The Ratiu Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Ratiu Center for Democracy are pleased to announce the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture 2008, which will take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, on 4 December 2008. With this occasion, Mrs Eleonora Cercavschi will receive the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award. Mrs. Cercavschi is the headmistress of Stefan the Great High School (Stefan cel Mare si Sfant Lyceum) in Grigoriopol, Moldova.
Mrs. Cercavschi is a dedicated human rights and democracy activist who has devoted her career to defending children’s right to be educated in their own language. During the last 15 years children in Romanian-language schools in Transdnistria have faced discrimination and persecution. Transdnistrian authorities insist that public education for ethnic Moldovans in their mother tongue be done using the Soviet-originated Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet. The separatist regime, supported by Moscow, has restricted the usage of the Latin script (the norm) for the Romanian language to 6 schools, which did not want to comply with this rule. In 2002, under the pressure from Transdnistrian authorities, the high school was shut down, and relocated to Dorotcaia, Dubasari district, an area controlled by the central authorities of the Republic of Moldova, some 20 km (approximately 12.5 miles) away.
The purpose of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture is to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. The lecture strives to enrich the intellectual environment in which ideas about democracy and democratic change circulate, both within and beyond Washington.
Sponsored by the Ratiu Foundation and the Ratiu Center for Democracy (Turda, Romania), the event expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late campaigner and humanitarian Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician and intellectual, as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.
The 2006 Ratiu Democracy Lecture was given by Egyptian democracy activist Saad Ibrahim. Dr. Ibrahim discussed the lessons for the Middle East countries from the process of transition to democracy in Eastern Europe. The 2007 Ratiu Democracy Award was presented to Anatoli Mikhailov of Belarus, who discussed Democracy as a Challenge.
Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture 2008
4 December 2008, 16.30, 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W, Washington, D.C. 20004-3027
Details on http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ratiu .