Saving endangered scholars worldwide is the the primary goal of “Scholars at Risk .” Flying well below the radar for most Americans as a cause, saving endangered scholars worldwide through “Scholars at Risk” deserves our consideration. As much as we show compassion and concerned for endangered animal species, it is important to direct financial assistance to aid the researchers, students and professors whose academic lives are being endangered each day in some foreign countries. This is the aim of “Scholars at Risk”.
The Risks Scholars Face. On its website “Scholars at Risk” reveals a number of stories of intellectuals that have been assisted in escaping their homeland in search of freedom for their intellectual pursuits. So what kinds of difficulties are intellectuals facing in some foreign countries? For some it is the constant limitation on their freedom to express their political opinions openly or to enter into the pursuit of intellectual truths without fear. The cost of free expression and open criticism of the status quo in some countries is high and can include physical and psychological intimidation, threats against family and friends, death threats, bombing and the destruction of property. Not exactly the atmosphere in which the mind can function.
These kinds of risks are faced by nationals in a variety of countries in Europe, the Middle East , Africa and indeed around the world wherever those in power attempt to silence others in order to maintain that power. Fortunately for the last decade “Scholars at Risk” has offered a way out and a chance for academicians to continue their study, research and teaching careers in a free and open environment.
From One Campus to a Sprawling Network .
Officially addressing the task of saving endangered scholars worldwide since 2000, “Scholars at Risk” began on the campus of the University of Chicago but soon expanded into a network that includes hundreds of universities . In fact according to “Scholars at Risk” statistics, the organization now has branches in 30 countries and can claim to have assisted 400 beleaguered academics around the world in just 10 years.
You might ask what do Brown, Cornell, Columbia and Harvard all have in common and expect the correct answer to be that they are all Ivy League colleges. But looking further, another correct answer is that they all belong to “Scholars at Risk”. Or looking at Fordham, Fairfield , Loyola and St. Francis you could announce correctly that here is a collection of 4 Catholic colleges but here also is a collection of colleges that all support “Scholars at Risk” . And how about those big name college basketball schools like Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Connecticut? That’s right their names appear on the website of “Scholars at Risk” in its Members Directory.
Celebrating a Milestone. In 2010-2011 “Scholars at Risk” will be celebrating 10 full years as an advocate for freedom in learning. It has much to be proud of but by its own projections much remains to be done. Over the last ten years colleges and individuals have given at risk academics a chance to escape from the daily harassment that interferes with their teaching, research, lecturing and writing. Campus opportunities have been matched to those in need, teaching and research positions have been provided, living accommodations have been offered and a continuing effort has been made to ensure the lives of intellectuals as they pursue their work in freedom.
But the job is not done and so the work of “Scholars at Risk” will continue until there is no further need of such an organization. With many people to be helped there is always need for individual assistance of many kinds. To share your special skills or make a financial donation you need only visit the “Scholars at Risk” website. Knowledge isn’t always free but it is always immensely important.