2016-2017 Past Events

Issues Affecting Young Women in Tanzania Today: Female Mutilation, Child Marriages and Trafficking

Tuesday, August 30
Fulton 511

With Elizabeth Mach, Maryknoll Lay Missioner

Maryknoll Lay Missioner Liz Mach was born and raised in Minnesota. After receiving her nursing degree, Liz joined the newly formed Maryknoll program and was sent to Tanzania, East Africa. Liz has spent the last 40 years working in maternal child health care and advocating for the rights of women and girls in Eastern Africa.

She presently works for the Catholic Diocese of Musoma and coordinates all health, education and Social Services of the diocese through her work in the Planning and Development Directorate. The department has a strong program to end all forms of Gender Based Violence including Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriages and sex trafficking. The diocese advocates through shelters, schooling, training seminars on legal rights of women and creation awareness.

Sponsored by the Jesuit Institute, the Theology Department, the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the School of Theology and Ministry, and the Global Practice Concentration of the School of Social Work.

See the Mach event flyer here.




US Immigration Policy and Increased Threats to Central American Migrants

Thursday, September 22
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
McGuinn Hall, Room 521

With Martha Guevara, Boston-area community activist. This event is Part 1 of the “After Obama: What is the future of our 'Nation of Immigrants'?” conversation series.

Martha Guevara is a retired Spanish bilingual teacher from Framingham, MA. She volunteers, in a variety of capacities, for area immigrant rights and service organizations.  In July she traveled to El Salvador and Guatemala on an immigration fact-finding delegation sponsored by CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). The group's goals were to educate themselves about how US policy has contributed to displacement and migration in El Salvador, historically and currently, and to investigate the expansion of a militarized border enforcement model throughout Central America and how it is impacting migrants and asylum seekers. As part, the CISPES group spoke with Salvadoran governmental, religious, labor, and social movement leaders about how they are organizing to build alternatives to forced migration.

The US and Mexico: A Strong and Profitable Partnership

Monday, September 26
5:00 p.m.
Walsh Hall, Room 131

NEW LOCATION: Fulton Honors Library, Fulton Hall

With Emilio Rabasa-Gamboa, General Consul of Mexico in New England.

See Rabasa-Gamboa flyer here.

A Latin American Studies program event co-sponsored by the Center



The Influence of Immigrant Parent Legal Status on Immigrant Families and Developmental Outcomes for US-born Middle Childhood Children

Thursday, October 6
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
McGuinn 334

With Kalina Brabeck, Associate Professor of Counseling, Rhode Island College. This event is Part 2 of the “After Obama: What is the future of our 'Nation of Immigrants'?” conversation series this fall.

Professor Brabeck is a longtime collaborator with the Center's "Human Rights of Migrants: Transnational and Mixed-Status Families" project.  See some of her collaborative research with Center Co-Director Brinton Lykes here.

Ending the Many Wars in Syria

Tuesday, October 11
Gasson 305

With Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Phyllis Bennis is director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She co-founded United for Peace and Justice and the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation and co-chairs the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine. She is the author of Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror

Sponsored by the Departments of History and Sociology, the Program on Islamic Civilization and Societies, and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice

See the Bennis event flyer here.

Co-sponsored by the Center. 

Public Theology and the Global Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach, S.J.

Friday, October 14 - Saturday, October 15
Gasson Hall & Simboli Hall, Boston College

This conference celebrated the work of David Hollenbach, S.J. and mark the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter “Economic Justice for All”. The conference began Friday afternoon, October 14, with a public keynote lecture by Ambassador Ken Hackett and continued Saturday, October 15, with presentations by Hollenbach’s former students and colleagues, opening a conversation with a newer generation of theologians on the future of public theology and the common good.


Institute for the Liberal Arts; Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences; The Jesuit Institute; Theology Department; School of Theology and Ministry; International Studies Program; Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life; and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice

CICIG and the Fight Against Impunity in Guatemala

Wednesday, October 19
Stokes N428

With Iván Velásquez Gómez, Commissioner, United Nations Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, in Spanish).

About CICIG:

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Spanish: Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala, CICIG) is an international body charged with investigating and prosecuting serious crime in Guatemala. It was created on December 12, 2006, when the United Nations and Guatemala signed a treaty-level agreement setting up CICIG as an independent body to support the Public Prosecutor's Office (Procuraduría General de la Nación), the National Civilian Police (Policía Nacional Civil) and other state institutions in the investigation of sensitive and difficult cases. The ultimate goal of CICIG's work, is to strengthen national judicial institutions, to allow them to continue to confront illegal groups and organized crime in the future.

Notable CICG cases include its investigation the death of Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano in 2009, which almost brought down the government of Álvaro Colom, as well as its playing a major role in the La Linea corruption case investigation, which led to the resignations and arrests of Guatemala's President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice-President Roxana Baldetti.

About Iván Velásquez Gómez:

In September 2013 Mr. Velásquez was named Commisioner of CICIG for the period 2013 to 2015. The Guatemalan government requested to the UN that CICIG be continued for an additional two years, from 2015 to 2017.

In 2011 the International Bar Association (IBA) awarded him the World Prize in Human Rights, and in 2012 the German Association of Judges gave him an award in recognition of his commitment in the struggle against impunity and in the defense of fundamental human rights.

Mr. Velásquez previously had a distinguished legal career as a former auxiliary magistrate of Colombia’s Supreme Court, where he coordinated high-profile investigations into links between paramilitary groups and public officials. Mr. Velásquez also has extensive prosecutorial and investigative experience in Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office and as Regional Director of the Public Prosecutor’s office covering the Department of Antioquia.

Book discussion: Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection

Thursday, October 20
Gasson 305

With Medea Benjamin, author and co-founder of the organization Code Pink.

About the book:

In seven succinct chapters followed by a meditation on prospects for change, Benjamin—cited by the L.A. Times as “one of the high-profile members of the peace movement”—shines a light on one of the most perplexing elements of American foreign policy. What is the origin of this strange alliance between two countries that seemingly have very little in common? Why does it persist, and what are its consequences? Why, over a period of decades and across various presidential administrations, has the United States consistently supported a regime shown time and again to be one of the most powerful forces working against American interests? Saudi Arabia is perhaps the single most important source of funds for terrorists worldwide, promoting an extreme interpretation of Islam along with anti-Western sentiment, while brutally repressing non-violent dissidents at home.

With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for a re-evaluation of our close ties with the Saudi regime.

About Medea Benjamin:

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as "one of America's most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide.

She is the author of nine books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and the forthcoming Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, and her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet, The Other Words, and TeleSUR.

Event co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Islamic Civilization & Societies program, the History Department and the Sociology Department.

Immigrant Exploitation

Friday, October 28
BC Law School, East Wing, Room 120

Come join us in discussions related to the exploitation of immigrants, types of potential fraud, scams, and financial threats of immigrants, and resources for lawyers and social workers. Featuring:  

  • Robin E. Eichen, Senior General Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission in New York, New York.
  • Westy Egmont, Associate Professor of Macro Practice,Global Practice and Directorof the Immigrant Integration Lab, School of Social Work
  • Mary Holper, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigration Clinic at Boston College Law School
  • Daniel Kanstroom, Professor of Law, Director of the International Human Rights Program, and Co-Director of the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice

Sponsored by: BC Law School Immigration Clinic, School of Social Work Immigrant Integration Lab, and the MA Attorney General's office.

WORKSHOP: Immigrant Lives & Realities: A Look at Greater Boston and Beyond 

Tuesday, November 1
Devlin 010

The Center is offering a workshop aimed at BC students and others interested in knowing more about immigration issues in Greater Boston and beyond. In the workshop, participants will learn the following about the populations they may be working with:

  • The basics of immigration and deportation policies
  • Real immigrant stories and dilemmas
  • The make-up of the immigrant population in the US and the Greater Boston area
  • The challenges and successes of the immigrant rights movement nationally and locally

The training is co-sponsored by the BC programs PULSE and 4Boston. 



Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America

Thursday, November 3
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Campion Hall, Room 139

With Roberto Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard University, and authour of "Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America."

This event is Part 3 of the “After Obama: What is the future of our 'Nation of Immigrants'?” conversation series this fall.

Screening of Nazi Law: Legally Blind

Monday, November 7
4:00 p.m. 
Devlin 101

In honor of the late Rev. Raymond G. Helmick, SJ. With film producers Prof. John J. Michalczyk and Prof. Susan A. Michalczyk.

Nazi Law: Legally Blind by John and Susan Michalczyk (USA, 2016, 47 min.). In post WWI Germany, Law was a most respected entity, with the country thriving on its most capable lawyers and judges, many who were Jewish. Gradually, the National Socialist government dismantled constitutional law and created a lethal totalitarian system that engulfed Germany and all of Europe. Stating that the nation exists as a pure political and biological organism, the Nazi government imposed legislation that reinforced its ideological program in all aspects of German life, especially targeting  race, business, religion and medicine. Filmed in Nuremberg, Munich and the Dachau concentration camp, this new documentary from Boston College professors John and Susan Michalczyk examines the ways in which the Nazi party manipulated existing German laws to serve their agenda.

Co-sponsored by the Center.

Film Screening: Indivisible

Wednesday, November 9
7:30 p.m. 
Stokes Hall South, Room 195

With Renata Teodoro, featured in the film, to offer commentary and Q&A after the showing.

This documentary film follows three un-documented young people in the US seeking to reunite with their families, separated by deportation. This event is part of BC's International Education Week November 7-18.

Co-sponsored by CHRIJ, the Teacher Education/Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction (TESPECI) Department, the Office of International Programs, and the Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology program.



The War on Crime and the War on Immigrants: Racial and Legal Exclusion in the 21st Century United States

Thursday, November 17
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Barat House, BC Newton campus

With Mary Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. This event is Part 4 of the “After Obama: What is the future of our 'Nation of Immigrants'?” conversation series this fall.


Book talk: Refugees, Conflict and the Search for Belonging

Wednesday, January 25
Stokes N203

With Lucy Hovil, International Refugee Rights Initiative, and Managing Editor for the International Journal of Transitional Justice. 

About the book:

▶ Focuses on refugees across the Great Lakes region, with research and analysis that crosses borders

▶ Presents rich, empirical data collected over six years that incorporates social science methodology with a rights-based framework

▶ Draws out core thematic issues that speak to wider issues of inclusion and exclusion

This book is about the convergence of two problems: the ongoing realities of conflict and forced migration in Eastern and Central Africa, and the crisis of citizenship and belonging. By bringing them together, the intention is to see how, combined, they can help point the way towards possible solutions. Based on 1,115 interviews conducted over 6 years in the region, the book points to ways in which refugees challenge the parameters of citizenship and belonging as they carve out spaces for inclusion in the localities in which they live. Yet with a policy environment that often leads to marginalization, the book highlights the need for policies that pull people into the center rather than polarize and exclude; and that draw on, rather than negate, the creativity that refugees demonstrate in their quest to forge spaces of belonging.

About Dr. Hovil:

Dr. Lucy Hovil has sixteen years of experience conducting research amongst displaced and conflict-affected groups in East and Central Africa, first with the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University, Uganda, and then with the International Refugee Rights Initiative. She received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, UK, in 2000, and is the Managing Editor of the International Journal of Transitional Justice.

Book talk: A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura

Wednesday, February 22
McGuinn 121

With author Eileen Markey.  

About the book:

The book follows the life of Sister Maura Clarke, one of four US churchwomen murdered by a Salvadoran death squad during the Salvadoran civil war in the 1980s, and her faith which led her to a life of solidarity rather than charity.  

Drawing on interviews with Maura’s family and the people she loved and worked with, her letters, and still heavily‑redacted government documents, Markey followed the trail of Maura's life through four countries: from the sweeping green fields of her parents' Ireland where her father’s involvement in the Irish revolution shaped her own ideas about rebellion; to the boardwalk and sidewalks of Rockaway, New York; to a remote gold mining town in the mountains of Nicaragua; down rutted, washed out roads in El Salvador to villages where survivors whispered the atrocities of civil war—and finally to the place where Maura's body was buried in a hastily dug grave at the edge of the Cold War. How did a sweet girl from Queens end up in a place like this? A Radical Faith answers the question, weaving an intimate portrait of Maura’s spiritual and political journey. Working in poor communities transformed Maura from an obedient and rule-­‐‑bound young woman into a provocative critic of authority who pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be faithful to religious conviction - even if it meant challenging the CIA-backed regimes terrorizing the poor of Latin America. 

Access a recent America magazine review of the the book here, and a recent New York Times review of the book here.

Event co-sponsored by the Church in the 21st Century Center at BC.

Book talk: Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good

Tuesday, February 28
McGuinn 121

With author Chuck Collins. 

Co-sponsored by the Office of International Programs and the McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies.

About the book:

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. On one side, the wealthy wield power and advantage, wittingly or not, to keep the system operating in their favor—all while retreating into enclaves that separate them further and further from the poor and working class. On the other side, those who find it increasingly difficult to keep up or get ahead lash out—waging a rhetorical war against the rich and letting anger and resentment, however justifiable, keep us from seeing new potential solutions.

But can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s wealth is pooling at the very top of the wealth ladder? Does anyone, including the one percent, really want to live in a society plagued by economic apartheid?

It is time to think differently, says longtime inequality expert and activist Chuck Collins. Born into the one percent, Collins gave away his inheritance at 26 and spent the next three decades mobilizing against inequality. He uses his perspective from both sides of the divide to deliver a new narrative.

Collins calls for a ceasefire and invites the wealthy to come back home, investing themselves and their wealth in struggling communities.  And he asks the non-wealthy to build alliances with the one percent and others at the top of the wealth ladder.

Stories told along the way explore the roots of advantage, show how taxpayers subsidize the wealthy, and reveal how charity, used incorrectly, can actually reinforce extreme inequality. Readers meet pioneers who are crossing the divide to work together in new ways, including residents in the author’s own Boston-area neighborhood who have launched some of the most interesting community transition efforts in the nation.

In the end, Collins’s national and local solutions not only challenge inequality but also respond to climate change and offer an unexpected, fresh take on one of our most intransigent problems.

Book talk: Sanctuary and Asylum: A Social and Political History

Thursday, March 2
Devlin 026

With author Linda Rabben.

About the book:

The practice of sanctuary―giving refuge to the threatened, vulnerable stranger―may be universal among humans. From primate populations to ancient religious traditions to the modern legal institution of asylum, anthropologist Linda Rabben explores the long history of sanctuary and analyzes modern asylum policies in North America, Europe, and elsewhere, contrasting them with the role that courageous individuals and organizations have played in offering refuge to survivors of torture, persecution, and discrimination. Rabben gives close attention to the mid-2010s refugee crisis in Europe and to Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States. 



Muslim Students and Religious Hospitality at Catholic Institutions: a Roundtable Discussion

Monday, March 20
Campion 139

With Laurie Johnston, Boston College Visiting Professor, and Visiting Scholar at the Center; Hanaa Khan, LSOE '17, and CHRIJ undergraduate research assistant; and Liam Maguire, MCAS '17, and CHRIJ undergraduate research assistant.  

How can Catholic universities be hospitable towards Muslim students while remaining loyal to their religious identity? Join us for a roundtable discussion focused on the experiences of Muslim students at Catholic universities. The event will address ways universities effectively support Muslim students and how they’ve reconciled with the struggles of minority religious groups on Catholic campuses.

Co-sponsored by the BC Muslim Student Association.  

Screening of the film Beyond the Wall

Tuesday, March 21
Cushing 001

With filmmaker Bestor Cram and men featured in the film to offer commentary and Q&A.

Filmed in Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts. 

Building on the success of their award-winning documentary The Dhamma Brothers, filmmakers Bestor Cram, Jenny Phillips and Andrew Kukura have teamed up once again to highlight one of the most critical issues in the national debate over criminal justice reform: the flood of prisoners returning to our communities without the guidance and support needed for a successful transition back to society. Too often, prison reentry becomes a setup for failure and eventual reincarceration.

The U.S. incarcerates Americans at globally unprecedented rates. What’s more, within three years of release approximately two-thirds of the formerly incarcerated are rearrested and sent back to prison. After Incarceration, There’s Life is a social impact campaign for the documentary Beyond the Wall. Both the film and campaign take a close look at the journey from incarceration to community, from behind the wall to beyond the wall. The journey is often riddled with road bumps and uncertainty. After Incarceration, There’s Life seeks to make the journey beyond the wall successful and permanent.

Beyond The Wall trailer from Northern Light Productions on Vimeo.

See the Beyond the Wall website here

Reimagining Refugee Law

Wednesday, March 29
East Wing 115A

BC Newton campus

With Alex Aleinikoff, Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School for Social Research, and former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.

Co-sponsored by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy.  

Precís of forthcoming book on the topic:

The world is facing record numbers of persons displaced by violence and conflict, and the international regime put in place in the post-WWII era is fundamentally broken.  States have adopted policies to deny, deter and detain asylum-seekers; persons recognized as refugees are routinely denied rights guaranteed by international law; a humanitarian system established to provide emergency care is now called upon to render services for long and indefinite periods of time; and no formal process of international responsibility-sharing—vital to finding solutions to refugee situations—currently exists.   The result is that millions of refugees around the world experience a “second exile”—years spent in limbo with little opportunity to rebuild their lives or contribute to the communities that host them.

Adopting a revisionist and critical perspective, we examine the original premises of refugee regime and detail how the regime has evolved over the past seven decades. We identify compromises at the founding of the system that attempted to mediate between humanitarian and development principles as well as the sovereign control by states over borders and membership decisions, and note that, in the early years, the tensions inherent in the refugee protection system were avoided for a number of reasons (including Cold War imperatives and the European-focus of the Refugee Convention).  Today, however, these tensions have come front and center, and have helped to produce the systemic breakdown we are currently witnessing.  To repair and reform the current system, we suggest returning to some of the regime’s foundational principles and transcending others. We contend that the concept of “protection” has been fundamentally mischaracterized and that international protection, properly understood, should be extended to all persons who are “fleers of necessity” (a concept broader than the current definition of refugee). We further argue for a renewed focus on rights (including recognition of a right to enter), agency (to enable forced migrants to rebuild their lives) and mobility (as a “solution”). The necessary change in the international refugee regime will require structural and institutional innovation, a proper rendering of the role of development agencies and actors, and recognition of the important role that the private sector and new technologies can play. Most important, we suggest, will be to give meaningful and robust content to the concept of “international responsibility-sharing.”

About the speaker:

Alex Aleinikoff is University Professor, and has served as Director of the Zolberg Institute at the New School for Social  Research since January 2017. He received a J.D. from the Yale Law School and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Alex has written widely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, transnational law, citizenship, race, and constitutional law. He is currently at work on a book tentatively titled, The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime. His book Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship was published by Harvard University Press in 2002.  Alex is a co-author of leading legal casebooks on immigration law and forced migration.

Before coming to The New School, Alex served as United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (2010-15) and was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also served as dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University.  He was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Alex was inducted into the American Academy of Arts of Sciences in 2014.


Responding to the Travel Bans: An Immigration Lawyer's Role in Resisting

Thursday, March 30
Gasson 306

With Susan Church, immigration lawyer, Demissie & Church.   

In January, attorney Susan Church, with assistance from the ACLU and other law firms, successfully sued President Trump for his anti-immigrant travel and visa processing ban on Muslim immigrants from seven affected countries, obtaining a temporary restraining order from the Federal District Court in Boston. Then, with help from many volunteer lawyers, she spent weeks at Logan airport helping advocate for travelers who were at risk of being detained. She will talk about these experiences and respond to the latest developments related to both of President Trump's executive orders.

About the speaker:

Susan Church is a partner at Demissie and Church, where she advocates for immigrants with criminal convictions facing deportation and immigrants seeking immigration benefits in the United States. She was named the Attorney of the Year by the National Lawyers Guild in 2014. Attorney Church also successfully represented the “Occupy Boston” protestors as the lead attorney. In 2015 she received the PAIR Project pro bono attorney of the year award.  From 2012-2018 she has served as a Board member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association of New England, taking the title of Chair in 2016-2017.

Conference: State/Federal Tensions in Immigration Enforcement: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Tuesday, April 4
East Wing 120
Boston College Newton campus

A Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College conference co-sponsored by the Center. 


8:30-9:00     Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:15     Welcome Remarks: Dan Kanstroom, Professor, Boston College Law School

9:15-9:30     Keynote Address:  Governor Martin O’Malley

9:30-11:00   Panel One: Judicial Aspects

Moderator:  Dan Kanstroom, Professor, Boston College Law School
        Hon. Beverly Cannone, Massachusetts Superior Court
        Hon. Robert Cordy (ret.) Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
        Hon. Nancy Gertner (ret.) Professor, Harvard Law School 

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-12:45   Panel Two:  Policy and Legislative Issues

 Moderator: Kari Hong, Professor, Boston College Law School
        Amy Grunder, Director of Legislative Affairs, Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy                                Coalition
        Lucas Guttentag, Professor, Stanford Law School
        Michael Wishnie, Professor, Yale Law School

12:45-1:30   Lunch

1:30-3:00     Panel Three:  Academic Approaches

        Moderator:  Mary Holper, Professor, Boston College Law School
        Ingrid Eagly, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
        Stephen Legomsky, Professor, Washington University Law
        Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Professor, Yale University

3:00-3:15     Concluding Remarks: Dan Kanstroom, Professor, Boston College Law School

Washington v. Trump: Washington's Solicitor General discusses his state's litigation challenging President Trump's travel ban

Friday, April 7
Stuart 406

With Noah Purcell, Solicitor General of the state of Washington.

Co-sponsored by the BC Law School.  

Stop THAAD Missile Deployment in Korea: Seongju County People's Protest

Monday, April 10
Devlin 101


  • Sounghey Kim, Co-Chair of the Seongju County Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD
  • Theodore Postol, PhD, Professor, Science, Technology, and International Security, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • Juyeon Rhee, Korea Policy Institute; Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, New York


Moderators: M. Brinton Lykes, Co-Director of the CHRIJ, and Ramsay Liem, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Boston College 

In the midst of political upheaval and transition in South Korea, advances in North Korea’s nuclear program, and uncertainty about the Trump administration’s policy in Northeast Asia, citizens in Seongju, South Korea, have stepped up their eight-month opposition to the installation of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in their city.  The U.S. and South Korea claim THAAD is necessary to defend against North Korean ballistic missiles but locals fear its environmental effects, claim that the real target is China, and believe it makes them ground zero for counterattacks.  Learn about this struggle from the front line activism of Ms. Sounghey Kim, a leader of the peoples’ movement to oppose the deployment of THAAD, comprised of citizens from numerous sectors of Seongju County.  Also hear the views of Ted Postol, professor of Science, Technology, and International Security at MIT, about THAAD and US missile defense systems.  Professor Postol has written widely about these systems and participated in high-level consultations with government officials in South Korea. 

The program is part of a U.S. national tour, Stop THAAD in Korea, sponsored by the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific with support from the Korea Policy Institute, Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation, and Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  Juyeon Rhee, an organizer for the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, is accompanying Rev. Kim and will comment on the broader U.S./Korea alliance that forms the context for this latest conflict.

About the speakers:

Sounghey Kim

Ms Kim is a staunch advocate of peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.  Since July 13, 2016, her days have revolved around the candlelight vigils against THAAD Deployment, standing with the residents of Seongju County. Currently she is a co-chair of the Seongju Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD Deployment.  She dreams of reunification through peaceful dialogue, and is working for it. Most recently, she has been participating in an overnight sit-in at the bridge to the Lotte Golf Course, the site of the proposed THAAD deployment currently underway. In light of the recent impeachment and dismissal of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, the U.S. and ROK military command are rushing to complete the installation of THAAD before the election of a new president this coming May.  

Theodore Postol

Dr. Postol received his undergraduate degree in physics and his PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT. Postol worked at Argonne National Laboratory, where he studied the microscopic dynamics and structure of liquids and disordered solids using neutron, X-ray and light scattering techniques, along with molecular dynamics simulations . He also worked at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where he studied methods of basing the MX missile, and later worked as a scientific adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations. After leaving the Pentagon, Postol helped build a program at Stanford University to train mid-career scientists to study weapons technology in relation to defense and arms control policy. In 1990, Postol received the Leo Szilard Prize from the American Physical Society. In 1995, he received the Hilliard Roderick Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2001, he received the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility for "uncovering numerous and important false claims about missile defenses." On September 28, 2016 the Federation of American Scientists awarded Professor Theodore Postol from MIT their annual Richard L. Garwin Award for his work in assessing and critiquing the government's claims about missile defense.

Juyeon Rhee

Juyeon is a first generation immigrant, living in metropolitan New York area.  She is a volunteer organizer of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea.  Juyeon is a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and a board member at Korea Policy Institute.  Her work is focused on de-militarization of the U.S. and peace and unification of Korea.

Event sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice and the Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation.

Co-Sponsored by the BC Asian American Studies Program, Korean Students Association, and BC Peace Action.

Other supporting organizations: American Friends Service Committee Peace & Economic Security Program; Massachusetts Peace Action; United for Justice with Peace.

For additional information on Stop THAAD, contact:  M. Brinton Lykes at lykes@bc.edu, or Ramsay Liem at liem@bc.edu.