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Sakharov Foundation Director to Speak at UVU

8 January 2010 No Comment

January 8, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Rusty Butler (801) 863-8994, Maryna Storrs (801) 863-8897
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Maryna Storrs (801) 863-8897

Alexey Semyonov, vice president and director of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, and his wife Elizabeth will lecture on defense of human rights at Utah Valley University Jan. 14-15 as part of the University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration event. The Sakharov Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and memory of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Andrei Sakharov, the promotion of his ideas and the defense of human rights.

“The visit of the Semyonovs is a recognition from the famous Sakharov Foundation of the maturity of UVU,” said Rusty Butler, associate vice president for international affairs and diplomacy. “It will strengthen UVU ties with prominent, globally-known institutions in the promotion of human rights and democracy-building, and bring concrete benefits for the faculty and students of UVU for their professional and educational growth.”

In addition to the lecture, Mr. Semyonov will moderate a session with renowned human- and civil-rights activist Elena Bonner, chair of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation and widow of Andrei Sakharov; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; and Bob Arsenault, president of the International League for Human Rights. They will discuss the role of King in the global human-rights movement. Semyonov also plans to comment during the screening of the documentary “In the Shadow of Sakharov” as part of the MLK commemoration.

On Thursday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. Semyonov will speak to the students on the “New dynamic in international relations between the United States and the CIS” (Liberal Arts Building, room 110). On Friday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. Mrs. Semyonov will meet at a roundtable with the students and faculty of UVU (Liberal Arts Building, room 118).

UVU has many ties with the Sakharov Foundation. Chair  Elena Bonner was the honorary co-chair of the international conference “Women of the Mountains” hosted by UVU in March 2007 with support from the United Nations and the World Bank. Twenty-two nations sent 110 women leaders to that conference. Additionally, the Foundation will co-sponsor a new conference, “Women of the Mountains-2,” with UVU.

The Sakharov Foundation will host a UVU intern in its Moscow, Russia office this summer. UVU student Joseph Matthew will leave in May for Moscow and other students may work with the Sakharov archives at Harvard University.

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