Photo courtesy of John Cairns
As Secretary of State, Senator, First Lady and lawyer, Secretary Clinton has also devoted much of her professional life to campaigning for the rights of women and children, for the reform of public education and public healthcare, as well as for racial equality. Earlier this year she gave the Oxford University Romanes lecture, which focused on the current state of political engagement across the world.
The bronze statue, by artist Penelope Jencks, presents Eleanor Roosevelt in a quiet and reflective pose and is a second casting of the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt that stands in Manhattan’s Riverside Park.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, former Principal of Mansfield College, who with the Bonavero Institute and Mansfield College, campaigned to bring the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt to Oxford, joined Secretary Clinton in conversation on the role that women have played in promoting and protecting human rights. Secretary Rodham Clinton then received an Honorary Fellowship of Mansfield College from Helen Mountfield, QC, Principal of Mansfield.
Professor Kate O’Regan, Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, hosted a conference on ‘Confronting Illiberalism: The Role of the Media, Civil Society and Universities’ on Tuesday 9th October, at which Secretary Clinton gave the keynote speech on the rise of illiberalism. Human rights practitioners, academics, and journalists from around the world engaged in discussions on how three key institutions of civil society – the media, civil society organisations and universities, are addressing the threat of illiberalism.
Professor O’Regan said: ‘As a research institute within Oxford’s Faculty of Law, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is committed to carrying out world-class research that promotes active public engagement with human rights issues. Given her defining role in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt will remind all who visit the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, and Mansfield College, of the role individuals can play in promoting and protecting human rights.
‘The UDHR is a landmark that asserts a global commitment to giving respect to all human beings. While celebrating the UDHR and all that has been achieved since 1948, we also recognise that human rights are under threat in many places. This conference will, we hope, remind us why human rights matter, and remind us that, despite contemporary challenges, extraordinary work is being done around the world to promote and protect them.’
Helen Mountfield QC, Principal of Mansfield College said:
Secretary Clinton’s admiration for her fellow former first lady is well documented, and the Bonavero Institute and Mansfield College are thrilled to welcome Secretary Clinton for such a significant event. We are delighted too to provide a home to a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, whose own commitment to equality and diversity is echoed in the work Mansfield has done to be an inclusive and welcoming college.