates, and staff join with President Carter in efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease and other afflictions. On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
Karin Ryan was named director of the Carter Center's Human Rights Program on Sept. 1, 2006, having worked for the center in a variety of roles since April 1988. As director, Ryan works with former US President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter on a range of issues, including assisting their efforts on behalf of victims of human rights violations through personal interventions with heads of state.
Mr. Hakes started his career in teaching and research before entering government service. He was an assistant professor and subsequently an associate professor of Political Science at the University of New Orleans from 1970 through 1977. Mr. Hakes has published widely on a variety of subjects, including articles on the judicial recruitment process during the Carter Administration and the impact of Democratic Party reform on the South. Since entering government in 1977, Mr. Hakes has held federal positions at the Agency for International Development, the Department of Interior, and the Executive Office of the President. He also worked for Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, including stints as state energy director and the governor's chief of staff . Mr. Hakes graduated from Wheaton College. He earned an MA and a PhD from Duke University in Political Science.
Larry Cox was appointed executive director of Amnesty International USA(AIUSA) in 2006. A veteran human rights advocate, he came to AIUSA after serving 11 years as a senior program officer for the Ford Foundation's human rights unit. He has a bachelor of arts degree in history from Mount Union College, has done graduate work at the University of Geneva, and is currently pursuing a master of arts degree in religion and human rights at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Young is chairman of GoodWorks International, allowing him to pursue his life-long mission of energizing the private sector to advance economic development in Africa and the Caribbean. In this position, he puts corporate executives in contact with leaders and key influences in the regions' emerging markets, facilitating the formation of successful business partnerships.