February 10, 2011 5:00 pm
Rare Book Room in Perkins Library
Free and open to the public
This unique panel is scheduled to open the annual Latin American scholars’ conference. The panel features the current and the former directors of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). WOLA is the premier US-based human rights organization working on Latin America. Marking WOLA’s 30th anniversary, the event also the 50th anniversary of the Inter American Human Rights Commission and the 100th anniversary of the Organization of American States. WOLA’s archives are part of Duke’s Archives for Human Rights. Since 2008 WOLA and Duke University have co-sponsored the WOLA-Duke Book Award for the best non-fiction work on human rights and social justice in Latin America.
Joe Eldridge, WOLA’s founding director, will be present along with Alex Wilde, George Vickers, and Joy Olson, WOLA’s current director. Their topic is the evolution of human rights activism in Latin America from the early 1970s to the present. They will also discuss how human rights challenges and the activism(s) that address them have changed and adapted to the shifting currents of national and international policy and history.
Joe Eldridge established the Washington Office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in 1991; during the mid-1980s he worked in Honduras consulting on human rights and development issues; and after a three-year sojourn in Chile in the early 1970s he co-founded the Washington Office on Latin America and served as its first director.
Alex Wilde is a human rights advocate and currently a Senior Scholar in the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center; he has also served as executive director of WOLA.
George Vickers is a Senior Policy Analyst for Latin American issues at the Open Society Policy Center. He serves as an advocate on Latin American issues with the US Congress and other Washington-based policy actors.
Joy Olson currently serves as the WOLA Executive Director; previously she served as Director of the Latin America Work Group (LAWG), a coalition of 60 non-governmental organizations working together to promote peaceful and just U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America.