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Media Advisory

For immediate use

April 12, 2007

Gloria Steinem to speak tonight (April 12) at UNC

Tonight (April 12)
6 p.m.
FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium
Corner of Pittsboro and McCauley streets
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus

The UNC College of Arts and Sciences invites media representatives to cover a talk by feminist and writer Gloria Steinem at a conference honoring her friend Bereket Habte Selassie, a UNC African studies and law professor. “Hope Without Borders: Notes on a Transnational African Vision,” will be her speech title.

Seating is limited. Dee Reid and Kim Spurr of the college will be on site to assist reporters and photographers. Flash photography will be permitted during the first 10 minutes of the talk. Steinem will be able to talk with reporters after the speech.

Parking will be available in the garage under the building, accessible from Pharmacy Lane off McCauley Street between Pittsboro and Columbia streets.

Papers presented by scholars at the April 12-14 conference, “Law, Politics and Islam in Africa,” honor Selassie, the William E. Leuchtenberg Distinguished Professor of African Studies and Law. A native of Eritrea, Selassie has just published his memoir, “The Crown and the Pen: The Memoir of a Lawyer Turned Rebel” (Red Sea Press), which tells his passionate story of working for Eritrea’s independence.

Steinem, co-founder of Ms. magazine, met Selassie in 1978 at the Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she was a fellow. Selassie was living in exile and teaching at the Howard University Law School.

“Through him, I began to learn about the Eritrean revolution, including the remarkable role played by women fighters and its long and innovative struggle despite lack of international support,” Steinem said. “Once independence had been won, I visited Eritrea with a small group of Americans in the 1990s. In the way that friendship and social justice movements have no national boundaries, Bereket Selassie has given me and countless others a way of learning about and linking to universal struggles that might otherwise have seemed very far away.”

For biographical information, visit:
Selassie: http://www.unc.edu/depts/afriafam/faculty/selassie.htm
Steinem: http://www.soapboxinc.com/bio_steinem.html.

College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Weaver Spurr, (919) 962-4093 or spurrk@email.unc.edu until 5 p.m.; afterward, (919) 608-7271.
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589