TCRP Honors Rwandan Hero
Subject of 'Hotel Rwanda' comes to Texas
By Rita Radostitz, Fri., Oct. 21, 2005
Protecting the Bill of Rights and all our civil rights is an uphill battle in Texas. And for the last 15 years, Jim Harrington and the folks at the Texas Civil Rights Project have been ensuring that the government or private interests don't ride roughshod over people's constitutionally protected rights or taking them to court if they do. The project mostly works through litigation initiating or supporting lawsuits brought by people harmed by government actions or private discrimination (e.g., lack of access for the disabled). Its recent work includes assisting farm workers to organize, forcing county jails to provide medication for HIV-positive inmates, and, of course, the work for which they are perhaps most well known: suing police departments for brutality. Harrington says TCRP works to "support other groups in their litigation efforts because it gives them the power" to succeed on their own.
Rusesabagina was chosen as the keynote speaker because of his heroic actions that saved the lives of more than 1,200 Hutu by allowing them to stay and ensuring that they stayed safe in the Hotel Mille Collines, an elegant hotel he managed in Kigali, the Rwandan capital city. He may seem an unusual choice for a human rights award in Texas, but Harrington points out that because it's the 15th anniversary of the Bill of Rights dinner, they wanted to get somebody "with strong human rights credentials" and it is hard to argue that Rusesabagina doesn't fit that description, to a Texas T.
DETAILS:Texas Civil Right Project 15th annual Bill of Rights Dinner
featuring Paul Rusesabagina, real-life hero of Hotel Rwanda
Musical entertainment by Jimmy LaFave
Sunday, Oct. 23, UT Union Ballroom
Cocktail reception 6pm; Dinner program 7pm
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