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March 21: Panel on Social Justice

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—The former president of Ireland and U.N. high commissioner will lead a panel discussion on local and global efforts to address social justice issues March 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.  

 Mary Robinson will moderate a panel entitled “Connecting the Local and Global: Social Justice Issues in the 21st Century.” Panelists include Janice Wiles, executive director of Friends of Frederick County, which promotes land conservation and responsible environmental stewardship; Tammy Keaner, community outreach coordinator of Heartly House, which provides comprehensive services for county residents who have been affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse; Sharon Dobson, president of the Frederick County Commission for Women, a nonpartisan organization that fosters opportunities for women; Jeannie Cronin, president of Centro Hispano de Frederick, Inc., which advocates for the Latino and limited English-speaking population in Frederick; Joanna Pierson, executive director of Arc of Frederick County, which provides advocacy, access to resources and assistance for people with developmental disabilities; Jean Russell, executive director of Families Plus, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that develops programs and support groups to educate, empower and enrich the lives of Frederick County families, individuals and children; Guy Djoken, chapter president of the NAACP of Frederick County—a national organization that advocates for the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens and eliminate racial prejudice—and executive director of UNESCO Center for Peace, which works to further understanding of peace, acceptance and tolerance; Jean Joyce, member of The Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, which raises funds to help alleviate some of the struggles and obstacles facing women and children in need; and Jim Gibbons, CEO and president of Goodwill Industries, which helps people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work.

Robinson is a lifelong champion for human rights. A forceful advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building and human dignity, she is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a CARE Humanitarian Award in recognition of her efforts in Somalia following the crisis there in 1992; the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor—awarded by President Barak Obama in recognition of her significant contributions to the nation and the world; Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences prize for her work as a global human rights campaigner; and Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for her work in promoting human rights.  

She serves as chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle for global justice for the poor, the disempowered and the marginalized throughout the world

Robinson is also a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders that includes Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu who contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to some of the world’s toughest problems with the goal of making the world a better place. 

A continental breakfast is available beginning at 8 a.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center, Room 220. 

For more information, contact Paige Eager, assistant professor of political science, at or by calling (301) 696-3699.