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Human-Rights Activist Kerry Kennedy Cuomo to Speak At UB

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: March 18, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, internationally renowned human-rights activist, will speak as a guest of the University at Buffalo School of Law Human Rights Center from 2-4 p.m. on March 24 in 106 Baldy Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The subject of her talk, which will be free and open to the public, will be "Human-Rights Activism: Courage in the Face of Terror."

Cuomo, daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and wife of Andrew Cuomo, U.S. secretary for housing and urban development, is founder and former executive director of the internationally acclaimed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.

The co-chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council and a member of the national Council on Foreign Relations, Cuomo is on the boards of many other leading organizations.

Makau Mutua, co-director of the UB Human Rights Center and a personal friend of Cuomo's, said she will speak out against abuses of human rights, such as unjust imprisonment, trial without due process and apartheid, based on her personal experiences as an activist.

"She will use stories of courageous activists who have defended fundamental freedoms at great personal risk as a way of underscoring the conscience that we should all have about human rights," said Mutua.

"The tremendous amount of work she has done demonstrates the achievement and the effectiveness that one can have if fully committed to a cause," he added.

Mutua, who referred to Cuomo as "a truly electrifying speaker," noted that since she also is an attorney, her talk will be of special interest to law students, especially those who may want to pursue a career in the field.

Cuomo has led human-rights delegations to a wide range of countries, including South Korea, El Salvador, South Africa, Poland, Guatemala and Northern Ireland. A graduate of Brown University, she received her law degree from Boston College and has lectured at universities and colleges nationwide.