International Humanitarian Mia Farrow speaks at Fairfield University October 6


 

 

Image: Bakit Oumar

Over the last six years, the Sudanese government has attacked, assaulted and displaced more than 2.5 million people of Darfur. It has forced those who survive the attacks to live in squalid refugee camps, endure murder and disfigurement, starvation and worse, leaving a traumatized and decimated population with barely enough strength to move, much less speak. On Monday, Oct. 6, Fairfield University invites its concerned community to hear Mia Farrow, the 2008 Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lecturer, give clear, courageous and persistent voice to the plight of these people. The lecture, "With Knowledge Comes Responsibility: The Darfur Crisis," is co-sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and Open VISIONS Forum and will be held at the Quick Center for the Arts at 8 p.m.

Image: woman with glasses in DarfurLast year's Jacoby-Lunin Lecturer, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, cited Farrow as one of the world's most articulate and effective voices speaking out today about the genocide in Darfur, and, he added, "She lives right here in Connecticut."

Farrow recently returned from her tenth trip to the Darfur region where she again experienced camp conditions first-hand and photographically documented the struggles of hundreds of newly met refugees and others she returns to visit regularly.

Following such a visit, it is customary for Farrow to seize a public platform in an attempt to jar the conscience of what she sees as an indifferent world. On Sept. 6th The Wall Street Journal published an article in which she and author Eric Reeves relate the grotesque details of two recent attacks on refugee camps, "...this assault on civilians in full view of the international community raises the question of what the massacre says about the rest of us. The only message we have sent to the Sudanese government is that they can now attack the camps and the world will watch and do nothing."

Farrow welcomes the opportunity to speak out for the disenfranchised and against what she recognizes as political oppression.

"Mia Farrow is an example to us all. She lives the Jesuit mission in every aspect of her life and she joins a long list of remarkable Jacoby-Lunin lecturers who espouse the values Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Lunin celebrate with this lectureship," said Dr. Ellen Umansky, director of the Center for Judaic Studies.

Image: Abdullah and Mia

Professor Philip Eliasoph, director of OVF added, "Mia Farrow's people-to-people embrace for the oppressed in Darfur - and most recently, for Hurricane Ike disaster victims with her UNICEF tour in Haiti, represents her commitment to 'living for others,' which embodies a large part of the Jesuit mission values. This Golden Globe-winning actress has transformed her celebrity into an effective vehicle for expression as one of the world's most impassioned advocates for social justice."

Farrow is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, who spent five days in late Sept. in Haiti, where she witnessed the devastation wrought by four successive hurricanes. According to a UNICEF press release, she met "with children and women affected by the natural disasters. (Her itinerary included) ... a daytrip to Gonaïves, the most affected city where an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 people are in temporary shelters according to local Civil Protection."

Farrow is an actress of stage, screen and television and a hands-on mother of fourteen multi-racial, multi-national children, some with special needs. She has emerged from the protected Hollywood existence in which she grew up, as an internationally recognized citizen of the world who manages to seamlessly integrate her life, work and life's work.

Tickets are $45 and are available online at www.fairfield.edu/openvisions or by calling the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 17, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 60