College of Law to Co-Sponsor Feb. 19-20 Tanner Human Rights Conference

The Barbara and Norman Tanner Human Rights Center, in collaboration with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York, will host its eighth annual conference on February 19-20 at the University of Utah. This year’s theme is “Building Peace in the 21st Century: Global Ethical Dialogues.”

The conference will examine new challenges to peace in the early 21st century—challenges that would not have been clearly envisioned 100 years ago when Carnegie’s philanthropies were established. The purpose of the conference is not just to document these challenges, but to examine how new forms of global ethical dialogue and interaction can lead to effective non-violent responses to these challenges.

The conference is a collaborative event that partners with several colleges at the U, including the S. J. Quinney College of Law, along with various programs and institutions at the University and in the community. The Center for Global Justice is a co-sponsor of the event. Deen Chatterjee, Senior Fellow of Law at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, is the conference program chair.

“Since 9/11 the United States has engaged in a monologue with the rest of the world. This has to change. Given the diversity and divisions in the world today, conflicts are inevitable unless we find a common ground through mutual dialogue and collaborative engagement between the contesting parties and opposing interest groups. This path toward conflict resolution and building peace is more prudent and less costly than the current US policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace, which is leading us nowhere,” said Chatterjee, who authored the recent essay, “Building Common Ground,” in Ethics and International Affairs.

“The conference will feature presentations by both local and prominent visiting scholars and activists, including three global ethics fellows from the Carnegie Council—two of them giving the two keynotes and the third giving the lead presentation at the concluding Round Table,” said Chatterjee, who himself is a global ethics fellow at the Council.

Chatterjee is especially pleased to note that the Round Table will feature five Utah students responding to the lead presenter, Cheyney Ryan, who is a leading exponent of pacifism. “Cheyney will challenge the students in critically thinking about the contemporary issues of war and peace and will stay engaged with them before, during, and after the conference. Two of the students are from the S. J. Quinney College of Law and one of them, 3L Gage Hansen, is the Ethics Fellow for the Future at the Carnegie Council,” Chatterjee explained.