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~Amnesty International Executive Director to Speak at Wellesley College~

For immediate release:
October 29, 2001


Mary Ann Hill
Phone: 781-283-2373

WELLESLEY, Mass. - Dr. William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, will deliver a lecture titled "In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All" Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 8:00 p.m. in Wellesley College's Houghton Memorial Chapel. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the college's Unitarian Universalist Chaplaincy and will be followed by a book signing.

"What does all this have to do with a person in East Tennessee?" is the question from a call-in radio listener that prompted Schulz to write his most recent book, In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (Beacon Press, 2001). Schulz understands the arguments of those who disdain human rights efforts, regarding them as largely moral crusades that hardly pertain to the everyday lives of Americans. In his lecture as in his book, he tackles these arguments head-on by making a passionate and persuasive case for why defending human rights serves the United States' practical interests and welfare.

"Whether it be war and peace, international trade, economic growth, the security of jobs, the state of our environment, the public health, the interdiction of drugs, or a host of other topics, there is a connection between Americans' own interests and international human rights," says Schulz.

Since being appointed executive director of Amnesty International (USA) in 1994, Schulz has traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad. In 1997 he led an Amnesty mission to Liberia to investigate atrocities committed during the civil war there and returned to Northern Ireland with the human rights organization in 1999 to insist that human rights protections be incorporated into the peace process.

An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, he came to Amnesty after serving 15 years with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, the last eight (1985-93) as president. From 1985-93, he also served on the Council of the International Association for Religious Freedom, the oldest international interfaith organization in the world. Throughout his career he has been outspoken in his opposition to the death penalty and his support for women's rights, gay and lesbian rights, and racial justice, having organized, participated in demonstrations, and written extensively on behalf of all four causes.

Schulz is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and is chair of the board of Meadville/Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago. He has served on the boards of People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Communitarian Network, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, among others.

Schulz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College and holds a M.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, a M.A. in theology, and the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Meadville/Lombard Theological School. He was awarded an honorary D.D. from Meadville/Lombard in 1987 and an honorary L.H.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 1995.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Schulz will be available for interviews on November 6 or in advance of his lecture. If you are interested, please contact Mary Ann Hill, Wellesley College public information office, at 781-283-2373 or


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  • Office of Public Information
  • Date Modified: October 29, 2001
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