World-renowned rights advocate to visit Presque Isle

5 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Central Aroostook Association, in partnership with the University of Maine at Presque Isle, will host human rights advocate Clarence Sundram, J.D., as the next distinguished lecturer to Aroostook County.  

Sundram will speak at UMPI’s Campus Center in the St. John Conference Room at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April  18. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Sundram is best known in Maine for the oversight of the adult intellectual disability consent decree, serving as special court master throughout the process of service realignment and building quality assurance processes.  He will discuss the historical evolution and reform of the human services system over the past 60 years, including ending reliance on large institutions with the development of community-based services.

He will share his perspective through the transformation from an institutional model including forces that led to abusive and neglectful care in these institutions.

Sundram has participated in international efforts to reform mental health services in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Romania and Kosovo, among others. He has consulted with organizations such as UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO).  He has testified by invitation before both houses of Congress and before legislative committees in New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.. regarding legislation dealing with abuse, neglect and exploitation.

In addition, he has published numerous articles in legal and other professional journals and is a frequent speaker at national conferences. He has appeared on such programs as “Nightline,” “48 Hours” and the “CBS Evening News.”

This presentation is part of Central Aroostook Association’s landmark achievement of celebrating 60 years of operation in 2019.  The Association operates eight programs serving youth and adults with disabilities.