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Lessons from Action-Research Partnerships: LASA/Oxfam America 2004 Martin Diskin Memorial Lecture


Dr. Martin Diskin was a very engaged and vital member of the Latin American Studies Association community for some 30 or more years. Martin also gave us [at Oxfam America] 18 years of his life . . . . He shaped over this period our commitment to human rights. He guided our grant-making in Latin America through several generations of institutional leaders and staff. (He was around longer than three directors and some 20 board members.) He encouraged our staff to speak out forcefully against injustice and to position ourselves as a staunch critic of US foreign policy in Central America and Cuba. He demonstrated to us the value of linking research to advocacy and being informed and strategic advocates. Most importantly, he modeled for us how to be courageous, tough-minded, outspoken and sail against the wind. . . He embodied the quintessential activist academic.

Oxfam America wishes to remember Martin through this lectureship as a way of putting a flag in the ground in his honor that commemorates: his commitment to human rights activism; his prophetic voice in a world so in need of courage and hopeful vision; his commitment to academic rigor in service of humanity; and his generosity as mentor and friend. (Remarks by Raymond Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America, at the Latin American Studies Association Congress, Chicago, IL, 25 September 1998.)

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