Cleveland State University will present a lecture by Arn Chorn-Pond, the renowned human rights activist from Cambodia and subject of the Emmy-nominated film The Flute Player, on Thursday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m. in Mather Mansion, room 301, located at 2605 Euclid Avenue.
Pond’s topic is titled “Child of War-Man of Peace” and is part of Cleveland State’s 2008-2009 Cultural Crossings Lecture Series: Memories, Reflections and Recollections. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.
Chorn-Pond is a native of Cambodia and a survivor of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields. He is an internationally recognized human rights leader, speaker, and trainer. A former Director of Youth Programs for the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association in Lowell, MA, he also served as a special advisor on Cambodian affairs for Clear Path International in 2001.
He is the founder and spokesperson for Cambodian Living Arts, now a project of World Education, and supports many other Cambodian renewal projects around the world. He resides in Cambodia where he works with musicians recovering from the devastation of decades of war and instability.
Born into a family of performers and musicians in Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang, Chorn-Pond was sent to a children's work camp after the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. He escaped death by execution and starvation by playing his flute for camp guards and later fled his captors when Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in 1979. Chorn-Pond managed to reach a refugee camp in Thailand where Peter Pond, a Lutheran minister and aid worker, befriended and adopted him.
Educated in the U.S., Chorn-Pond began a series of community rebuilding projects and founded several organizations, including Children of War, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development, and Peace Makers, a U.S.-based gang-intervention project for Southeast Asian youth. In the mid-1990s, he began Cambodian Living Arts to help save his country's musical heritage.
Chorn-Pond is the recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Anne Frank Memorial Award and the Kohl Foundation International Peace Prize. In 2007, he received an honorary doctorate from Providence College, his alma mater, for his worldwide humanitarian work. He is an accomplished musician, recording artist and performer who travels the world meeting with young people from war zones.
The Cultural Crossings lecture series is sponsored by Cleveland State’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, please call 216.523.7168 or visit www.csuohio.edu/class/crossings.
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