Montana State University

Award-winning human rights activist Kelly Matheson to speak at MSU on March 8

January 21, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Kelly Matheson, a graduate of MSU’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking program and a part-time resident of Bozeman, works at WITNESS, an international organization based in New York that trains and supports people to use video to fight for human rights. Matheson will speak at MSU at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the Strand Union Building Ballrooms. MSU photo by Sepp Jannotta for Mountains and Minds magazine.

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Human rights attorney and award-winning filmmaker Kelly Matheson will speak at Montana State University at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the Strand Union Building Ballrooms.

Tickets are free and available beginning Friday, Jan. 22, at local TicketsWest locations and the Bobcat Ticket Office.

A graduate of MSU’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking program who has a part-time home in Bozeman, Matheson currently leads the Video as Evidence program for WITNESS, an organization dedicated to exposing human rights abuses through film across the globe. As head of the program, Matheson teaches filmmaking skills to activists worldwide in order to spark change. She then works to ensure that the videos that activists collect can be used as evidence in courts of law to secure justice.

A former practicing attorney, Matheson has worked on a wide range of human rights issues including Ebola prevention, climate change, the trafficking of children and war crimes. Through her work, Matheson has helped imprison warlords who utilize child soldiers, expose gender-based violence and ensure elderly Americans are protected under the law. For example, Matheson returned in January after founding a project dedicated to filming and documenting human rights abuses in Ukraine.

Matheson has been awarded a Telly award for her film on pilots who voluntarily fly over threatened islands in Costa Rica, and her work in Brazil was featured in The New York Times Magazine.

“Matheson is a powerful beacon of human rights advocacy, shining a light and exposing truths we often do not see,” said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute.

Matheson’s visit is hosted by the MSU Leadership Institute. Additional sponsors include MSU’s Office of the Provost, ASMSU, School of Film and Photography, Science and Natural History Filmmaking Forum, African Society at Montana State University, KGLT and Hopa Mountain.

Free tickets may be obtained at the Bobcat Ticket Office, Rosauers, the AskUs Desk at the SUB, by calling 994-CATS (2287) or (800) 325-7328, and online at There will be a handling charge per ticket for those ordered over the phone, online or at Rosauers.

For more information, please call the MSU Leadership Institute at (406) 994-7275 or visit or

Contact: Carmen McSpadden, MSU Leadership Institute, (406) 994-7667,

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