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"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it."  Marianne Williamson

Welcome to Duquesne University's seventh annual Human Rights Film Series, "Conflict and Community."

Legend has it that when the Greek philosopher Diogenes was asked what community he hailed from, he responded, "I am a citizen of the world."

In so many respects, we are all citizens of the world. Indeed, while we may claim to be Americans, or citizens of a certain nation, everything from the food and water we consume, to the values we hold sacred, is intrinsically interwoven with and influenced by global forces. To deny the impact we have, as individuals, on the environment of our planet, or to turn our backs on the suffering of children in a Third-World nation, is to deny our membership in the community of humanity.

There is no shortage of conflicts that continue to tear at the fabric of our global community. Warfare and ethnic conflict. Oppressive poverty. Corporate greed and corruption. Abuse of the environment. Violence in our neighborhoods. Bullying in our schools.

In this year's film series, our goal is to shed the light on conflicts that threaten our sense of community, here and abroad, while at the same time underscoring the power that lies within the heart, soul, and mind of each of us to make a difference in the world.

We are extremely pleased to kick off the series with Blood Brother, a film about Rocky Braat, a young man from Pittsburgh, who exemplifies what a single person, driven solely by a compassion for others, is capable of accomplishing. By contrast , it is the lack of compassion, which is perhaps the core value of any community, that is scrutinized in both Tough Guise 2, and Bully. Seeds of Death and Last Call at the Oasis focus on conflicting views regarding the most fundamental resources of any community-food and water.

We conclude the series on an inspiring up note, Girl Rising, which chronicles the lives of nine courageous girls who were able to break free from the shackles of poverty through the power of education.

We hope the films inspire all of us to make a difference in the world we share with those less fortunate-by taking a more active role in our communities, volunteering to support a charitable cause, letting our voices be heard in protest of injustices, showing greater compassion to those around us.

Working together, we can make a difference on both a community and global level.

2014 Duquesne University Human Rights Film Series Committee

Edith Krause, Ph. D.
Karl J. Skutski, M. A.
Mark Frisch, Ph. D.
Mary Ann Hess, M.A.

Contact:  mailto:krausee@duq.edu