Communicating Excellence Symposium to focus on human rights

Meadows symposium to focus on communication issues affecting the struggle for human rights.

Patrick Mureithi

The Division of Communication Studies at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its third annual Communicating Excellence Symposium, “Better Communication for Better Leaders on Human Rights,” March 7-9, 2011.

The three-day symposium focuses on communication issues affecting the struggle for human rights. Special guest Patrick Mureithi will host a showing and discussion of his film ICYIZERE: hope, a documentary about a gathering of survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.

The symposium is open to the public. All events take place in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Admission is free, and no reservations are necessary. For more information, call Rebecca Hewitt at 214-768-1574.

Symposium schedule:

Monday, March 7 – Lecture: “Death as a Text: The Rhetoric of Genocide”

Owen Arts Center
7:00 p.m. Reception – Greer Garson Theatre, Mezzanine Lobby – Second Floor
7:30 p.m. Lecture – Greer Garson Theatre, Room 3527 – Third Floor
Ben Voth, chair of the Division of Communication Studies, will address communication’s role in creating, containing and resolving the international problems of genocide and “eliminationism.”

Tuesday, March 8 – Debate: “ U.S. intervention in humanitarian crises?”

Owen Arts Center
7:00 p.m. Debate – O’Donnell Auditorium, Room 2130 – Second Floor
8:00 p.m. Reception – Taubman Atrium – First Floor
The SMU debate team will discuss the pros and cons of a possible new U.S. policy of humanitarian intervention.

Wednesday, March 9 – Film “ICYIZERE:hope” and discussion with guest filmmaker Patrick Mureithi

Owen Arts Center
7:00 p.m. Film showing – O’Donnell Auditorium, Room 2130 – Second Floor
8:30 p.m. Reception – Taubman Atrium – First Floor
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Patrick Mureithi, a Kenyan native, traveled to Rwanda to film a gathering of 10 survivors and 10 perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.
ICYIZERE:hope is a documentary about the experiences of the participants, as they are taught about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and go through a series of group exercises to help build trust. The film also explores how the media was used to incite fear, hatred and, ultimately, genocide, and the filmmaker’s belief that media can similarly be used to unite and to heal. The film has been shown to audiences throughout Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States and has received widespread acclaim.
Mureithi, who currently serves as artist in residence at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, will lead a discussion after the 55-minute screening.