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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Activist Kathy Kelly will speak on Thursday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Reed College’s Vollum lecture hall on "Imagining Peaceful Solutions: Speaking Out Against Economic Sanctions in Iraq." The lecture is sponsored by the Reed Student Action Office and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

Kelly, who this year was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee, will speak about how economic sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the United Nations in August 1990 to protest the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, have deprived the Iraqi people of food and medical supplies and have contributed to the dramatic rise of child and infant mortality rates.

Kelly is one of the United States’ most vocal opponents of these sanctions and is co-founder of the relief organization Voices in the Wilderness. The group is the first U.S. grassroots organization to bring activists into Iraq to witness the effects of the sanctions, to bring food and medicine to the Iraqi people, and to speak about the sanctions on their return. Although the group faces $1 million in fines for violating the terms of the U.N. embargo, members of Voices in the Wilderness have made 30 trips to Iraq since the group’s inception in 1996, including 10 trips by Kelly herself.

Kelly has a master's degree in theology and has taught in Chicago-area schools since 1974. In 1998 she received the Teacher of Peace award from Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace movement.