Gloria S. Duclos Convocation

2017 Global Awareness and Responsibility Conference

December 2, 2017
11:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Luther Bonney Talbot Auditorium - 96 Falmouth Street, Portland

2017 Global Awareness and Responsibility Conference

Organized by Ladder to the Moon Network - Portland, ME 

This Conference will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, 11:30am-3pm at University of Southern Maine's Talbot Auditorium in Luther Bonney Hall

This year's keynote, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, will speak about "Human Rights Violations in Africa". His presentation will be followed by a panel of experts on immigration who will address the cancellation of DACA protection, ICE raids which are splitting up families, travel bans and changes in the characteristics and number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. and an increasingly frightening message from some - "You are not welcome".

By attending this conference, you will have a better understanding of:

  • The current human rights violations in Africa
  • The resulting flight from African continent
  • The realities of migrant's lives while fleeing and what they now face when they reach a "safe" place
  • How you can help

Keynote Speaker: Human Rights Activist: Pierre CLaver Mbonimpa, from Burundi

Panel: Anna Welch, University of Maine Law School andTarlan Ahmadov, Catholic Charities

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is hailed as the "Grandfather of the human rights movement in Burundi", he has acted with integrity, determination, and courage to stand against the violence and injustice in his country despite the risk of losing his life.

He worked at the Ministry of Economy and Finance as an inspector of foreign trade and at the Air and Border Police as the head of post at the Congo-Burundian border until December 13th, 1994. In 1994, he was falsely accused and incarcerated for possession of an illegal weapon, an arrest thought to be politically motivated. He spent two years in prison where he was beaten and starved. During his time in prison, he witnessed horrific mistreatments and abuses of inmates, especially young boys and women, and as a result, he took time to educate himself about the law and helped prisoners petition for their hearings.

With two other prisoners, he formed a non-profit association for prisoner's rights. On his release, he initiated an anti-torture project with the goal of promoting prisoner's rights. This project led to the founding of an organization that is more broadly based, the Association for the Protection of Prisoners and Humans Rights or APRODH, an organization well known for its impartiality in a country which is in the throes of a civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is the award winner of numerous local and international prizes including: the Martin Ennals Prize in 2007, the Good Defender of Human Rights prize and the Forum for the Consciousness and Development (FOCODE) prize in 2008, the Patriotic prize given by a Burundian organization in 2009, the Prix Henry Dunant, Terrain Edition in 2010, the Belgian King, officer of the order of the crown in 2013, the "Shield of the Pan-African Defender of Human Rights" prize in Kampala Uganda in 2015, the Democracy and Human Rights Prize of the Parliment of Wallonia Brussels Belgium and the Alison Desforges award in 2016 and this year was chosen as the winner of the 2017 Civil Courage prize, a human rights award which recognizes steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk.


Free and open to the public. A free lunch will be served!

For more information contact George Budagu Makoko (tel: 207-517-3402)