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Thought Leaders from Around the World Including Britain, Africa, Singapore, Iceland, US Convene in Boston for Symposium Dedicated to Improving Lives of Families Globally

Boston, MA (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

Thought leaders from around the world will convene in Boston to participate in Wheelock College’s inaugural international conference: Global Challenges and Opportunities Facing Children, Youth and Families, June 19-22, 2013. Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, committed campaigner for women’s rights and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, will deliver the opening address where she will share perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for improving the quality of life of women and families across the globe.

The conference, part of Wheelock’s year-long celebration of its 125th anniversary, will focus on health, human rights, and child and family education as it relates to children and families across the globe.

In addition to Blair, keynote speakers and expert panelists include:

  •     Kevin Carroll – Author, Speaker, Agent for Social Change, Founder Katalyst LLC
  •     Ögmundur Jónasson – Minister of the Interior, Iceland
  •     Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights
  •     Deogratias Niyizonkiza, Founder and CEO, Village Health Works, Burundi, Africa
  •     Emiliana Vegas, Chief of the Education Division for Inter-American Development Bank
  •     Yu Foo Yee Shoon – Former Minister of State, Singapore
  •     Salva Dut, Founder and President of Water for South Sudan, Inc.
  •     Many, many others

“For the past 125 years, Wheelock College has remained unwavering in its commitment to the education and well-being of children and families. Today, more than ever, Wheelock is positioned to lead conversations designed to transform the lives of children, families and communities across the globe,” said Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President of Wheelock College.

Kicking off the conference will be an Arts in Education professional development program for practitioners followed by a cultural festival to include international music, dance, food and storytelling on June 19, both free and open to the public. An awards celebration will be held at the John F. Kennedy Library on June 20 to recognize leaders spearheading education and human rights initiatives around the world and thought-provoking international films will be presented on June 21.

The Wheelock’s 2013 International Conference will address three strands of importance to the global community: education, health and human rights. Topics will include, but not limited to:

  •     Prostitution, Trafficking, Human Rights: Political, Economic & Gendered Dimensions
  •     Forced Marriage, Sexual Coercion, and Women’s Human Rights
  •     Health, Poverty and Human Rights In The U.S. and Abroad
  •     Importance of Access to Clean Water: Its Human Rights and Health Implications
  •     Effects of Global Poverty on Educational Access
  •     Achievement of Global Leaders Ensuring Human Rights Across Continents
  •     Violence and Mental Health
  •     Impact of Public Policy on Drug and Human Trafficking
  •     Learning and Teaching Through The Arts

Conference Highlights:

  •     Experts from around the globe convene thought provoking and policy changing discussions participating in concurrent sessions on education, health and human rights
  •     Free Cultural festival featuring cultural arts, international, food and dance
  •     An Awards Celebration held at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum honoring Karen Ansara, Founder of the Haiti Fund, Boston; Global Fund for Women, received by Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO; and The Government of Singapore, received by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Former Minister of State. Kerry Kennedy will be the keynote speaker and Grammy-certificate winner and cultural envoy and activist, Maya Azucena, will present an acapella performance.
  •     Screenings of international films exploring critical issues, moderated by Lisa Simmons, founder and president of The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc., include:
o    The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America (discussed by Charles Ogletree, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School/directed by Hafiz Farid)
o    Survivor: Living Above the Noise (discussed by filmmaker Brook Bello, Founder/Executive Director of More Too Life, Inc.)
o    The Day My God Died (discussed by Brigitte Cazalis-Collins, Director of Friends of Maiti Nepal/filmmaker Andrew Levine)
o    Education Under Fire (filmmaker Jeffrey Kaufman, Amnesty International)
o    The House I Live (discussed by Charles Ogletree/director, writer, producer Eugene Jarecki)
For more information about the keynote speakers, panel discussions, day-long cultural festival, awards ceremony and international films, visit For participation in ongoing discussion, go to, #globalcauses.

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Wheelock College – Inspire a World of Good
Wheelock College, a private college with campuses in Boston and Brookline MA, 20 years of programs and relationships in Singapore, and a growing presence elsewhere in the world, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2013. More than 15 months of events have been planned to commemorate this milestone. The College’s public mission to improve the lives of children and families is fulfilled around the globe by providing students with a strong foundation in the arts and sciences and outstanding professional preparation in the fields of education, child life, juvenile justice, and social work. Through undergraduate and graduate programs, commitment to community service and student experience, the College reflects the multicultural dimensions of the countries in which it operates and fosters diverse learning communities — all of which inspires a world of good. For more information, visit

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