Meg Davis, founder and executive director of Asia Catalyst, will give a lecture on “HIV/AIDS in China: Is it a Rights Issue?” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 4, in Wright Campus Center Room 231. The lecture, hosted by the Political Science Department, is free and open to the public. A reception in the Johnson Gallery follows the lecture.
The presentation will examine some of the key human rights issues in China’s response to HIV/AIDS, including the transmission of HIV through the blood supply, criminalization of sex workers and drug users, and the politics of international AIDS funding. At the same time, human rights discourse in China is a constantly shifting terrain, and grassroots NGOs are developing their own ways to conceive of and define their rights.
Asia Catalyst is a nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance to grassroots AIDS NGOs in China and Southeast Asia and training in rights research and advocacy. Davis was formerly a researcher on China at Human Rights Watch, and has worked as a consultant and advocate in mainland Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Her book Song and Silence: Ethnic Revival on China’s Southwest Borders examines minority religious and ethnic revival on China’s borders with Burma, Laos, and Thailand.
Don Rodgers, Austin College associate professor of political science and China expert, is coordinating the visit.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.