Earlier this quarter, GPA and the Luskin School of Public Affairs hosted Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and leader on issues of human rights and climate change. Prior to the main lecture, a selected group of GPA students was given an opportunity to have coffee with her. Here are some of their reflections on the meeting:
“It was an incredible experience to sit and speak with Mary. She is one of the great visionaries and proponents of social justice in Irish history. As we spoke, I was most impressed by her clarity in connecting two of the most pressing issues facing us today: development and climate justice on the one hand, and the crisis of international migration and the equality of opportunity on the other.
“It was incredible to have an opportunity to meet such an accomplished, yet humble, global leader. She reinvigorated my passion for working for global development issues.”
James Di Filippo-
“The conversation with Mary Robinson was sobering and inspiring in equal measure. Robinson was a wealth of information, effortlessly discussing a wide array of matters of international environmental and humanitarian importance. A highlight of the conversation for me was her first-hand account of COP21 which provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of the conference from the unique perspective of a global human rights champion.”
“Being able to sit with Mary Robinson and have an informal chat over coffee was an unbelievable and surreal experience. It was truly inspiring to see Mrs. Robinson, a world leader and pioneer in her own right, adeptly discuss and link topics of global warming, current migration issues, international economics and trading, and California politics in a manner that was both insightful and accessible.”
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