Amnesty International spokesperson, actress Nazanin Boniadi to speak at U

Actress, activist Nazanin Boniadi will speak at the University of Utah on March 7.

Actress, activist Nazanin Boniadi will speak at the University of Utah on March 7.

Nazanin Boniadi, actress, human rights activist and Amnesty International spokesperson, will speak at the U’s Barbara L. & Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy in a talk titled “Breaking Barriers for Women and Girls” on March 7 at 4 p.m. in the University of Utah’s Union Saltair Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Boniadi boasts a strong track record of activism in women’s rights and the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women and prisoners of conscience. The “Homeland,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Scandal” star is also an Amnesty International Artist of Conscience.

Boniadi’s talk is the first of themed events in the center’s series “Artists as Advocates: Women’s Rights and Human Rights.”

“We’re very excited to be able to bring Nazanin Boniadi to campus to meet with students and other community members and discuss how she integrates her work as an artist with her human rights advocacy. We’re also very happy to be able to partner in this event with Amnesty International, a leading voice for human rights work around the world,” said Thomas Maloney, director of the Tanner Human Rights Center.

Born in Tehran and raised in London, Boniadi moved to the United States as a young adult to attend the University of California at Irvine, where she received her bachelor’s degree with honors in biological sciences.

Her activism can be traced back to 2009, when she started serving as an official Amnesty International USA spokesperson and campaigning for the rights of underserved populations internationally. In 2010 Boniadi helped launch The Neda Project, a collaboration between Amnesty International and indie rock band The Airborne Toxic Event to honor Neda Agha Soltan, a student shot dead in the streets of Tehran during the 2009 Iranian election protests. In 2011 Boniadi received the Social Cinema Award at the Ischia Global Film and Music Festival for her human rights work with Amnesty International and in 2014 she was selected as a term member by the Council on Foreign Relations. In October 2015 she joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in October 2015.

The Barbara L. & Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy is dedicated to providing U students, faculty and the broader community with the inspiration and education needed to become advocates for peace, nonviolence and human rights.

Incepted in 2006, the center is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year through a series of events. The center’s next event will occur in April, when Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker will speak as part of the “Artists as Advocates: Women’s Rights and Human Rights” series.

For more information on the center’s other programming and to learn about opportunities to support the center’s work, go to humanrights.utah.edu.

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