Human Rights and Climate Change – Apr. 25 – 6:30pm – Newport Library

Lecture and community dialogue on human rights and climate change, sponsored by It will be led by Dr. Tom Kerns, Director, Environment and Human Rights Advisory
 on the Steering Group of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change
, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at North Seattle College.

Read the article here:

Source: Human Rights and Climate Change (There’s some light reading….) – News Lincoln County

Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change

Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change

As a global community, we have agreed that every person deserves basic human rights—the right to life, food, water, health, housing, culture, and self-determination. Yet for millions of people, these basic rights are threatened by climate change and fossil fuel extraction. This winter and spring, Spring Creek Project will focus on the intersection of human rights and climate change with a lecture series and international tribunal. We hope to deepen our understanding of what is happening around the world and to help imagine how we can build better communities and lives as environmental crises are recognized as human rights crises.

From January 31 to May 30, Spring Creek Project will be presenting the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change. The weekly, online lectures will feature leading writers, scientists, attorneys, community leaders, activists, and artists. Some of the lectures will do the important work of explaining the current state of human rights and climate change—how did we get here and what is happening around the world? Others will be forward-looking and invite listeners to imagine a future in which we have made the great turning toward climate justice for all living beings. Other lectures will focus on a place—fracking in Utah’s canyons, the real cost of the Bakkan on native communities. Find a full list of speakers below and learn more in our article on the Bedrock Lectures.

The Bedrock Lectures will help set the stage for the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change, which Spring Creek Project is co-organizing. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is an influential, international forum based in Rome. Since 1979, the Tribunal has conducted 42 high-profile hearings, including on Myanmar, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and other sites around the world, to determine whether human-rights standards were abridged.

From May 14-18, 2018, the Tribunal will focus on human rights, fracking and climate change. And, for the first time ever, the Tribunal will be conducted virtually so judges, attorneys, and witnesses from around the world can participate. Learn more in our article on the upcoming Tribunal session. The article includes six ways you can get involved with the Tribunal, including submitting testimony, hosting a pre-Tribunal, and hosting a community viewing of the live-streamed proceedings.

Watch the Bedrock Lectures

We’ll release a new Bedrock Lecture each Wednesday on our website and Facebook page. We’ll also host in-person screenings of the lectures each Wednesday at noon in Bexell Hall 415 during winter term (January 31-March 21). We’ll announce the screening location for spring at the start of next term. All the screenings are free and open to the public.

Share the Bedrock Lectures

If you use social media, you can help promote the Bedrock Lectures by sharing the weekly lecture on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

We also invite you to host viewings of the Bedrock Lectures in your community. Community viewings could be as simple as inviting a few friends over for coffee Saturday mornings to watch the lectures. Or you could host a more public viewing at your school, place of worship, or community center. Each lecture will be about 20 minutes, and each speaker will pose a few questions at the end of her or his lecture to spark additional conversations at community gatherings.

Bedrock Lectures Schedule

  • January 31: Kathleen Dean Moore, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emerita, Oregon State University; co-editor, Moral Ground
  • February 7: Jacqueline Patterson, director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
  • February 14: Reverend Fletcher Harper, executive director, GreenFaith
  • February 21: Julia Olson, conservation attorney and founder, Our Children’s Trust
  • February 28: Robin Bronen, co-founder and executive director, Alaska Institute for Justice
  • March 7: Bill McKibben, author and founder,
  • March 14: Stephen Trimble, writer and photographer, Red Rock Stories
  • March 2: Debra Marquart, director, MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment, Iowa State University; author, Small Buried Things: Poems
  • March 28: Don Anton, director, Law Futures Centre, Griffith University
  • April 4: Anthony Ingraffea, hydraulic fracturing researcher, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Cornell University
  • April 11: Jacqueline Keeler, activist and author, Edge of Morning
  • April 18: Kyle Powys Whyte, associate professor of philosophy and community sustainability, Michigan State University
  • April 25: Josh Fox, documentary filmmaker, Gasland
  • May 2: Winona LaDuke, executive director, Honor the Earth
  • May 9: David James Duncan, author, Heart of the Monster
  • May 16: Mary Wood, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law, University of Oregon
  • May 23: John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University; special rapporteur, United Nations Human Rights Council
  • May 30: Anna Grear, founder and co-editor-in-chief, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment; founder, Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment

Carly Lettero
Spring Creek Project

The challenge of the Spring Creek Project is to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day – October 9, 2017

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day


I am a proud American Indian woman. And today, I’m proud to be celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day.

At the National Action Center, in Washington, DC, we’ve joined cities and states across the nation observing Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. Columbus Day commemorates the so-called “discovery” of land already inhabited by native people. We’re proud to instead celebrate the lives of indigenous people, who have endured oppression and discrimination since Columbus first sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, I hope you’ll take a minute to reflect on just how far native people still need to go to achieve equality–especially women:

  • The wage gap is enormous. Native women are paid just 57 cents for every dollar paid to their white, male counterparts.
  • The threat of sexual violence is staggering. More than half of native women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime.

I hope you’ll take a minute to take action, too–even if it’s just by starting a conversation with a friend or a neighbor.

American Indian and other indigenous women are leading feminist change in their communities every day; but just as often, they are left out of serious discussions about policy change.

That needs to end now. Feminists know that we can’t separate our gender and racial identities–and that we’ll never move forward if we don’t work together.

For indigenous women’s lives,
Gilda Yazzie
Vice President

Stronger Together March


In solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and other cities across the country.

Jan 21, 2017 11:30 am—2:30 pm (MARCH BEGINS AT 12:00 PM)

Beginning at Newport City Hall, Newport, Oregon and ending at the Hallmark Resort. Please join us at the end of the march for a rally with live music, speakers, coffee, and community. Rally begins at 12:30 pm.

For those who are interested in protecting civil rights, protecting vulnerable communities, and protecting the earth.

S u p p o r t e d b y C e n t r a l O r e g o n C o a s t N O W , D i v e r s i t y C o m m i t t e e o f

L i n c o l n C o u n t y , P F L A G , a n d t h e L i n c o l n C o u n t y D e m o c r a t i c

C e n t r a l C o m m i t t e e

You won’t see Hillary Clinton in the same light ever again

Oct 18, 2013 12:52am PDT by BlankBeat

Read Meryl Streep’s introduction of Hillary Clinton during the recent 2012 Women in the World conference:

Two years ago when Tina Brown and Diane von Furstenberg first envisioned this conference, they asked me to do a play, a reading, called – the name of the play was called Seven. It was taken from transcripts, real testimony from real women activists around the world. I was the Irish one, and I had no idea that the real women would be sitting in the audience while we portrayed them. So I was doing a pretty ghastly Belfast accent. I was just – I was imitating my friend Liam Neeson, really, and I sounded like a fellow. (Laughter). It was really bad.

So I was so mortified when Tina, at the end of the play, invited the real women to come up on stage and I found myself standing next to the great Inez McCormack. (Applause.) And I felt slight next to her, because I’m an actress and she is the real deal. She has put her life on the line. Six of those seven women were with us in the theater that night. The seventh, Mukhtaran Bibi, couldn’t come because she couldn’t get out of Pakistan. You probably remember who she is. She’s the young woman who went to court because she was gang-raped by men in her village as punishment for a perceived slight to their honor by her little brother. All but one of the 14 men accused were acquitted, but Mukhtaran won the small settlement. She won $8,200, which she then used to start schools in her village. More money poured in from international donations when the men were set free. And as a result of her trial, the then president of Pakistan, General Musharraf, went on TV and said, “If you want to be a millionaire, just get yourself raped.”

But that night in the theater two years ago, the other six brave women came up on the stage. Anabella De Leon of Guatemala pointed to Hillary Clinton, who was sitting right in the front row, and said, “I met her and my life changed.” And all weekend long, women from all over the world said the same thing:

“I’m alive because she came to my village, put her arm around me, and had a photograph taken together.”

“I’m alive because she went on our local TV and talked about my work, and now they’re afraid to kill me.”

“I’m alive because she came to my country and she talked to our leaders, because I heard her speak, because I read about her.”

I’m here today because of that, because of those stores. I didn’t know about this. I never knew any of it. And I think everybody should know. This hidden history Hillary has, the story of her parallel agenda, the shadow diplomacy unheralded, uncelebrated — careful, constant work on behalf of women and girls that she has always conducted alongside everything else a First Lady, a Senator, and now Secretary of State is obliged to do.

And it deserves to be amplified. This willingness to take it, to lead a revolution – and revelation, beginning in Beijing in 1995, when she first raised her voice to say the words you’ve heard many times throughout this conference: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”

When Hillary Clinton stood up in Beijing to speak that truth, her hosts were not the only ones who didn’t necessarily want to hear it. Some of her husband’s advisors also were nervous about the speech, fearful of upsetting relations with China. But she faced down the opposition at home and abroad, and her words continue to hearten women around the world and have reverberated down the decades.

She’s just been busy working, doing it, making those words “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” into something every leader in every country now knows is a linchpin of American policy. It’s just so much more than a rhetorical triumph. We’re talking about what happened in the real world, the institutional change that was a result of that stand she took.

Now we know that the higher the education and the involvement of women in a culture and economy, the more secure the nation. It’s a metric we use throughout our foreign policy, and in fact, it’s at the core of our development policy. It is a big, important shift in thinking. Horrifying practices like female genital cutting were not at the top of the agenda because they were part of the culture and we didn’t want to be accused of imposing our own cultural values.

But what Hillary Clinton has said over and over again is, “A crime is a crime, and criminal behavior cannot be tolerated.” Everywhere she goes, she meets with the head of state and she meets with the women leaders of grassroots organizations in each country. This goes automatically on her schedule. As you’ve seen, when she went to Burma – our first government trip there in 40 years. She met with its dictator and then she met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman he kept under detention for 15 years, the leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement.

This isn’t just symbolism. It’s how you change the world. These are the words of Dr. Gao Yaojie of China: “I will never forget our first meeting. She said I reminded her of her mother. And she noticed my small bound feet. I didn’t need to explain too much, and she understood completely. I could tell how much she wanted to understand what I, an 80-something year old lady, went through in China – the Cultural Revolution, uncovering the largest tainted blood scandal in China, house arrest, forced family separation. I talked about it like nothing and I joked about it, but she understood me as a person, a mother, a doctor. She knew what I really went through.”

When Vera Stremkovskaya, a lawyer and human rights activist from Belarus met Hillary Clinton a few years ago, they took a photograph together. And she said to one of the Secretary’s colleagues, “I want that picture.” And the colleague said, “I will get you that picture as soon as possible.” And Stremkovskaya said, “I need that picture.” And the colleague said, “I promise you.” And Stremkovskaya said, “You don’t understand. That picture will be my bullet-proof vest.”

Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. That is what Hillary Clinton embodies.

Changing the World, One Girl at a Time

September 4, 2014 by


As a former child athlete and now dedicated fan of women’s sports, I was riveted last month whenMo’Ne Davis pitched the Taney Dragons into Little League World Championship history  (I was clearly not the only one; she now has more than 32,000 Twitter followers). Watching this 13-year-old girl demonstrate the confidence, poise and power that led The New York Times to call her “A Woman Among Boys” made me proud as hell that girls in our country have the opportunity to shine.

And while I recognize that Davis and her peers at her Philadelphia school still face many, many challenges on the road to true gender equality, I can’t help but think of the stark differences between these adolescent girls and those who face a far more dangerous fate across the world.

Fates like that of 13-year old Khadija, who escaped from the man she had been forced to marry, only to be returned to her Afghan village by police so that she could be brutally flogged for the
“crime” of running away from her husband.

Fates like those of the 14-year-old girl some of us at the International Center for Research on Women spoke with in northern Uganda, who was forced to drop out of school because her parents were no longer alive to pay her school fees, and who told us, “Now I know I will get married, give birth to children whom I cannot send to school because I will be poor. This is not what I wanted.”

Fates of the more than 70 million girls under the age of 18 who are currently married, and the 39,000 more who are being forced into marriage in countries across the developing world each and every day.

For far too long, adolescent girls and the unique challenges they face have been left out of conversations about global development. And despite research that shows how powerful a force girls can be in reducing poverty and inequality in their communities and around the world, development efforts have seldom included their points of view or sought to overcome the unique barriers that have held girls back.

Finally, the world is starting to pay attention.

In July, the UK government and UNICEF hosted a Girl Summit that highlighted the terrible practices of female genital mutilation/cutting and early, forced and child marriage. This week, the United Nations is meeting to discuss child marriage, its harmful impacts and what can be done to stop it. And later this month at the UN General Assembly, governments, UN agencies, advocates and many others will head to New York to define a global development agenda—known as the “Post-2015 Agenda”—that will guide the world for the next 15 years.

Early, forced and child marriage stem largely from poverty and from gross gender inequality, and result in significant negative consequences for girls, their communities and, ultimately, global development. Girls who are married early are less likely to complete school, with social norms in some countries dictating that married girls drop out of school in order to tend to chores at home. Early marriage contributes to early pregnancy, which is one of the leading causes of death among 15- to 19-year-old girls in the developing world. Married girls are at high risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and are more likely to experience violence, abuse and exploitation than those who marry later in life.

Child marriage is, fundamentally, a violation of girls’ basic human rights. When girls are married early, they’re often forced to have sex before they’re ready and with a partner they most likely did not choose. They’re taken away from their families, and expected to give up their education and their aspirations. They’re taken away from their friends, and, if they had previously been so fortunate as to play a sport, that is very likely no longer an option.

At the same time, we need to recognize that child marriage is also a significant impediment to reducing poverty and advancing global development. When otherwise brilliant, strong and influential girls are constrained to play the role of subservient, under-educated wife and young mother, they’re less likely to help their communities and powerless to contribute to their countries’ efforts to combat poverty.

This is why it is absolutely essential that the health, wellbeing and rights of adolescent girls be central to the Post-2015 Agenda. And it is even more essential that the perspectives of adolescent girls themselves be reflected in those conversations.

We can all contribute to this effort by endorsing the Girl Declaration and by sharing the voices of more than 500 girls living in poverty from 14 countries, which ICRW attempted to capture in a report called, “I Know. I Want. I Dream: Girls’ Insights for Building a Better World.”

Perhaps knowing that girls in Pakistan wish to “live freely like boys and not be restricted like girls;” that girls in Egypt want not to have anyone control them, hit them or tell them what clothes to wear; and that girls in Ethiopia “want everyone to realize that women are capable of doing everything” will help ensure that girls are not an afterthought in our future global development agenda.

Just like Mo’Ne Davis in Philadelphia, women and girls everywhere are capable of doing everything. But they can’t do it all unless we empower them, give them the tools to succeed and knock down the barriers that have held them back for far too long. Let’s make sure our global leaders get that message.

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user emdot licensed under Creative Commons 2.0



Suzanne Petroni is senior director for gender, population and development at the International Center for Research on Women.

Our actions will determine what kind of country we are

Our actions will determine what kind of country we are.

By Virginia Gibbs, PhD

I would like to address the current crisis on our southern border where thousands of children, alone
or accompanied by a family member , are entering the United States without documents. While the
borderlands are the flashpoint of the current situation, in order to understand who these children
are and why they are making the dangerous trip north, there are certain facts we need to know
about their countries of origin.
In recent times, most of the children and parents in immigration detention are from Central
America, specifically Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which are among the most violent
countries in the world. Honduras leads the entire world in homicide rates. In the past decade, the
influence of drug cartels, street gangs, human tra• cking and other forms of transnational crime
have weakened the governments and the law enforcement agencies of these nations to the point
where crimes are met with impunity, and police are often part of the problem . Simply put,
ordinary citizens have no protection from crime and abuse.
The very young are especially vulnerable to exploitation by powerful gangs. Boys in their early
teens or younger are approached and told to join a gang or they will be killed. Very young girls are
“claimed” by gangs as “girlfriends” and are raped and/or killed if they resist. And there is no help for
these children. The local police are too weak to protect them, and some police o• cers are
themselves part of the gangs. Not all the children coming north have been directly threatened by
gangs, though many have. Others have seen neighbors or young relatives killed. As the 19th century
Irish risked their lives to flee famine in their blighted homeland, many Central American parents are
willing to let their children make the dangerous trip north because they believe this is the only way
to keep them out of gangs and save their children’s lives.
When a person flees a country because of a wellfounded fear of harm, that person is called a
refugee. The United States has a legal process that gives people who arrive within our borders the
right to a hearing to determine whether or not he or she qualifies as a refugee and can remain in
the country. A large number of the children and their families who crowd our detention centers can
rightfully claim refugee status. Many people I talk to about immigration insist on the immediate
deportation of undocumented immigrants because “we are a nation of laws.” Indeed we are, and
when we don’t allow refugees proper legal representation and the legally required opportunity to
argue their cases, we are breaking our own laws and depriving them of their civil rights.
What makes this situation even worse are the moral implications of the ways we chose to treat
these children. In some cases, the immediate deportation will mean torture , rape and death. Other
boys and girls will be forcefully recruited into gangs and will probably lead short and violent lives.
And what about our own complicity in the current situation in Central America? Gun purchases are
heavily controlled in these countries, but the U.S. provides plenty of guns for the gangs and the
cartels of Central America. Drugs are big business especially with an enormous supply of consumers
north of the Rio Grande. One of the most dangerous gangs in Central America, the “Maras,” was
founded in Los Angeles by Salvadorans who then took it home. This is not to say that the U.S. is the
“culprit” of the current border situation. What it does mean is that there is not one unique cause or
one unique solution to our border crisis. There is a complicated system that involves both the U.S.
and the Central American nations.
But above all, for this moment , let’s not forget the children. They are afraid, they are often
fleeing for their lives, if they come from Central America they have already crossed hundreds of
miles full of peril to get here, and we have their destinies in our hands. They are human beings
searching for refuge in the U.S. so that they can live their lives free of constant threat. They are
not criminals , they are not carriers of strange diseases, they are small children and adolescents ,
and what we are facing on the border is a human rights crisis involving the most vulnerable. How
we treat these children will tell the world what kind of country we are.

Virginia Gibbs is a resident
of South Beach and a member of Central Oregon Coast NOW.