An invigorating written, photographic and video display of an array of human-rights defenders aims to raise awareness of injustices around the world.

St. Mary’s University College launched the Canadian premiere of the multi-media exhibition Speak Truth To Power last month.

“The whole idea is to create awareness of these ideas that are crying out for justice,” said Linda Smith, director of campus ministry at St. Mary’s University College. “They (the human-rights defenders) still believe that goodness and compassion are going to prevail in the end.”

The exhibition features photos taken by Pulitzer Prize winner Eddie Adams, who illustrated the book Speak Power To Truth by Kerry Kennedy.

In her introduction, Kennedy asks the following questions: “Why do people who face imprisonment, torture and death, continue to pursue their work when the chance of success is so remote and the personal consequences are so grave? Why did they become involved? What keeps them going? Where do they derive their strength and inspiration? How do they overcome their fear? How do they measure success?”

These are the questions that the book and photos aim to answer.

From the actions of The Dalai Lama of Tibet to the homosexual movement of Mexico congress member Patria Jimenez, these are the small steps needed to move towards justice, Smith said.

St. Mary’s University College first became interested when president Dr. Terrence Downey attended a convention where the book and photos were featured. The exhibition demonstrated an “important essential message,” said Smith.

So far the exhibition has attracted an estimated 200 to 300 people, including school groups and other interested organizations.

This is not including the 300 attendants of the play last week, which included eight panels for a partial exhibition.

The Speak Truth To Power book has been sold out at St. Mary’s University College Bookstore and those interested are now being directed to or, the official website.

The exhibition will remain at the college until May 28.

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