The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on November 4 & 5. A Reunion will be held for former and current faculty, Fellows and students, human rights activists, and friends and supporters of the Institute. In conjunction with the Reunion, the Urban Morgan Institute will award Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy the William J. Butler Human Rights Medal. On Friday evening November 4 a welcoming reception will be held for all attendees. On Saturday, November 5, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, the conference, Lawyers in Pursuit of Justice, will be held featuring Dr. Coomaraswamy; on Saturday evening attendees will gather for a formal dinner and presentation of the William J. Butler Medal at the National Underground Railroad Center.
The William J. Butler Human Rights Medal honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the human rights field. Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women for nine years. In her reports to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights she has focused on violence in the family, violence in the community, violence against women during armed conflict, and the problem of international trafficking.
Dr. Coomaraswamy is the Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and she is the Chair of the Human Rights Commission for Sri Lanka. She is a member of the Global Faculty of the New York University School of Law and teaches a summer course at New College Oxford University. She has published widely, including two books, three co-edited books, and numerous articles on ethnic studies and the status of women. She has two forthcoming books: Born Free and Equal: Women’s International Human Rights, and Dharma and Conscience, a book on Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. Dr. Coomaraswamy is a graduate of the United Nations International School in New York, and received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University, and an LL.M. from Harvard University. She received an honorary degree from Amherst College. She is the sixth recipient of the William J. Butler Medal.