Advocacy & Human Rights

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Center for Forensics

Bringing together partners across industry, government, and academia to advance scientific and societal understanding of the issues raised by digital forensics technologies, the Center develops and applies novel research and technology in forensics and privacy to address the interests of society, law, and government. To date, over 4,000 arrests for Internet-based child sexual exploitation have been made based on our research and technology. Since April 2012, more than 85 children have been rescued from sexually abusive situations as a result of cases started with our tools.

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Citizen Scholars Program

The Citizen Scholars Program is a 2-year curricular civic leadership program that partners with community organizations to work toward community goals and help students develop the knowledge, skills, and vision they need to build community, be effective citizens, and advocate for social justice. Students in CSP complete four required service-learning courses taken in sequence over 4 semesters. In the courses, each student articulates his or her vision of how society would be organized if it truly were good, then develops a series of tools to work toward that vision.

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Corporate Toxics Information Project

The Corporate Toxics Information Project analyzes and disseminates information from the US Environmental Protection Agency on corporate releases of toxic chemicals and the resulting exposures of communities to air and water pollution hazards. The Project aims to help community-based activists and socially responsible investors to translate the right to know into the right to clean air and water.

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Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series

Every two years, the UMass Amherst History Department hosts the Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series. This year-long series allows students, faculty and visiting scholars to explore a particular theme in depth. The Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass History Department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg (1967) and associates.

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Five College Magnet Theatre Residency

Cape Town-based Magnet Theatre will be in residency at UMass in Winter 2013. The residency will feature its artists Mark Fleishman, Jennie Reznek, Faniswa Yisa, and Neo Muyanga and will be centered on four performances of Magnet’s two-woman play, “Every Year, Every Day, I Am Walking,” which is also part of the Department of Theater’s 40th Anniversary Season. The resident artists will visit classes, give guest lectures and demonstrations at several of the Five Colleges, and join UMass Assistant Professor of Theater Dr. Megan Lewis for the 2012 Rand Lecture.

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Flirting with Danger Film Screenings and Discussions

Community, high school, and college screenings and discussions of, "Flirting with Danger: Power and Choice in Heterosexual Relationships," were presented. The film explores consent and coercion in sexual and romantic relationships and is based on research by Lynn Phillips. It was shown locally at Amherst High School, Amherst College, Amherst Cinema, UMass Amherst Residence Life, UMass Amherst general screening (as part of the Coalition to End Rape Culture's Week of Action Against Rape), and will be shown at Greenfield Community College, too.

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Futurescape City Tours

Futurescape City Tours is a national public engagement project that enables citizens to explore how new technologies are changing their cities. Springfield, MA, was one of six participating cities in 2013. In addition to UMass/CPPA, partners included the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, the Loka Institute, the Springfield Science Museum, Putnam Technical High School, the UMass Design Center, and U.S Congressman Richard Neal’s office, among others.

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Hear Our Stories: Diasporic Youth for Sexual Rights and Justice

The “Hear Our Stories” program uses digital storytelling to work with young parenting Latinas in Holyoke to reveal the ways in which sexual and reproductive health disparities are embodied and discursively negotiated, and ultimately work to reframe public conversations on young motherhood and sexuality, health, and rights across generations.

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Heritage Assessment and Community Development, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Center for Heritage & Society has initiated a partnership with a community development organization on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas (oneeleuthera.org). We have conducted a pilot research project (Historic Building Survey) in Governor's Harbor, and we have developed a community engagement web portal for use by our partners. Finally, we are now in the development phase of an archaeological survey and excavation project in Millars on the site of a former plantation in collaboration with the descendent community.

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