By Kimberlyn Bennett
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, visited Hood College on March 26.
Robinson, who was the first female president of Ireland and also the former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, was brought the Hood College by the political science department and the Virginia Lewis Endowment Fund.
Paige Eager, political science professor, said, “Mary Robinson has had such an important career both in Irish politics and on the world stage. She was the first female President of Ireland and took on controversial topics for her time including abortion, contraception, and gender equality.”
Robinson conducted workshops with students about climate justice and human rights, and gender and leadership, during her two day tour at Hood.
Jonathan Moughty, a student who attended the climate and justice workshop, said, “The idea was human rights were being impacted by climate change and this should make government more aware and active in addressing it.”
Robinson also met with students from Hood’s History of Ireland class.
The former president in addition gave a keynote speech concerning the concept of a global village and climate justice for a crowd of 400 in the Hudson Auditorium.
“I think her stance on climate justice, is somewhat controversial for some in the United States,” Eager said. “As she stated many times, she realizes that there remains climate change deniers in the United States and abroad for that matter. However, she believes that the younger generation get the science and understand the importance of stewardship for future generations,” she said.
Robinson wrapped up her time at Hood by moderating a Social Justice panel on Tuesday morning featuring local organizations such as Heartly House, UNESCO Center for Peace, NAACP, Friends of Frederick County and Frederick County Commission for Women.
“President Robinson was personable, gracious, down-to-earth, engaging, interested in the history of Hood College, and very impressed with the questions are students asked,” Eager said.