Mt. Hood Community College will send two students to the University of Oxford in England to participate in the “Human Rights In and After Conflict” symposium, held March 12-18.
Hosted by the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, the symposium highlights current studies into and trends in: human rights during and after conflict; human rights law; humanitarian action; and peacemaking, all with an emphasis on recent armed conflicts. The weeklong program includes a mix of student presentations, working groups and seminars.
Upon attending the symposium, the two MHCC students – Karasalla Fale Patton and Marlene Marie Wright – will receive honorary certificates from the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at the University of Oxford.
Patton and Wright see this symposium as an opportunity to develop greater perspective and build upon existing interests in global and national humanitarian issues. “This symposium will be an amazing opportunity for me to gain a global perspective on social justice to better serve my own community,” said Patton, a political science major. Patton competes on MHCC’s Forensics Team and participates in the Portland-based advocacy group Let’s Talk About It, which promotes legislation that helps improve the lives of people of color and people from marginalized factions.
Wright, who studies in the RN program at MHCC’s Bruning Center for Allied Health, also maintains an active community role. A Native American from South Dakota’s Lakota/Pine Ridge reservation, she served in the military as an active-duty soldier and National Guardsperson for more than 26 years. She has participated in demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline and for the Black Lives Matter movement, and she volunteers her time as a cook at the Royal Palm transitional housing center in Portland.
According to Wright, “The Oxford seminar will contribute to a greater understanding of the most important issues that affect our lives, nations and the environment; which to me, is a matter of life and death.”
Janet McIntyre, dean of science, integrated media and performing and visual arts at MHCC, calls the opportunity for MHCC students to participate in this symposium “career changing.”
“Now more than ever it is essential that we engage in a global dialogue about issues, such as vulnerability, religious prosecution and global responsibility in rigorous, reflective and scholarly ways,” she said.
Funding to attend the symposium was provided by the MHCC Foundation.