September 12, 2006 — The College of Social and Behavioral Science (CSBS) at the University of Utah announces the establishment of the Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy. With the U and individuals and organizations from across the state as the catalyst, the center will pursue nonviolent human rights advocacy on the interpersonal, community and global levels through the education and participation of students, faculty, staff and the greater community.
Origination and funding for the center was initiated by Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner, who have been active in peace and nonviolent conflict resolution for many years, and their daughter, Deb Sawyer.
In reference to the direction the center will take, Sawyer says, “The mountain will teach us how to climb it.”
The center will be directed by Ted Wilson, former Salt Lake City mayor and former director of the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. The academic director of the center will be George Cheney, U professor of communication and director of the undergraduate minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. As part of the CSBS”s Institute of Public and International Affairs, the non-partisan and non-political center, will also work closely with the U’s College of Humanities.
Says Steve Ott, dean of the CSBS: “As our college goes through changes for the new century, the pursuit of peace is near the top of our list. This new center is an important piece of the puzzle-another way to put social science at the epicenter of responsible citizenship.”
Several center-directed programs will begin this semester at the U, including a course in human rights and nonviolence advocacy through the Political Science Department. Local, national and international internships, which focus on peace, nonviolence and human rights advocacy, will begin and be available for U students starting in January. Students are being recruited through the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and through the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. In addition, public and private school teachers will serve as fellows of the center and, as such, will be included in center activities and given teaching packets as well as special access to the center’s annual forums.
In collaboration with the Institute of Public and International Affairs and the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the center’s first forum will be held March 1 and 2 and will focus on terrorism and human dignity. Barbara Tanner notes, “Our family is delighted with the opportunity provided by the University to put this center together. We believe the world needs peace and human rights and people can be educated to meet these universal human goals.”Currently, the center, located in Orson Spencer Hall, is supporting research fellowships and the U’s undergraduate minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. The center is also collecting peace, nonviolence and human rights media, including films, books, recordings and pamphlets, which are available to students. For more information on the new Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy at the University of Utah, call 801-581-6751 or e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org .