The human rights and history minor presents two lecture series each year, bringing speakers to campus who offer their perspectives on human rights issues. The lectures are free and open to the public.

2nd Annual Human Rights in the Field Lecture

“Climate Displacement: Understanding the Challenges and Generating the Solutions”

Krish O'Mara Vignarajah

Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Date: February 16, 2023
Time: 5 - 7 p.m.
Place: LA 4310 (Directions and Parking)

About Krish O'Mara Vignarajah

Appointed as President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in 2019, Krish O'Mara Vignarajah is the former Policy Director to First Lady Michelle Obama. After fleeing civil unrest in Sri Lanka, Ms. O'Mara Vignarajah began her pursuit of the American dream. She graduated from Yale where she served on the Yale Law Journal. She is also an Oxford graduate and has practiced law in Washington, DC. The Daily Record called Ms. O'Mara Vignarajah one of the "Top 50 Influential Marylanders". 

More Information

For more information about the lecture, contact Kimberly Katz in the history department, .

Past Human Rights and History Lectures

Professor Julie Greene, University of Maryland, delivered the first human rights and history lecture: “Diaspora, Race, and the Canal Builders: Afro-Caribbeans and African Americans in the Construction of the Panama Canal” on Oct. 21, 2020. This event was sponsored by the history department, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Organization of American Historians. 

Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and assistant professor of Africana studies and the program in criminal justice at Rutgers University, delivered the 2nd annual human rights and history Lecture: “Contemporary Renewals of Black-Palestinian Solidarity: Geographies of Intimacy” on Nov. 12, 2021.

Professor Erakat served as legal counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives and as legal advocate for Palestinian Refugee Rights at the U.N. She is author of “Justice for Some: Law as Politics in the Question of Palestine” (Stanford UP, 2019) and a frequent commentator on Palestine/Israel in the national media. 

Lynn Ramey, professor of French at Vanderbilt University, delivered the 3rd annual human rights and history lecture: “Rights for Women of Color in Medieval Europe.” Lynn Ramey is professor of French at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of “Christian, Saracen and Genre in Medieval French Literature: Imagination and Cultural Interaction in the French Middle Ages” and coeditor of “Race, Class, and Gender in “Medieval” Cinema.”

Ken MacLean delivered the 4th annual human rights and history lecture: “Crimes Against Humanity and Their Archives in Myanmar.” MacLean is professor of International Development and Social Change at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He is Senior Advisor at Fortify Rights on issues related to human rights violations in Southeast Asia.

Past Human Rights in the Field Lectures

Mustafa Aksu, Program Manager at the Uyghur Human Rights Project, delivered the first annual human rights in the field lecture, addressing the situation of Uyghurs in China on April 7, 2022.