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Civil rights attorney to address URI graduates

April 3, 2012

The University of Rhode Island has invited an author and longtime lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of New York to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony.

According to a university statement, Marlen Suyapa Bodden has decades of experience representing immigrants in human trafficking and civil rights cases. She’s also the author of a novel set during the Civil War.

Bodden gave URI’s annual Black History Month lecture in February. University President David Dooley said he’s pleased she has agreed to return.

“When she spoke at URI earlier this year, her talk and her life’s work engaged students and reinforced our active commitment to community, equity and discovery,” Dooley said in a prepared statement.

Bodden will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree from URI in recognition of her work on behalf of the disenfranchised.

A Tufts University graduate, Bodden already holds a law degree from New York University.

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