PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Mary Robinson Thinks Everybody Matters

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been all over the world. Chechnya, Rwanda, and, as of tonight, the Eisenhower Auditorium. Radiating girl power, she detailed her impressive career as a defender of human rights and encouraged students to make a difference in a lecture titled, “The Future of Global Ethical Leadership.” Her story was one that inspired men and women alike.

President Robinson has worn many hats over the years — Ireland’s first female president, the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, and member of the Council of Women World Leaders. In each role, she has placed a high importance on all moral leadership. A blend of two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has helped her shape this idea of leadership.

Article 1 states simply, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Due to factors like poverty, Robinson believes that this has not yet been achieved.

Article 29 goes on to say, “Everyone has duties to the community without which you don’t reach the full expression of your personality.” Robinson encouraged the audience to ask themselves who their community is. Their family? Their university? Their country?

Tonight, she concentrated on issues relating to the largest community — the world. Specifically, Robinson has been recently concentrating on the issues of child marriage and climate change.

President Robinson and other Elders (a coalition of Human Rights activists) recently joined forces to create Girls Not Brides. Robinson spoke about societies in which girls as young as twelve years old can be married off. How can we change this? First, ideas about women must be changed. Girls need to be represented as having potential.

With regards to child marriage she said, “It is not culture. It’s a harmful traditional practice.”

Another initiative Robinson heads is Climate Justice. The effects of climate change on communities was brought to her attention while speaking to a group of African women. Periods of long droughts followed by sudden flash floods were keeping their communities from farming.

When climate change forces these communities to move, human rights are jeopardized. Basic rights to food and education are obstructed. Further, sexual violence and conflict increase as people migrate to new areas.

So, how can a room full of mostly students make a difference? First of all, it was being a student that actually inspired Robinson to embark on her journey of activism. As a student at Harvard during the Vietnam war she was surprised to see how many young people could make a difference.

President Robinson encourages students to take the initiative to join clubs like Oxfam. Her two philosophies are, “Everybody matters” (coincidentally the title of her new memoir) and, “Everybody can make a difference.” Human rights are all about combining the two.

About the Author

Comments

More by Sarah

DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween is arguably the greatest weekend here at Penn State–costume parties and candy, what could be better? Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive. If you want to do Halloween properly, you have to have at least three clever costumes, because repeating is lame, and not dressing up is even lamer. Pre-made Halloween costumes happen to be incredibly expensive, and pretty much super boring. So, your options are pretty limited. Your best bet is scouring thrift shops and your own closet to DIY your own perfect costumes. Here are a few options that we came up with.

Freshmen 101: How to Stay Healthy at Penn State

Basic Pumpkin Items in State College

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend