UNH Center for the Humanities

Teenage Activist Promotes Young People as Leaders in UNH's October Sidore Lecture

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

October 1, 1001

DURHAM, N.H. -- International activist and founder of (Kids Can) Free the Children at the age of 12, Craig Kielburger will discuss why young people need to be today's leaders in the first of this year's University of New Hampshire Saul O Sidore Memorial Lectures Thursday, Oct. 11, from 12:40 to 2 p.m. at the Memorial Union Building's Theatre II. All Sidore lectures are free and open to the public.

Kielburger started Free the Children in 1995 to not only draw attention to and stop the exploitation of children in impoverished nations, but also to empower the children of affluent nations to speak and act for themselves and on behalf of their less fortunate peers. The child-run nonprofit organization has more than 100,000 members in 35 countries.

"Adults need to see what we can bring to the table, what our talents are," Kielburger says. "Too often adults underestimate the abilities of youth. What I find most discouraging is when adults speak on behalf of children or youth and fail to give us a voice. Or when adults feel compelled to do everything 'for' children rather than 'with' children. Many young people are very articulate. They are usually the best spokespersons for their peers from a local to an international level."

Free the Children has received the Roosevelt Freedom Medal, and in 1998 the World Economic Forum named Kielburger Global Leader of Tomorrow. He is also the author of "Free the Children: A Young Man Fights Against Child Labor and Proves That Children Can Change the World."

The Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1965 in memory of Saul O Sidore of Manchester, New Hampshire. The purpose of the series is to offer the university community and the state of New Hampshire programs that raise critical and sometimes controversial issues facing our society.

The 2001-2002 Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series is sponsored by the Sidore Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities. For more information on the series or specific lectures, contact the Center for the Humanities at 603-862-4356 or visit www.unh.edu/humanities-center/.

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