Friday February 9, 2007

Prof. Ensalaco Goes to Washington

Mark Ensalaco, Raymond A. Roesch chair in social sciences and associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, will take part in a Congressional briefing on Friday, Feb. 16, on "Human Rights Education in Theory and Practice," followed by a roundtable discussion with national educators at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Congressional briefing will take place with the Congressional Human Rights Caucus from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Rayburn House office building 2200.

 Presentations from leading human rights educators, including Ensalaco, will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, classroom B.

The events are part of the International Human Rights Education Consortium (IHREC), which promotes education, collaboration and research in human rights at national, regional and global levels.

Ensalaco co-founded the consortium in 2000 and is past president. In 1998, he initiated a human rights studies program at UD, the first undergraduate program in the country specifically concerned with human rights.

"The University of Dayton has been at the forefront promoting human rights education at the undergraduate level," said Ensalaco. "It's widely believed that human rights has become the dominant ideology, but after 9/11 we saw how fragile the consensus is about human rights, with the talk about possible permissibility of torture. We've accepted that there needs to be rules, but it's critical that we create a culture, or ethos, of human rights."

Ensalaco's presentation, "Human Rights After 9/11," will be the first during the afternoon session. Other speakers include Raymond W. Copson, Johns Hopkins University/SAIS and George Washington University on "Human Rights in Bush Administration Africa Policy" and Lynn Fredriksson, Amnesty International, on "Human Rights in the Horn of Africa."

Ensalaco, also an expert in political violence and terrorism, recently completed "A History of Middle East Terrorism: From Black September to September 11" for the University of Pennsylvania Press. The book's release is expected to coincide with the 2007 anniversary of Sept. 11.

In January, the University of Dayton's College of Arts and Sciences approved offering an undergraduate degree in human rights studies, pending approval from the UD board of trustees, which meets in May. If it is approved, it is believed to be the first undergraduate degree specifically in human rights studies in the country.

For more information, contact Mark Ensalaco at 937-229-2750 or 937-229-2765.