International Policy Conference- Human Rights Across the Globe

Save the Date

A Greeting from the Conference Planning Committee

IPC AgendaWe enthusiastically invite you to attend our International Policy Conference, September 26-27th 2013.  This exciting, two-day event will feature inspiring speakers from many dimensions of human rights. Please read the conference program for the most up-to-date conference schedule.

As a precursory event to the Human Rights Policy Conference we will host Ms. Joan Blades, a champion for Human Rights causes, during our 2013 Innovators in Residence event, on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the Clair Performance Hall of the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center.

We hope to see you at the 2013 Human Rights Across the Globe Policy Conference.

Planned Session Topics Include:

  • Immigration Reform and the Refugee Experience
  • Youth Mental Health Rights
  • LGBTQIA Equality
  • Fair Trade: Lives Behind the Bean
  • Human Rights and of Disasters
  • Poverty and Inequality: Home, Health, & Hunger
  • Disability  Rights as Human Rights
  • Citizenship Across the Globe

Other plenary speakers coming such as a representative from The United Nations Counsel for Human Rights

Below you can find more information about two of our speakers.

Joan Blades - Innovator in Residence

Innovator Residence

Joan Blades

Joan Blades is a co-founder of an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological and party lines while embracing our core shared values as well as a co-founder and She is co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace:Choose When Where and How to Work and Boost Your Bottom Line, winner of a Nautilus book award in 2011 and The Motherhood Manifesto, which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, she is an entrepreneur (a co-founder of Berkeley Systems- best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack.), nature lover, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values. 

A Living room conversation with Ms. Blades, as a kick off to the Policy Conference will take place on Wednesday night September 25, 2013.
Living Room Conversations are designed to revitalize the art of conversation among people with diverse
views and remind our fellow Americans of the power and beauty of civil discourse. Living Room
Conversations enable people to come together through their social networks, as friends and friends of
friends to engage in a self-guided conversation about any issue. Typically conversations have selfidentified
co-hosts who are different from each other. They may be from different ethnic groups, socioeconomic
backgrounds, political parties etc. Each co-host invites two of their friends to join the
conversation. Participants follow an easy to use format offering a structure and a set of questions for
getting acquainted with each other and with each other’s viewpoints on the topic of the conversation.

Sheryl WuDunn- Keynote Speaker

Sheryl WuDunnSheryl WuDunn is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a business executive, entrepreneur, and best-selling author. As an investment banker, she helps grow companies. This includes those operating in the fields of new media technology, entertainment, social media, healthcare, and emerging markets, particularly those in China. As a senior managing director at Mid-Market Securities, LLC, she raises capital for entrepreneurs in media technology, healthcare, and social enterprises. WuDunn is co-author of three best selling books including Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide;  Asia: Thunder from the East and China Wakes, and has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Colbert Report.

Please visit or   

Dr. Changfu Chang

Changfu Chang

Changfu Chang (Ph.D., Purdue University, 2000) is professor of communication at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. An awarding-winning documentary filmmaker, Dr. Chang has produced or co-produced a dozen widely acclaimed programs, including The Invisible Red Thread (2012), Sofia’s Journey (2011), Daughters’ Return (2011), Long Wait For Home (2008), Illicit: The Dark Trade (2008), The Willow Trees (2005), Golden Venture (2005), and Love Without Boundaries (2003). Dr. Chang was featured in numerous leading newspapers such as The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the London-based Financial Times.

Dr. Chang’s research interests focus on communication, culture, technology, and their relationship to modernity and globalization. He has published over 20 research papers, book chapters, reviews, or encyclopedia entries on media coverage, language and culture, and embedded logocentrism in communication theories and praxis.

Conference United Nations Welcome via Skype

Martina Donlon

Martina Donlon, Information Officer, Department of Public Information

Ms. Martina Donlon currently works in the Department of Public Information as focal point for Sustainable Development, where she concentrates on the Millennium Development Goals. Before joining the UN, she worked for the Council on Foreign Relations, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, and the Wall Street Journal in New York. She attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. She is fluent in German, French, and English.

2013 Conference Session Speakers


Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:30-3:45
Immigration and Refugee Experience - Lehr Room
Faculty Hosts: Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Michelle Angela Ortiz, Independent Artist

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through painting, printmaking, and community arts practices, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face.Michelle Angela Ortiz, independent artist, presents her documentary “Auqi’ Y Alla’” about the experience of mural creation focusing on undocumented peoples.  The mural projects connect families in Philadelphia, PA and ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform “blighted” spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.

For over ten years, Ortiz continues to be an active educator in using the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. As a highly skilled muralist, Ortiz has designed and created over 30 large-scale public works nationally (PA, NJ, MS, NY). Ortiz continues to make her mark with communities abroad. Since 2008, Ortiz has led community building and art for social change public art projects through the United States Embassy as a Cultural Envoy in Suva, Fiji, Juarez and Chihuahua City, Mexico, Vitoria, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also has led independent public art projects in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Puebla, Mexico.


Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:30-3:45
Disability Rights as Human Rights -Panel Discussion  University Room, Gordinier Hall

Thomas K GilhoolHon. Thomas K. Gilhool, Esq -Tom has been lead attorney on numerous disability civil rights cases and has argued before US Supreme Court. Instrumental in PARC and Pennhurst litigation, former PA Secretary of Education, Counsel for Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, and international consultant on disability civil rights. (President McNairy Awarded him MU Presidential Medallion for Public Service.

Dr. James ConroyDr. James Conroy - Jim is President and CEO Center for Outcome Analysis, and Co-President of Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. Yale U. and Temple U. trained with doctorate in medical sociology. Jim as consulted internationally for several decades, is author of groundbreaking Pennhurst Longitudinal Study and other US and foreign research studies on effects of institutionalization. He has been honored by the UN/UNICEF and numerous foreign countries for his work in disability civil rights. He is co-editor with me on a forthcoming book on Pennhurst and disability rights.

Jean SearleMs. Jean M. Searle - Jean Searle is someone who has lived with an intellectual disability, spent years in the institutional system and is today nationally recognized self-advocate and Co-President of the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. She speaks around PA and the country on disability rights and tells her own story.


Thursday, September 26, 2013 4:00-5:15
Youth Mental Health Rights - Lehr Room
Faculty Hosts: Dr. Nadine Garner

Joe Volupus

Joe Volupus
Executive Director, Aevidum

Joe Vulopas believes in empowering students and educators. Joe is the Executive Director of Aevidum. He is on a leave of absence from teaching English at Cocalico High School in Lancaster PA, where he taught for 15 years. In 2003, following the suicide of a sophomore at his school, Joe rallied students to raise awareness about depression and suicide. Under his guidance, the students formed Aevidum, an award-winning education initiative that empowers students to be advocates for themselves and for their peers. Aevidum is a word that was made up by a high school students and means, “I’ve got your back.” In addition to his work in education, Joe is a member of the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee. A former education reporter, Joe also wrote a popular newspaper column about relationships and parenthood for almost 20 years in the Lancaster New Era. He and his wife, Melissa, an elementary school principal, live in Lititz, PA, with their two school-aged children.


Thursday, September 26, 2013 4:00-5:15
Human Rights of Disasters
Examining the treatment of individuals during time of disasters

Gary Risser

Gary Risser

Gary Risser is a policy and advocacy specialist in the Humanitarian Policy Section of UNICEF. He covers a number for protection related agendas, including children affected by armed conflict, protection of civilians, and security sector reform. Gary spent over a decade working in Southeast Asia, with UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and as a researcher on refugee and migration issues at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He also taught as an adjunct professor of political science at Millersville University.

Dr. Lynn LawryDr. Lynn Lawry participating Via Skype

For two decades Dr Lawry has been involved in humanitarian aid and disaster research in more than a dozen complex humanitarian disasters. She has researched and published on health and human rights issues concerning Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Nigeria, Darfur, Liberia, Kenya, Hurricane Katrina communities, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Mexico. She is a leading expert in health, gender-based violence/human rights research and author of many publications including book chapters and journal articles relating to her methodology for documenting health and human rights and sexual gender-based violence. Dr. Lawry earned her medical degree at East Carolina University School of Medicine, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Lawry completed residency training in internal medicine at Brown University, served as Chief Resident at the VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island, completed a two-year General Medicine research fellowship with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School and a two-year Health and Human Rights fellowship with Physicians for Human Rights. She is Director of the Initiative on Global Women’s Health in the Division of Women’s Health, faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the Founder and Executive Director of Lawry Research Associates International.

Dr. Kirsten BookmillerDr. Kirsten Bookmiller, Millersville University

Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller is a Professor of Government and Political Affairs at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where she is also a founding and contributing faculty member to the university’s MS in Emergency Management program. She received her PhD in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and completed The Hague Academy of International Law’s Seminar for Advanced Studies on the International Law of Disasters in 2012.

Nakjavani Bookmiller has previously published in the area of international humanitarian diplomacy. Her most recent focus has been upon the policy and law making contributions of local emergency responders to the international relief system, specifically the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). Her most recent study, “The International Law of 96 Hours: Urban Search and Rescue Teams and the Current State of International Disaster Response Law (IDRL)” will appear as a chapter in the forthcoming book The International Law of Disaster Relief to be published by Cambridge University Press.

In 2013 Nakjavani Bookmiller also launched the “Global Partnerships Initiative” (GPI) at Millersville’s Center for Disaster Research and Education. A transnational network of academic institutions and international organizations, GPI is dedicated to advancing best practices in the disaster management field.


Friday, September 27, 2013 9:00-10:15
Poverty and Inequality: Home, Health, & Hunger - Reighard Multi-Purpose Room, SMC
Faculty Hosts:Dr. Dan O'Neill and Ms. Melissa Wardwell 

Kay Moshier McDivittKay Moshier McDivitt is a Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In this role, she works with the Center for Capacity Building to help communities create, implement, and evaluate plans to end homelessness based on their specific needs. She is the Center’s point person on issues related to retooling transitional housing and the Performance Improvement Clinics, and assists in projects ranging from 10 year plan development to rapid re-housing planning. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2011, Kay served as the Community Homeless Advisor for the Lancaster County (PA) Coalition to End Homelessness, providing leadership for the County’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and Continuum of Care, and as Vice President for Programs for Tabor Community Services, Inc., where she oversaw a number of model program initiatives focused on ending homelessness including prevention and rapid rehousing approaches. She has provided community leadership in the homeless service arena since 1994 both at the local level and national level on best practice models for ending homelessness. She received her degrees in Social Work and Sociology from Eastern Mennonite University.

Bob ThomasBob Thomas has been President since 2006 of Tabor Community Services, a non-profit provider of housing and financial counseling services to Lancaster County residents for the past 45 years.  Today’s Tabor provides 16 different programs assisting 4000 County residents annually with housing and financial challenges they face.  In housing the programs include temporary emergency shelter for people who are experiencing homelessness; assistance in helping them obtain permanent housing; homelessness prevention; first time home buyer education/counseling and; mortgage counseling.  Tabor was recently selected by the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness to build and manage a coordinated intake and referral system for all persons in the County experiencing housing crises.

Before joining Tabor, Bob had a 33 year career in higher education administration and teaching and served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Millersville University from 1996 – 2006.

Linda Gort

Linda Gort, MS, CRNP is the Family Nurse Practitioner and Medical Director of SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, where she provides health care to families, including ob/gyn, well-woman and pediatric care.  She worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner and the Bronx Regional OB Coordinator for the Institute for Family Health in New York City from 2008-2012.  She is the author of Working with Abused women:  Identification and Intervention Strategies for Nurses and A Guide to Perinatal Substance Abuse Services for Women and Their Children.  She is active in the Lancaster County Reach Out and Read project and in the March of Dimes Centering Pregnancy project. Ms. Gort is the recipient of Lancaster General Medical Group’s 2001 Community Service Award.

Joe Arthur

Joseph “Joe” Arthur
Executive Director, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

Joe Arthur was appointed Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in July, 2012, after serving as Associate Director of the Food Bank since October, 2008.  Joe also served as a volunteer Board Member with the Food Bank from 2000 – 2005 and served as Board President in 2004 and 2005. As the Food Bank’s principal ambassador, Joe presents regularly on the issue of hunger in Pennsylvania to community groups, government partners, prospective donor organizations, and other forums.

Joe joined the Food Bank in 2008 after working 23 years in finance and accounting management, primarily with Pennsylvania community banks.  Joe is a leader in anti-hunger work in Pennsylvania through his work as a Board Officer for the associations Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger Free Pennsylvania and as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center. Joe is also a Member of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg and the Estate Planning Council of Central Pennsylvania. Joe holds a B.S. in Accounting from Penn State University.  Joe, his wife Deb, and their children Josh and Tara, live in Manheim, Lancaster County.


Friday, September 27, 2013 9:00-10:15
LGBTQA Equality - Lehr Room
Faculty Hosts: Dr. Blaise Liffick & Dr. Kendra Saunders



Liz BradburyLiz Bradbury 

Executive Director, PA Diversity Network  

Liz Bradbury has been a full time advocate for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community since 1994, and volunteer since 1979. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of Pennsylvania Diversity Network (PDN), the largest GLBT advocacy organization by active membership in PA. She helped to write and lead successful efforts to pass model GLBT inclusive non-discrimination and domestic partner legislation in nine municipalities. She served for 15 years as an Allentown Human Relations Commissioner, where she wrote the guidelines for discrimination investigations and trained investigators. Before creating PDN, she cofounded and co-coordinated the Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Political Action. She has been called as an expert to testify, speak, and debate on GLBT issues and marriage equality in dozens of venues. She created the national award winning, Pennsylvania Diversity Network Photo Project - 800 Same-sex Couples: Facing Inequality. Bradbury has written over 400 published articles and essays. She is also the award winning author of the Maggie Gale Mystery Series. Bradbury and her partner of 25 years, Patricia Sullivan, were the first couple from Pennsylvania to get a Civil Union (VT 2000). They legally married in Connecticut in 2009

Brian K. SimsState Representative Brian K. Sims (PA's 182nd District)

State Representative Brian K. Sims (PA's 182nd District) is a distinguished policy attorney and civil rights advocate from Center City Philadelphia. The former staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association, he previously served as both the president of the board of directors of Equality Pennsylvania and as chairman of Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP). He currently serves on the GLSEN Sports Advisory Council, is a contributor to The Advocate magazine, and has written for The National Jurist, The New Jersey Law Journal, The Legal Intelligencer,, The Philadelphia Bar Reporter, MD News magazine, HRC Back Story,, Yahoo Sports and Compete magazine. He remains the only former NCAA football captain (Bloomsburg) to have ever come out.


Friday, September 27, 2013 10:30-11:45
Fair Trade: The Lives Behind the Bean - Reighard Multi-Purpose Room, SMC

Fair Trade: The Lives Behind the Bean
We can choose fair wages, good working conditions, health care and education for workers on the other side of the globe just by choosing the right cup of coffee. Our three panelists will explain how.
Coffee Origins: Witnessing Fair Trade Coffee Production in Mexico

Christy StevensChristy Stevens is a senior at Millersville University and is pursuing a major in Communication Studies with a Public Relations emphasis. She is passionate about human rights, building great relationships, having great communication, as well as making and drinking great coffee! After graduating next May, she hopes to use her passions along with the knowledge gained in her schooling to open a cafe/venue with her soon-to-be husband, that would support the local community and worldwide human rights with fair trade options.

Trexler Trexler Proffitt is a local professor of entrepreneurship and business, and a strong advocate of building sustainable, vibrant, local economies. In 2013, with a team of visionary young people, he created Roaring Brook Market in downtown Lancaster, PA. Roaring Brook Market is a social purpose grocery and cafe that emphasizes fresh, local foods and supports small food entrepreneurs. The social mission includes sustainable practices in the store, in sourcing goods to carry, and food system awareness. He and his family live in Lancaster Township.

Madeline Kreider CarlsonMadeline Kreider Carlson has served as the Membership and Program Manager of the Fair Trade Federation since October 2011. Before coming to the Fair Trade Federation, Madeline completed a year-long independent study of the art and socio-economic significance of crafts and women’s craft organizations, funded by a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. She spent time with craftswomen with little formal education and few employment opportunities, and gained an understanding of the challenges they face as well as the promise that lies in communities of artisans.

Madeline has studied, volunteered, and worked with fair trade companies and organizations in the U.S., Guatemala, Nicaragua, Egypt, Uganda, Indonesia, and Mongolia.  Recently, she traveled to Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico, to visit fair trade coffee, honey, and weaving cooperatives as part of a delegation of fair trade advocates from across the U.S.  Madeline also serves on the national Steering Committee for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities (

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Madeline has a B.A. from Haverford College, and has also studied at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. She has worked at the Gallery of Heroes and Martyrs Museum in Esteli, Nicaragua; the Library Company of Philadelphia; and the Haverford College Office of Admissions.


Friday, September 27, 2013 10:30-11:45
Citizenship Across The Globe - Lehr Room
Faculty Hosts: Dr. Kerrie Farkas & Dr. Adam Lawrence

Citizenship 101

Audrey Loepz Valdivia

Audrey Lopez Valdivia is originally from Peru but came to the United States at a young age. She began working at Church World Service first as an intern in the Refugee Resettlement Program and then as the Citizenship and Integration Legal Counselor. She is responsible for providing legal immigration services to clients as well as determining eligibility for the Citizenship and Integration program.  Audrey earned a B.A. in International Studies and Anthropology from Millersville University.

Audrey Lopez Valdivia will be discussing the main reasons why U.S. residents want to become citizens as well as the main obstacles they face when applying for citizenship. She will also discuss the rights and responsibilities of newly naturalized citizens.

Dr. Carrie Smith

Dr. Carrie Smith; Associate Professor of Sociology MU
Office: Susquehanna 201
Phone: 717-872-3543


Carrie Lee Smith is Associate Professor in the Sociology/Anthropology Department at Millersville University. Her specialty areas include sex and gender and the sociology of reproduction and birth. At Millersville University, she teaches courses in Medical Sociology, Sociology of the Family, and Race and Ethnic Relations. She is the co-editor (along with Donna King) of Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Kick Their Asses: Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy in Feminist Perspective (2012, Vanderbilt University Press).

Summary of Talk

In this talk, I examine the ways in which individuals can obtain citizenship of a nation. Reflecting on my own experience of obtaining citizenship(s), I discuss the ways in which we understand what it means to be a citizen. I discuss the idea of dual citizenship, as well as how we frame citizenship as responsibility or privilege. Finally, I tie my discussion back to the conference theme and reflect on the relationship between citizenship and human rights.

Dr. Nivedita BagchiDr. Nivedita Bagchi
Assistant Professor of Government and Political Affairs
Office: Fulton House Room 204
Phone: (717) 871-3936

Graduated with a PhD in Political Theory and American Politics from the University of Virginia. Her main interests are in the areas of gender studies and the intersection of literature and politics. She has written and published on Utopias and dystopias, Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a political activist and on American politics.

Today, I will discuss the concept of cosmopolitanism or global citizenship, its advantages in an increasingly globalized world and the problems with this view citizenship (both in terms of definition and implementation).

Closing Speaker

Rose VesciRose Vesci MU 98’

Special Agent (SA) Rosemarie “Rose” Vesci has been employed with the FBI for nine years. She is currently assigned to the FBI’s Philadelphia Division where she works on a Crimes Against Children squad that handles matters such as kidnappings, child pornography, child prostitution, and other violations involving the sexual exploitation of children. She is the Crimes Against Children Coordinator for the Philadelphia Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes various state and local law enforcement partners. Originally from the Philadelphia area, prior to the FBI, SA Vesci worked as an IT specialist for both The Vanguard Group and Villanova University. SA Vesci attended Millersville University.

Madeleine BairMadeleine Bair Curator of the Human Rights Channel for

Madeleine earned a dual MA in Journalism and International Studies from UC Berkeley, and a BA from the University of Chicago. As a UC Berkeley Human Rights Center Fellow in 2010, she collaborated with Jamaicans for Justice to document police brutality in Kingston, producing a multimedia video that was presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and continues to be used to educate and inform Jamaicans about police abuse and the justice system. Madeleine curates the Human Rights Channel. Madeleine has been carrying a microphone in her backpack since she belonged to the Oakland bureau of the pioneering youth media organization, Children's Express. After chasing Hillary Clinton down for an interview in China and being yelled at by J.C. Watts at the Republican National Convention, the little girl with pigtails and a yellow notepad decided that poking her freckled face in unexpected places was her calling. Since then, she has upgraded from casette to digital and branched out to print, film, and multimedia work. She has taught radio production to young adults, produced a documentary about the Latino dropout crisis for PBS, and worked as an I.F. Stone Fellow at Human Rights Watch.

Thank You!

Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network
Roaring Brook
Lemon Street Market

Many thanks to our conference supporters and all of the agencies and organizations that participated at the Human Rights Expo and Information Fair. A special thanks to the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network, Lemon Street Market and Roaring Brook Market for donating the fairly traded coffee shared at the Conference Coffee Breaks.