Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


April 12, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Rick Halperin, a nationally recognized advocate for the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. and abroad, will receive the 10th annual Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship at an event at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in McCord Auditorium of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd. Halperin is the assistant director of Southern Methodist University's Office of Community Outreach and member of SMU's William P. Clements Jr. Department of History.

The Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship was established in 1992 in recognition of the faithful service on behalf of issues of peace and justice by SMU Associate Chaplain Robert Cooper at the occasion of his retirement from the university. The Cooper Fellowship is sponsored by the SMU Office of the Chaplain, in collaboration with the Dallas Peace Center and the Greater Dallas Community of Churches Peacemaking Committee.

Halperin served as the chair of the board of directors of Amnesty International, U.S.A. from 1992-1993. Since 1994, he has served as Amnesty International's Texas coordinator for the abolition of the death penalty and since December 2000, has served as the president of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Halperin will present a lecture and discussion on the role of individuals in advocacy for peace and justice after the award presentation.

The William K. McElvaney Award in Social Justice also will be awarded to an SMU student to be announced at the event. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of the Chaplain at 214-768-4502.