ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero To Speak at Amherst College March 29

February 23, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak on Monday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Romero's talk, sponsored by the Victor S. Johnson 1882-1943 Lectureship Fund, is free and open to the public.

Romero has been executive director of the ACLU since September 2001. An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, he is the first Latino and openly gay man to lead the organization. Born in New York City to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school, and was educated at Princeton University and Stanford University Law School.

Romero came to the ACLU after nearly a decade at the Ford Foundation, where he led that organization's Human Rights and International Cooperation Program after serving as a program officer for civil rights and racial justice. He also worked for two years at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he led a foundation review that helped to determine future directions in civil-rights advocacy.

A member of several not-for-profit boards, Romero is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the New York State Bar Association.

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Amherst College To Celebrate Pratt Museum of Natural History Feb. 28

February 23, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The Pratt Museum, the geology and natural history museum of Amherst College, will host a party on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 1 until 3 p.m. The Pratt Museum will close on March 1, and the Amherst College Museum of Natural History will reopen in a new building that will also be home to the Department of Geology in spring 2006. Refreshments will be served at the Pratt Museum on Feb. 28, and all are invited.

Saturday's party will be a final opportunity for the public to see the natural history collections of Amherst College in the Pratt building-and visitors may see rarities, long buried in the building's cellars, for the first time. The well known, but seldom seen, dinosaur tracks in the Hitchcock Ichnology Collection will be shown to the public.

The building that currently houses Amherst's natural history collections was built as the Pratt Gymnasium in 1885. It was the first college building endowed by an alumnus, Charles M. Pratt of the Class of 1879. The conversion of the gym into a museum was completed in 1951.

The outstanding recourses of the natural history museum at Amherst include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens, and anthropological material, acquired through expeditions, exchanges, donations and purchases from the 1830s to the present. The collection mirrors the shifting interests of the Amherst faculty, as well as the history of scientific inquiry. Much comes from the Connecticut Valley, but also from Africa, Asia and South and Central America, where early Amherst graduates traveled as missionaries or explorers.

Before moving to the Pratt in the mid-20th century, Amherst College's treasures had been collected in Appleton Cabinet, now a dormitory, and later in the Woods Cabinet, now a multi-purpose building known as the Octagon. The Pratt Museum building, which will be remodeled and renamed the Charles M. Pratt dormitory, is scheduled to reopen in 2007. The new geology building and natural history museum at Amherst College will open in 2006.

The building is closing now, according to Peter Crowley, museum director and professor of geology at Amherst, to prepare for moving its 50,000 items, ranging from the largest, the skeleton of a wooly mammoth, to the smallest, rodent teeth. ("The Pratt has an unusually fine collection of rodent teeth," he says.) "The time is now," Crowley says, "only two minutes per item remains between now and the move." The transfer of the collection is being coordinated by Museum Design Associates of Boston, the firm that is designing the new geology museum.

The Pratt Museum of Natural History will continue to serve researchers and school groups for as long as possible during the packing and moving of the collections. Scholars and teachers should consult the Website at www.amherst.edu/%7Epratt/education/.

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Gideon Rosen To Speak on "Culpable Ignorance in Law and Morality" at Amherst College March 11

February 23, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Gideon Rosen, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, will give a talk titled "You Should Have Known Better: Culpable Ignorance in Law and Morality," on Thursday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. Rosen's talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Ethics, Metaphysics, and Psychology of Belief," will be free and open to the public.

Rosen, who received his Ph.D. from Princeton, joined the faculty there in 1993, having previously taught at the University of Michigan. His areas of research include metaphysics and epistemology, although in recent years he has concentrated on moral philosophy.

"My work is concerned with the ethics of praise, blame, punishment and the whole range of responses we have to violations of moral norms," he told the Daily Princetonian in May 2003. "What do you do with people who transgress the norms? Common sense and law both have views about this, but they're not fully explicit. So sometimes we blame people and punish people for violations of these norms, but sometimes we don't. Sometimes we allow people to make excuses. Excuses are fact, considerations that give us reason not to punish or blame people who have done something wrong. So what are the excuses. and why are those the excuses?"

Along with John Burgess, Rosen is the author of A Subject With No Object (Oxford, 1997), which offers a dozen strategies for the interpretation of mathematics using nominalism. The doctrine of nominalism states that there are no abstract entities-in other words, that everything has both a location in time and space, as well as causes and effects in the physical world.

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Japanese String Music at Amherst College March 10

February 23, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Three master string musicians from Japan will perform some of the world's oldest classical music on Wednesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. Kyokko Suga, Motoshige Kai and Yoko Hiraoka will perform on the ancient Japanese instruments called the biwa, kokyu, koto and shamisen. Admission is free and first-come, first-seated.

Kyokko Suga is one of the revered masters of the ancient biwa, a four or five-stringed lute, brought from China to Japan at the end of the 7th century. Biwa music draws on the legends and myths of ancient Japan and accompanies the singing voice. The sung poems, centered on Buddhist themes of transience and stoicism, are often excerpts from stories written through the ages.

The concert will also include a variety of duet pieces covering many of the musical genres of Japanese classical music. Without traveling to Japan, listeners will enjoy a rare opportunity to hear accomplished musicians playing unusual instruments in a single concert.

More information is available at www.csd.net/~yhiraoka/kyokkosuga.html, a Website devoted to biwa music and these musicians.

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Anne-Marie Slaughter to Speak at Amherst College Feb. 25

February 20, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Anne-Marie Slaughter, the John J. McCloy '16 Professor of American Institutions and International Relations at Amherst College and dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will deliver a lecture on "A New World Order, Part II: How to Fight Terrorism, Help Developing Countries and Govern the Global Economy," on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Alumni House at Amherst College. The event will be free and open to the public.

Slaughter, a highly regarded expert on international law, previously served as director of graduate and international legal studies at the Harvard Law School and was founder and faculty director of the Harvard Colloquium on International Affairs. She has taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a professor of law and international relations. Her teaching and research have focused on global governance, the politics of international tribunals, and interdisciplinary analyses of international legal issues. An author or co-editor of four books and more than 50 articles, and a frequent commentator in the media, Slaughter is president of the American Society of International Law and has worked to establish jurisdiction principles for war crimes. Educated at Princeton University, Oxford University and Harvard Law School, Slaughter has received numerous honors for her work.

The John J. McCloy '16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Slaughter's visit is hosted by Beth Yarbrough, Willard Long Thorp Professor of Economics at Amherst College.

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Social-Justice Advocate Tim Wise To Speak at Amherst College March 4

February 20, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Tim Wise, social-justice advocate and leading expert on white privilege, will give a talk titled 'But Some of My Best Friends are Black:' Racism and the Culture of Denial on Thursday, March 4, at 8 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Diversity Coalition, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Wise is the director of the Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE) in Nashville. He lectures across the country about the need to combat institutional racism, gender bias and the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S. His columns are regularly distributed by AlterNet and the ZNet commentary program-Web-based services that disseminate essays by prominent progressive thinkers. His writings have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines throughout the world, as well as a number of scholarly and professional journals. He is the recipient of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition's Social Justice Impact Award and the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race and diversity issues.

Wise's talk is co-sponsored by the Association of Amherst Students, Affirmative Action Office, Dean of New Students, Dean of Students, Drew House, Interdepartmental Student Fund, Outreach and Residential Life.

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Educational Author Richard D. Kahlenberg To Speak at Amherst College Feb. 11

February 2, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Richard D. Kahlenberg, one of the nation's leading writers on education, equal opportunity and civil rights, and author of All Together Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools through Public School Choice (2001), a call for socioeconomic desegregation of U.S. public schools, will speak on that topic on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. in Porter Lounge in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The talk, sponsored by the Office of the President at Amherst, is free and open to the public.

Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, has been a fellow at the Center for National Policy, a visiting associate professor of constitutional law at George Washington University and a legislative assistant to Senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). His earlier books are The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action (1996) and Broken Contract: A Memoir of Harvard Law School (1992).

Writing in The New York Times, William Julius Wilson praised The Remedy as "by far the most comprehensive and thoughtful argument thus far for...affirmative action based on class." The Los Angeles Times called Broken Contract, a story of idealistic law students turned into corporate lawyers, "a forceful cri de coeur."

Kahlenberg has edited four Century Foundation books: America's Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education (2004), Public School Choice vs. Private School Vouchers (2003), Divided We Fail: Coming Together Through Public School Choice (2002) and A Notion at Risk: Preserving Public Education as an Engine for Social Mobility (2000). He is currently working on a biography of educator Albert Shanker.

Kahlenberg also writes on education and affirmative action for The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New Republic, and speaks frequently in broadcast media. After his undergraduate work at Harvard College and before Harvard Law School, Kahlenberg spent a year at the University of Nairobi School of Journalism as a Rotary Scholar.

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