Mr. German Zarate-Durier visited Minnesota on a speaking tour sponsored by Presbyterian Church USA. He is the director of the Office of Diaconia of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, South America and works with social justice organizations, especially those devoted to victims of violence. He spoke to the Humphrey Fellows about his experience in community organizing and peace based on justice.
Liaisons from the Institute of International Education visited the University of Minnesota Law School and the Human Rights Center last week to meet the 25 Humphrey Fellows currently studying at the U of M. Judy Gibson, Director of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, and Sergio Lewis, Program Associate of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, attended the Welcoming Reception for the 12 Humphrey Law School Fellows, met with the 14 fellows enrolled at the U of M Humphrey Public Affairs School and spent time touring the cultural sites of the Twin Cities. These included perusing the turning of leaves framing the Mississippi River and exploring the sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. One of the highlights of their trip was visiting the grave and memorial of former Vice-President, Hubert H. Humphrey, with Professor Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, co-director of the Human Rights Center. Humphrey is a Minnesota legacy, but the effects of his dedication to diplomacy and peace-building are felt nationally and internationally as well. At his memorial, Gibson and Lewis were able to gaze on his long-standing belief in the importance of human rights as he is quoted urging the Democratic Party to, “…walk forthrightly into the bright shadow of human rights.” Although these words were spoken in 1948, the upcoming election has proven that their meaning only grows stronger with time.