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Kennedy daughter to speak at SMC

Meehan, Kelly | Thursday, January 22, 2004

Human rights activist Kerry Kennedy will speak as the Keynote Address Speaker in Saint Mary’s annual Play of the Mind conference tonight at 7:30 p.m. in O’Laughlin Auditorium. She is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, and has led over 40 human rights delegations in 30 different countries.

Kennedy has worked on a variety of human rights issues from child labor and ethnic violence to the environment and women’s rights. It is hoped that her interaction with students, faculty and administrators from different schools and backgrounds will lead to a greater understanding of others and themselves.

“Kerry Kennedy was selected because she herself represents the impact that one individual can have on the world,” event coordinator Marcia Rickard said.

Kennedy is also the author of “Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders who are Changing our World,” which features interviews from human rights activists from around the world. A theater production based on this book will be presented in April.

The Play of the Mind conference invites Saint Mary’s students, along with students from other colleges, to interact creatively and intellectually to figure out how to meet the challenges that are facing women in our society.

Ten other colleges have been invited to this year’s event. These schools are from all over the country; some from as close as Holy Cross College to as far away as Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.

“The theme, Examining Identity, was chosen for the Play of the Mind Conference to link with the first-year theme of the College because it is one which is so important for all of us,” said Rickard.

The Play of the Mind conference began in 1991 and has been held every January since then. The goal of this year’s conference is to vigorously explore the responsibilities an intellect holds in today’s world to make a difference in the world. Students, faculty and administrators will be encouraged to do work on their own campuses to understand and act wisely in the modern world.

“I hope that students walk away with new and innovative ideas to make our campus better, as well as the energy and stamina to work hard at making those changes actually occur,” said junior Play of the Mind committee member Gillian Short.