WASHINGTON — Wendy Luers, a former journalist and human rights activist, will join students from the Humanities Department of Shepaug Valley School at the 17th annual Shepaug World Affairs Forum from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, 1 Green Hill Rd.

The Shepaug World Affairs Forum is an annual public event that showcases and celebrates student interest in international affairs. Each year an accomplished expert in international relations serves as the keynote speaker. The speaker engages with student panelists and community members in a discussion regarding the most pressing issues that shape the world today.

Wendy Luers, the founder and president of the Foundation for a Civil Society in New York, a cultural, democratization and non-profit organization, will present the keynote address and speak to the realities of advocacy for human rights with a focus on diplomacy in today’s world.

Ms. Luers’ career includes her role as director of special projects for Amnesty International and director of special projects at Human Rights Watch in New York.

“Ms. Luers brings a perspective informed by her experience of working with human rights organizations and subsequently understanding the role of diplomacy as the spouse of William Luers, ambassador to Caracas and then to Prague” said Chris Dennis, Shepaug Valley School Humanties Department. “The depth of knowledge and context Ms. Luers brings to this event is exceptional. We are grateful for her commitment to working with our students.”

Students participating on the panel include Shepaug Valley school seniors Oscar Cespedes, Elizabeth Neunzig, Rebecca Racz, Lily Schur, Aaryuj Trehan; juniors Kyle Mieczkowski, Sam Quigley, and sophomores Wyatt King and Ryan Bialack.

All are members of Shepaug’s Model UN Team and participated in the Model UN at Harvard in February. Students will prepare and present position papers on global topics including the relationship between human rights and religion, healthcare, and climate change.

In working with students on this event, Ms. Luers refers to a quote by Vaclav Havel, “Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”

Event sponsors include the Shepaug Student Project Foundation, the Shepaug Valley School PTO and the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens.

This is a free event and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early to secure a seat.

A meet-and-greet with the panelists will follow the presentation. Refreshments will be served.

Those seeking additional information may contact Chris Dennis at dennisc@region-12.org.

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