The events of January 6 on Capitol Hill precipitated an internal discussion within the Board and Program Committee of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs about our need to include a segment of the conference that focuses on how to bridge the divide in the United States of America. We decided that the most positive way to do so is to focus on Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. Starting with US Congresswoman Barbara Lee describing her bill to create the first U.S. Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, Dorothy Davis will moderate the subsequent panel discussion of international experts entitled “The History of Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Success and Failures; Lessons Learned” on Friday, February 26, 2021 from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. EST
The panelists are Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law Ruti Leitl of New York University Law School and author of “Transformational Justice”. She is an internationally recognized authority on international law, international human rights, transitional justice, and comparative constitutional law.
Professor Ronald Slye at Seattle University School of Law is an internationally-recognized expert in international criminal law, transitional justice and international human rights law. He has provided advice to countries in their efforts to address a legacy of gross violations of human rights. From 2009 to 2013, he served as one of three international commissioners on the Kenyan Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission. He’s the author of “The Kenyan TJRC: An Outsider’s View From the Inside.”
Professor Marie Breen-Smyth. Visiting Professor in the University of Massachusetts in Boston where she is also Senior Faculty Fellow in the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development in the McCormack Graduate School at UMASS/Boston. In Northern Ireland, she established the Institute for Conflict Research and led the first comprehensive research into the effects of the Troubles, The Cost of the Troubles Studies. Her most recent publications include “Victims and Survivors in the Northern Ireland Conflict in Terhoven.”
The moderator of the panel is Dorothy Davis, President of Dorothy M. Davis Consulting and Griffith J. Davis Photographs and Archives. A member of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs Board of Directors and Program Committee, Ms. Davis brings extensive experience in global affairs with particular emphasis on Africa through her work with the United Nations, the African Union and the African American Institute. During her tenure at AAI, she developed and managed the Africa America Institute’s 22nd through 27th major annual international Africa-America Policy Conferences held in Botswana, Ghana, Japan, Namibia, and the United States from 1991 to 1997. These conferences included key figures of the international anti-apartheid movement era of South Africa.
To prepare for the discussion on Friday, we are offering the wonderful opportunity of screening the award-winning film “Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa“, in its entirety to our registrants on Thursday, February 25, starting at 4:00 p.m. EST.
SOFT VENGEANCE is a film about Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Shining a spotlight on Albie’s story provides a prism through which to view the challenges faced by those unable to tolerate a society founded on principles of slavery and disempowerment of South Africa’s majority black population. As a young man, Albie defended those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa. For his actions as a lawyer, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Cape Town, tortured through sleep deprivation and forced into exile. In 1988 he was blown up by a car bomb set by the South African security forces in Maputo, Mozambique, which cost him his right arm and the sight of one eye, but miraculously he survived and after a long year of rehabilitation in England, he recovered. Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court, which for the past 20 years has been insuring that the rights of all South Africans are afforded protection.
To watch Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa go to: