Joe Bornstein's Community Connections

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we believe ‘tis always the season for giving. As we welcome a new year, we feel privileged that we are able to continue giving back to the communities in which we live and serve.

We see the efforts of numerous charities and organizations that are dedicated to improving the quality of life in Maine. It is with great pleasure that we commend these efforts with our respect, gratitude and financial support.

Through a variety of resources, we are able to address important issues such as education, healthcare, civil rights and access to public transportation. It is an honor to have represented more than 18,000 Mainers in our 36 years. It is an honor to be able to give back to the state we love so much.

Some of the charities and events that we have supported over the past few years include:

 

American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Red Cross
Annual MLK, Jr. Breakfast Celebration
Autism Society of Maine
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine
Brunswick High School
 - Destination ImagiNation Teams

Campaign for Justice
Camp Sunshine
Casa, Inc.
Cedars Auxiliary
Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation
Christmas For Kids
Coastal Human Society
Colby College - Goldfarb Center
Community Counseling Center
Community Partners, Inc.
Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness
Daniel Cardillo Charitable Fund
Dash of Diva: Girls Night Out
Doulas Care
Friends of the Moncton Hospital Foundation
Fryeburg Academy
Gary’s House of Mercy Hospital
Hollis Center Baptist Church Food Pantry
Hampden-Newburgh Little League Team
Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Program
ITN Portland
 - Dignified Transportation for Seniors

Jewish Community Alliance
Jimmy Fund


Levey Day School
Literacy Volunteers of Maine
Maine Bar Foundation
Maine Civil Liberties Union
Maine Coast Cycling Club
Maine High School Hockey Invitational
Maine Jewish Film Festival
Maine Law Alumni Association
Maine Women’s Fund
Maine Women’s Policy Center
Mercy Health System Annual Fund
Muskie Fund for Legal Services
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Northeastern University
Open Gates Equine Rescue
Perkins School For The Blind
Portland Harbor Museum
Portland Sea Dogs
 - Strike Out Cancer In Kids Program

Portland Junior Pirates Hockey Team
Preble Street
Protect Maine Equality
Riverview Foundation Kids Who Care
SPACE Gallery
Southern Poverty Law Center
Texas Children’s Hospital
Tourette Syndrome
 - Association Research Fund

United Bikers of Maine Toy Run
University of Southern Maine
United Way of Androscoggin County
United Way of Greater Portland
Yale School of Medicine
 - Child Study Research Center

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we are proud to give back to the communities to which we are connected.  We wish all of our clients, both past and present, a happy and healthy 2011.

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USM Hosts Acclaimed Author And Human Rights Activist

Each year the University of Southern Maine hosts a lecture regarding genocide and human rights throughout the world. This year’s event featured guest speaker Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier in West Africa, who spoke of his experience in his homeland’s civil war and the overall effects war has on children. Beah is one of an estimated 300,000 kids who were forced to fight as a child in the Sierra Leone Civil War.

The fourth annual lecture was part of the evening’s focus on “War and Reconciliation: from Child Soldiers to Community Healers” and was the latest in the University of Southern Maine hosted Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights.

During the 1990’s Sierra Leone was a country divided by war. With his hometown under attack by the rebel army, Beah was forced to flee his home at the age of 12. After running for nearly a year, he arrived at an army base in the southeast region of the country. By the age of 13 he was fighting back.

In his highly publicized book, A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier, Beah recalls his experiences during the civil war that killed tens of thousands countrymen and displaced two million more. On April 14th, Beah told his story to a capacity crowd at USM’s Hannaford Lecture Hall.

After being forced to fight the rebel army for two years, Beah was removed from combat and sent to a rehabilitation center in the capital city of Sierra Leone. At the age of fifteen, he was chosen to speak about the war to the United Nations, and was later granted the opportunity to study in the U.S. after completing high school. Other than an uncle who was killed in the war, Beah never saw his family again.

The civil war tore apart Sierra Leone for over a decade, as a country abundant in natural resources became the world’s poorest in 1998. The diamond industry was the center of struggle, illegally fueling the rebel army with exploitations of “blood diamonds.” Corruption spread throughout the country, forcing the government to intervene in what would be a long and costly civil war. Nearly twenty years later Sierra Leone remains one of the leading diamond manufacturers in the world. Yet while being better regulated since the end of the war seven years ago, the country remains prone to diamond smuggling.

In addition to Ishmael Beah’s speech, the program featured a film documenting post-civil war Sierra Leone. The movie, Fambul Tok, was made by the Portland-based foundation Catalyst for Peace, a company that supports community based peace building initiatives around the world.

As proud supporters of the Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein presented Beah’s bestselling memoir to a group of local students who were honored before the event as “ambassadors against genocide and the abuse of human rights.” The educational night was capped off by a question and answering session and a book signing by the author himself.

Previous guest speakers at the annual Schair Memorial Lecture include Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero of the acclaimed film “Hotel Rwanda,” Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, and Akbar Ahmed, a renowned authority on Islam. And the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein salute each and every one of them.

For more information on the Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights please contact the University of Southern at 207.780.5331.