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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


The "Rules, Rights and Wrongs" of Modern Society Examined

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 2, 2008) – The “Rules, Rights and Wrongs” of American and international society will be examined as the University of Central Missouri hosts the 2008 Politics and Social Justice Week April 7-11 on the UCM campus.

Mock Trial Demonstration

The week of events kicks off at 1 p.m. Monday, April 7, with a mock trial demonstration by UCM’s Mock Trial Team in Elliott Union 237A. Coached by Warrensburg attorney Doug Harris and James Staab, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, the team will conduct the mock trial in an abbreviated competition format.

Russian Justice Examined

“Toward the Rule of Law: A Political Struggle between Judges and Prosecutors in the Russian Federation” is the topic of a lecture presented by Tatyana Karaman at 7 p.m. Monday, April 7, in Elliott Union 237A. A former police detective in Russia, Karaman is an assistant professor of political science and director of institutional research at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. She earned a doctorate in political science and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a law degree from the Far-Eastern State University in Russia. She has published articles and book chapters on Russian elections, political attitudes and the Chechen War. Prior to coming to the United States, she served as a senior procurator of the Primosky region of the Russian Federation.

The Refugee Experience

 “The Refugee Experience” is the topic of a presentation by Abdul Bakar at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Elliott Union 237A.

The Emmett Till Case

Kansas City civil rights activist Alvin Sykes will present “One Man’s Quest for Justice” at noon Wednesday, April 9, in the Laura J. Nahm Auditorium in the W.C. Morris Science Building. Sykes is known for his intense interest in 1955 slaying of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi. His involvement persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice to re-investigate the case and to review as many as 100 cold cases in 14 states.

Sykes’ major achievement was his involvement in the 1980 murder case of Kansas City jazz musician Steve Harvey. The assailant was acquitted, but due to the involvement of Sykes and Harvey’s parents, the assailant was sentence to life in prison under a federal civil rights law.

Defining the Beginnings of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement

Author Clenora Hudson-Weems, professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia, continues the examination of the Emmett Till case at 1 p.m. Wednesday, also in the Nahm Auditorium, as she delivers her lecture based around her most recent book, The Definitive Emmett Till: Passion and Battle of a Woman for the Truth and Intellectual Justice.

Hudson-Weems was the first to establish the Till case as a catalyst for the American civil rights movement. In her 1994 book, Emmett Till: the Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement, she documents the Till case as setting the stage for the Montgomery bus boycott, making a further examination of the impact of the Till case on American history. She has continued her examination of the historic case as co-producer with Barry Morrow of the film Emmett: Passion for Truth.

European-Turkish Relations

Yannis Stivachtis, director of the international studies program at Virginia Tech, will speak on “The Politics of Power and Identity in the European-Turkish Relations” at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Twomey Auditorium in the Wood Building.

Stivachtis also has served as academic dean and head of the international relations program at IFM University Switzerland, head of the diplomacy and international relations program at Schiller International University, also in Switzerland, and research fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He has published and spoken internationally on the topics of security studies, theories of international organization and global governance, the question of order and justice in international society.

Model United Nations

A model United Nations exhibition is planned for 4 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Twomey Auditorium in the Wood Building.

Missouri Legislative Update

Rep. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, state representative for the 121st District of Missouri, will host an open forum at 1 p.m. Friday, April 11, in Elliott Union 236, wrapping up the week of events by leading a discussion of current legislation under consideration in the Missouri legislature.

Politics and Social Justice week is sponsored by the UCM Africana Studies program; Center for Teaching and Learning; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Department of Political Science; the Institute of Justice and International Studies; and the Office of Community Engagement.