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In Memoriam: Michael Roan

MARCH 11, 2014—The Human Rights Center was sorry to learn of the passing on Jan. 4, of Michael Roan, Executive Director of the Tandem Project and a long-time partner and colleague. Roan was a dedicated public intellectual who advocated for peace and freedom of religion or belief, both locally and internationally. He initiated the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, now in its 26th year, and established the Tandem Project in 1986, a nonprofit focused on freedom of religion or belief.

The Tandem Project and the Human Rights Center collaborated to produce Lifting the Spirit: Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2005, an educational resource designed for use in secondary classrooms, religious institutions, and youth advocacy organizations around the world.

A memorial service for Michael Roan will be held in the Christiansen Center on the Augsburg College campus at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, 2014.

To continue Roan's work on freedom of religion or belief, the Human Rights Center is working to organize and post the Tandem Project's archival material to its online Human Rights Library, one of the world's most widely-used collections of human rights materials. The Center is also raising funds to establish a Michael Roan Fellowship in Freedom of Religion or Belief, which would provide annual support to a Roan Human Rights Fellow to work on projects aimed at upholding the ideals of freedom of religion or belief as established in international human rights law and norms.

Gifts to support either or both efforts can be made to the Human Rights Center online, by going to www.hrcenter.umn.edu and clicking on "Make a Donation" in the left-hand sidebar or by sending a check to:

Human Rights Center
University of Minnesota
N120 Mondale Hall
229 19th Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA

Donors should be sure to indicate which project they intend to support.

For more information:
Michael Roan, obituary (Star Tribune) - Mar. 2, 2014
Michael Roan, peace and justice activist (Star Tribune) - Jan. 30, 2014
Lifting the Spirit: Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief (2005)