On December 9, 2021, Scholars at Risk hosted a “Free to Think 2021” virtual symposium marking the release of SAR’s Free to Think 2021 report tracing attacks on higher education communities around the world. At the conclusion of the symposium, SAR presented the 2021 Courage to Think Award, which recognizes individuals, groups, or institutions that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom.
The report, based on data compiled by SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, analyzes attacks on higher education communities around the world, including violent attacks on universities, wrongful imprisonment and prosecutions of scholars, and attacks on student expression. The report also recommends steps that diverse stakeholders—from governments and higher education leaders to the public at large—can take to promote and protect academic freedom. See here for past editions of Free to Think.
The virtual symposium featured sessions discussing these issues globally, and with particular emphasis on situations highlighted in the report, including Belarus, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the United States.
COURAGE TO THINK AWARD
The virtual symposium also featured the presentation of SAR’s 2021 Courage to Think Award to Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a prominent scholar of disaster medicine sentenced to death in Iran. The award recognizes his struggle for academic freedom and connection to the international academic community. Dr. Djalali’s wife, Vida Mehrannia, accepted the award on Dr. Djalali’s behalf.
The Courage to Think Award recognizes individuals, groups, or institutions that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom, whether through professional work, private or community service, or by facing personal risk.
Higher education institutions are invited to inquire about SAR’s work and about joining the SAR network by visiting https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/join/ or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALL TO ACTION
Scholars at Risk calls on our members, affiliated partners, and the international higher education community to join in solidarity and help seek the release of imprisoned scholars, invite threatened scholars to your institution, and give voice to students and scholars who demand academic freedom.
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