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News & Events

UMPI’s Distinguished Lecturer Series presents nationally renowned educator, filmmaker Jim Keady

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is pleased to present Jim Keady, a nationally renowned educator, activist, and filmmaker, as the last speaker in its 2015-2016 Distinguished Lecturer Series. During his talk, Behind the Swoosh, Keady will focus on sweatshops and social justice as he share stories of his decade-and-a-half-long efforts to end sweatshop abuses. His presentation, which also serves as the keynote address for UMPI’s 15th Annual University Day, will take place on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. This event is free and the public is invited to be a part of this special evening.

Keady is the Director of Educating for Justice, Inc., a New Jersey-based nonprofit company that educates and organizes citizens to promote peace and justice in the world. For more than a decade, Keady has focused much of his time and energy on improving the living and working conditions for Nike’s overseas factory workers. In the summer of 2000, he lived with some of these factory workers in an Indonesian slum, trying to survive on their wage of 23 cents an hour and documented what their lives are really like. His work has been featured on the major television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, HBO Sports, and ESPN, as well as by the BBC and NPR, and in the New York Times, Newsday, and Sports Illustrated.

The theme of this year’s University Day and the 2015-2016 Distinguished Lecturer Series is Disrupting the Status Quo. Keady has spoken across the United States and at international venues to thousands of interested audience members about eliminating sweatshops and establishing living wages. He has been sought out by members of the U.S. Congress, as well as leaders from many fields, to offer his personal and professional experience and critiques on the issues of sweatshops, globalization and social justice.

In 1997, Keady was a soccer coach with the St. John’s University Red Storm, the NCAA Division I National Champions, when he stood up against Nike and their sweatshops and lost his job for doing so. Since then, he has made ending sweatshop labor his life mission. He is currently producing and directing a feature documentary film about Nike’s operations in Indonesia called SWEAT.

The University’s Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 1999. Each year, the UDLS Committee sponsors four to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. While the emphasis tends to be on featuring visiting academics, it is not exclusively so. The speakers typically spend two days at the University meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.

Keady’s talk serves as the kick-off for University Day, with a full day of events following on Wednesday, April 20. From about 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., about 130 students are expected to offer talks and presentations on their research and community service. A complete schedule of University Day activities can be found at www.umpi.edu/uday.

All are invited to attend Keady’s April 19 talk. For more information about this Distinguished Lecture or the 15th Annual University Day, please contact the University’s Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452 or email umpi@maine.edu.