Indiana State University Newsroom

Human Rights Day set for March 10

February 23, 2015

Connecting people to words and photos is one of Kelsey Timmerman's top priorities.

He plans on working his magic at Indiana State University during the 14th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day.

Timmerman will offer one of the more than 10 presentations scheduled for this year's event and is keynote speaker for the event. He will discuss how we are all connected, from our clothing to our food.

In his book, "Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories and People that Make Our Clothes," Timmerman writes about how he traveled the world to learn more about where his clothes came from. He traveled to garment factories in Asia and Latin America and shared stories of the people who make our clothes in his book. His second book, "Where Am I Eating: A Journey Through the Global Food Economy," describes the realities of the global food industry.

Timmerman is a co-founder of The Facing Project, which connects people through stories with the hope of strengthening communities. He has been a featured speaker at more than 70 universities, colleges and high schools nationwide. His topics include globalization, poverty, world travel, slavery, opportunity and exploitation in the global economy and sustainable agriculture and fair trade.

Following Timmerman's keynote address, three sessions of workshops have been scheduled in various locations within Hulman Memorial Student Union, beginning with four workshops at 11 a.m.

Stephen Ferry will discuss issues surrounding photographic documentation of human rights. He will discuss challenges photographers face in the field and explore how photography can influence the world for the better. He has worked with The New York Times, National Geographic and The New Yorker. He also works with Human Rights Watch as a visual investigator, and has published books, including "I am Rich Potosi: The Mountain that Eats Men."

Myra Dahgaypaw, campaign coordinator at the United States Campaign for Burma, will present "Burma: The Struggle for Human Rights," a discussion on the plight of women and minorities in Burma.

The 12:30 p.m. sessions will be highlighted by Soulaf Abas, a lecturer in Indiana State's department of art and design and "Seen for Syria," an art therapy and education program for Syrian refugee children in Jordan. Abas' home country is Syria.

Award-winning artist Kristin Lems will conclude Human Rights Day with a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

Lems, who has shared the stage with such diverse individuals as Maya Angelou, Jacques Cousteau, Alan Alder and Peter, Paul and Mary, said her musical heritage stems from when she was a child.

"In my early years, I was always around classical music because my mom was a piano teacher in our home," she said. "I heard her students through my bedroom door every afternoon. I studied piano and oboe, but I got more interested in folk music in my teens because of people like Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte and the Chicago folk scene. I loved folk music and taught myself guitar. Pretty soon, I was singing folk music and writing my own songs."

All events are free and open to the public. More information and a complete schedule of events are at

Photo: - Kelsey Timmerman

Photo: - Soulaf Abas

Media contact and writer: Jason Moon, media relations manager, Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, 812-535-2810 or