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UNI hosts speakers for 'Reaching for Higher Ground' series

February 21, 2012

Michael Blackwell, director, Center for Multicultural Education, 319-273-2250,

Steve Carignan, executive director, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, 319-273-3665,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,



CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Marjorie Cohn and Reza Aslan as part of the "Reaching for Higher Ground" series. Cohn will speak at 3 p.m., Thursday, March 1, in Lang Hall Auditorium, on the UNI campus. Aslan will speak at 7 p.m. on the same day at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Cohn will lecture about the problems of torture and the role it plays in destroying the possibility of a united world community. Cohn is a professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and U.S. foreign policy.

Aslan, a world-renowned expert on the Middle East, will talk about the historical and societal shifts in the Middle East, with a new generation of youth fighting for their rights and freedoms. He has had multiple appearances on shows including National Public Radio (NPR), The Rachel Maddow Show, Meet the Press, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and many others.

The events are in conjunction with the "Reaching for Higher Ground" series. Last fall, the series explored the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the impact they had on our global and local communities. This spring, speakers and films will help examine the continuing effects of these events on our cultural, political and humanitarian views.

Both events are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit or contact Michael Blackwell, director of UNI's Center for Multicultural Education, at 319-273-2250 or or Steve Carignan, executive director of UNI's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, at 319-273-3665 or