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9/13/2004 Human rights champion to speak at Linfield College

McMINNVILLE – John Kamm, executive director of the Dui Hua Foundation, will speak on “China-U.S. Relations: A Human Rights Perspective” Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall.

Kamm, former president of Hong Kong’s American Chamber of Commerce and a former executive with Occidental Chemical Corporation, will discuss his transformation from a successful businessman to a champion for human rights for China’s political prisoners.

Growing up in New Jersey Kamm admired the work of civil rights leaders Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Those ideas slipped away as Kamm entered the competitive world of international business. Then 13 years ago while attending a function with Chinese leaders, Kamm suggested to one official that a Hong Kong political prisoner be freed. Although Chinese officials were outraged by Kamm’s request, a month later the inmate was released.

In 1991, Kamm resigned from Occidental and began his own business in order to devote more time to working on prisoner releases. He has been responsible for the release or reduced sentences of more than 250 political prisoners in China. He and his family now live in San Francisco where he runs the Dui Hua Foundation, which is dedicated to improving human rights by means of dialogue between the United States and China. Kamm has received the Department of Commerce’s first Best Global Practices Award in 1997 and the 2001 Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Linfield College International Programs Office in collaboration with the Northwest China Council. For more information, call 503-883-2222.