Best Human Rights Power Couple
Beatriz Manz and Harley Shaiken
Is there a cool film festival coming to town featuring contributions from Latin America? An event devoted to the dilemma at the US-Mexico border? Or a conference featuring brilliant minds devoted to justice throughout the Americas? If so, chances are one or both halves of the human rights power couple Beatriz Manz and Harley Shaiken are involved. The University of California at Berkeley is lucky enough to be home to both of them — Manz (born in rural southern Chile) is a professor of geography and ethnic studies who specializes in Latin America, peasantry, migrations, social movements, human rights and political conflict. Shaiken is a professor of education and geography — and a respected labor expert who serves as chairman of the Center for Latin American Studies. We hear the couple met around the time of the coup in Chile, when Manz was working in a Guatemalan village and Shaiken was traveling through Latin America. Both are the kind of grown-ups we should all aspire to be — the kind who refuse to sell out and always are ready to help students and non-students alike. Would the thriving Bay Area Latin-Americanist scene be the same without these two? Hopefully we'll never have to find out.