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Looking forward to the 2006 Annual Meeting in Montréal …

Human Rights Is Focus of Welcoming Plenary

The American Sociological Association has a history of speaking in support of human rights globally, especially in defense of sociologists and other scholars persecuted for their beliefs or scholarly activities. A year ago, the Council voted in favor of the American Sociological Association Statement on Human Rights on the Occasion of ASA’s Centenary. In continuation of its human rights support, the ASA invited UNESCO’s Pierre Sané, human rights advocate, to speak at the Welcoming Ceremony of the Annual Meeting on Thursday, August 10, 2006, in Montréal.

Sané, formerly the Secretary General of Amnesty International, will discuss his work developing new programs of research-policy linkages in the study and management of social transformation. These include strengthening the interactions among researchers, policymakers, and international bodies such as UNESCO toward advancing programs in human rights and development, gender and women’s rights, racism and discrimination, poverty, and development of civil society.

Sané is the Assistant- Director General for Social Sciences and Human Sciences, Ethics and Human Rights at UNESCO in Paris. As Assistant Director- General he is responsible for the development, execution, and evaluation of UNESCO’s Poverty and Human Rights program.

International, he campaigned extensively to raise human rights concerns worldwide and to strengthen the human rights movement. Before joining Amnesty International, he worked for 15 years in international development.

Sané earned his doctoral degree in political science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and a Masters of Science degree in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics. He has published extensively on issues of development and human rights.

Sané joins other notable plenary speakers, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, and Deborah Rhode, law professor at Stanford University, who will discuss the work of law, lawyers, and the judiciary in changing conceptual and legal boundaries defining the rights of women, men, and social groups. Also, Gloria Steinem, feminist activist and author, and Lawrence Bobo, sociology professor at Stanford University, will discuss the shifting nature of inequalities of race and gender, which are deeply rooted in public and private consciousness. See "Exciting Plenaries and Sessions at the 101st ASA Annual Meeting" in the May/June Footnotes for additional information on these plenary sessions.