Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2254
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—A film will be shown at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales Monday on the life and times of human rights activist, author and professor Howard Zinn.
"You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train" is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Monday in the Sandia Room in the Campus Union Building. The nonpartisan, community-based Friends for Democracy will co-sponsor the bi-monthly Human Rights Film Series throughout the spring semester at Eastern.
The movie is free, open to the public and will be followed by discussion.
"Howard Zinn, author of the best-selling "A People's History of the United States," has dedicated his life to addressing issues of human rights and non-violence," said Doug Morris, an assistant professor of reading at Eastern. "The film is a social-autobiography that examines Zinn's intellectual and social contributions in working to overcome poverty, inequality, political repression, civil rights violations and US military violence."
Morris added, "The film doesn't just look at problems, but gives people hope that when we work together we can overcome injustices. A fundamental message is that we must find ways to work to abolish the conditions and transform the institutions that give rise to human rights violations and so much unnecessary human suffering."
A sign in Morris's office in the College of Education reads, "Teach peace, study war no more!" and is just one indication of his active stance against human rights violations. Prior to coming to Eastern in August, he was at Penn State, which he said is a leading military research institution, and yet he noted that there are no classes on "peace and social justice. In effect, we, as a culture, spend a lot of time promoting violence and very little time studying and promoting non-violence."
Morris said, "Goals of the film series are to bring people together as a community, raise awareness about human rights problems, open up dialogue, serve as a forum for organization on a local level, and create a sense that an engaged, fair, informed, involved, and inclusive participatory democratic society is something worth struggling for.
"This is not the kind of thing one can do alone; these are social and institutional problems, so people must come together socially to overcome them," Morris said. "I think a human rights film series can provide people with some critical tools to think through and beyond ‘the Great Brainwash' that often narrowly limits our exposure to, and understanding of, what really goes on in the world and what we are allowed to know and discuss about what really goes on.
The Human Rights Film Series will screen a different film every other Monday at the same time and place. On Feb.13 "Weapons of Mass Deception" will be shown. Fliers and posters announcing the full series will be distributed soon.
For more information, contact Morris at 505.562.2207 or e-mail email@example.com.