Stephen Lewis, ‘A Defender of Humanity,’ to Speak March 18
Former United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Visits Foy Hall
James Paxton, associate professor of history at Moravian College, has only the deepest respect for Stephen Lewis, who will lecture as part of the College’s Health Care | In Focus program in Foy Hall on Tuesday, March 18.
Paxton called Lewis, a widely celebrated humanitarian and former United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, “a defender of people and humanity” and a “true humanist.”
Lewis, like Paxton, hails from Canada, and during his lengthy public career has been one of country’s most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights. Additionally, Lewis has worked extensively on the HIV/AIDS issues in Africa, which led to his co-founding of AIDS-Free World, a nonprofit organization that advocates for more urgent and effective global responses to HIV and AIDS.
“Stephen Lewis has always resonated with me because he seems above self-interest,” Paxton said. “For someone who is a politician to be so selfless in his devotion to the public good is remarkable. In every position that he has held, he has always spoken truth to power in a very clear way.”
His March 18 lecture, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., is titled “Race Against Time: An Evening with Stephen Lewis.” Lewis’ talks are known for their great detail, enlivened with personal anecdotes. The public is welcome to attend and admission is free of charge.
“I expect that those in attendance will find him absolutely riveting. He is one of Canada’s most prominent public intellectuals and commentators.”
– James Paxton
“I expect that those in attendance will find him absolutely riveting,” Paxton said. “He is one of Canada’s most prominent public intellectuals and commentators.”
Lewis will visit Moravian College to speak to its community about his life work which addresses all four of the College’s IN FOCUS topics: Health Care, War & Peace, Sustainability, and Poverty & Inequality.
“You could bring him year after year and he would be great every time,” Paxton reasoned.
Lewis was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006. From 1995 to 1999, he was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, he was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. From 1970-1978, Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition.
Lewis is the author of the bestselling book, Race Against Time. He holds 37 honorary degrees from Canadian universities, as well as honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University in the United States. In 2003, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 2007, King Letsie III, monarch of the Kingdom of Lesotho invested him as Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe. The order is named for the founder of Lesotho; the knighthood is the country’s highest honor. In 2012, Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
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