Post Screening discussion with Leslye Obiora. She has been a Professor of Law in the United States since 1992. In 1999, she received an unsolicited offer from the World Bank to manage a program to help advance substantive gender equity in Africa. In 2006, she received another unsolicited appointment to serve as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a portfolio she deftly handled before resigning on grounds of principle. She is the recipient of several distinguished nominations, including those from Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, and the Djerassi Resident Artist Program. She has been a faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and the Visiting Gladstein Human Rights Professor at the University of Connecticut. Obiora is the founder of the Institute for Research on African Women, Children and Culture (IRAWCC) and the Convener of both the Leadership Enterprise for African Development (LEAD) and SPIN, a complementary initiative to stimulate the growth of indigenous philanthropy in Nigeria.
Part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council with additional funding provided by Ventana Charitable Foundation, The Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, University of Arizona School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and The Aurora Foundation of Southern Arizona. Click here to view the films and schedule.
Tall as the Baobab Tree poignantly depicts a family struggling to find its footing on the edge of the modern world fraught with tensions between tradition and modernity. Coumba and her little sister Debo are the first to leave their family’s remote African village, where meals are prepared over open fires and water is drawn from wells, to attend school in the bustling city. But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her younger sister from a future she did not choose. (Dir. by Jeremy Teicher, 2012, Senegal/USA, 82 mins., Not Rated)