Magazine Feature / People

Nobel laureate Esquivel works for human rights

Adolfo Perez Esquivel, a former architect from Buenos Aires, is one of 10 Nobel Peace Prize laureates who will take part in PeaceJam’s 10th anniversary celebration at the University of Denver Sept. 15–17.

Esquivel was awarded the peace prize in 1980 for his nonviolent approach to fighting human-rights violations in Argentina.

In 1974, Esquivel was appointed secretary-general of the “Servicio Paz y Justicia,” an organization that persuaded the United Nations to establish the Human Rights Commission in 1976.

Esquivel’s organization provides legal assistance to rural workers in their struggle for land and to trade unions in their fight to protect workers’ rights. Years of devotion to these causes and others have distinguished Esquivel as a leader in the Latin American nonviolent movement for human rights.

The PeaceJam gathering of 10 peace prize winners will be the largest congregation of Nobel laureates in the U.S. PeaceJam is part of an ongoing educational project built around Nobel Peace laureates in hopes of inspiring a new generation of peacemakers to transform their local communities, themselves and the world.

Some 3,000 high school students from all over the world will participate in PeaceJam. Organizers say the students will learn, through team-building games and classroom sessions with the Nobel laureates, how to make a difference in themselves and their communities. They will explore and discuss views on topics such as violence, racism and reconciliation. Youth will also benefit from the Nobel laureates’ experience in designing community service projects.

Approximately 150 DU students will take part in PeaceJam by facilitating small groups of high school participants.

Esquivel and the other laureates taking part in PeaceJam will speak to the public at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Magness Arena. Tickets are $25–$100 and are available through TicketMaster outlets or by calling 303-830-TIXS. For more information about PeaceJam, call 303-455-2099.

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