Literacy and Human Rights

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law presents:

Dr Kabu Okai-Davies, author of Curfew's Children

Date: 12 October 2016
6pm to 7pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, Seminar rooms 3 & 4, Level 2, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: Register here

Public lecture - All welcome

This presentation seeks to establish the link between literacy and the ability of indiokai daviesviduals and groups to protect their human and civil rights. In a post-colonial and post-industrial society, illiteracy can be equated to a form of disability. The rights of non-literate communities are in peril and at the mercy of legal systems burdened by red-tape and law enforcement officials unsympathetic to communities unequipped to understand the complexities of the law.

Disenfranchised groups, refugees, immigrants etc, have to radically learn the values associated with being literate in an increasing dynamic world. Therefore civil rights advocates and public defendants of the human rights of under-represented and underprivileged communities have the responsibility to motivate their clients to improve and advance their understanding of the law to be able to articulate, represent and protect their rights.

This can only happen through the process of radical literacy, towards knowledge acquisition for self-empowerment and self-advancement. Literacy has become more important than ever in the complex chain of understanding the needs of disenfranchised communities, if their rights are to be protected by law.


Kabu Okai-Davies is an African-Australian poet, playwright, novelist, public speaker, performer and storyteller from Ghana. He was the Founding Producer of African Globe TheatreWorks in Newark, New Jersey, before moving to Australia in 2006. He has since worked as a Playwright-in-Residence, Street Theatre; Producer of the National Multicultural Festival and Manager, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre.

He studied Creative Writing and Political Science at Oxford University Summer Graduate Studies Program and graduated with a Master of Studies at Australian National University, a Master of Creative Writing and a PhD in Communications; University of Canberra.

He is the author of many books, including Curfew’s Children, a memoir and a novel, Notes from the Immigrant Underground. He is a Visiting Fellow in Writing at the ANU, Research School of Humanities and the Arts and the 2015 Alumni Award Winner for Excellence, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

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