Class of '71 Public Affairs Forum to Explore Humanitarian Issues and Action

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Sept. 15, 2011 – The Williams College Class of ’71 Public Affairs Forum will present a series of lectures throughout the fall semester that focus on humanitarian concerns, human rights, and different approaches to direct action around the world.

Sept. 15: Noam Chomsky opened the series with the first of a two-part dialogue titled “Getting it Right: Dilemmas in Humanitarian Intervention.”  A prominent American public intellectual and activist, Chomsky has written and lectured extensively on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, international affairs, and foreign policy (SOLD OUT). This talk will be taped for viewing on the Williams website at

Oct. 18: Fiona Terry will present part two of “Getting it Right: Dilemmas in Humanitarian Intervention.” Terry has engaged in various humanitarian relief operations around the world with Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross. She is the author of Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action, a criticism of humanitarian organizations that fail to consider political context before providing aid. Her talk is at 8 p.m. in the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, MainStage

Oct. 25: Anat Biletzki will give the third talk in the series, titled “The Sacred and the Humane: Human Rights without God.” Biletzki is a well-known Israeli peace activist. She has founded and participated in several human rights projects in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and focuses her efforts on public education, schools, and youth movements. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3.

Nov. 1: Mike Wilson will conclude the series with a discussion titled “Nobody Deserves to Die in the Desert for Lack of a Cup of Water.” A Native American human-rights activist who for nine years has maintained water stations for migrants crossing the Arizona desert on his tribal lands, Wilson’s work encompasses environmental issues, social justice, and humanitarian aid. Wilson first met Williams students during a winter study trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Griffin 3.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at

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