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Award Winning Professor Josef Jařab, Ph.D., confidant of President Havel, to return to Cedar Rapids and speak at the NCSML on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7:00 p.m.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Dr. Jařab will speak about his life, the Velvet Revolution, and lessons we should be taking from Central Europe 30 years later.

velvet-revolutionNovember 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution beginning in Czechoslovakia, and to commemorate this historic event, the NCSML is honored to welcome Josef Jařab, Ph.D. His life has found him at the center of many significant moments in Czechoslovak history, including being at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution and its aftermath in Olomouc.

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he became the first freely-elected university administrator in the country, and was Rector (President) of Palacký University for seven years. He served as part of President Vaclav Havel’s delegation to the United States in February 1990, which marked the first official visit to the U.S. after the fall of communism. Dr. Jařab is currently a professor of English and American literature at Palacký University in Olomouc. It is his lifelong endeavor to promote the values of education, humanity, and democracy. In recognition for his lifelong work, Dr. Jařab was the first Czech to be awarded the Woodrow Wilson Freedom Award in 2005 and last year was the recipient of the 20th award of the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

Palacký University has a long standing relationship in Cedar Rapids, with continued collaboration with Mount Mercy University. We are also thrilled to be joined by and hear remarks from Mount Mercy University President, Laurie M. Hamen, J.D. for this event. In November 2018, the NCSML entered into an agreement with Palacký University to develop and collaborate on joint educational, cultural, and research projects. “I have had a decade long working relationship with many departments at Palacký University,” said NCSML President and CEO, Cecilia Rokusek. “I am thrilled to continue that relationship and we at the NCSML look forward to once again welcoming Dr. Jařab to Cedar Rapids.”

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National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a museum that celebrates life:  Czech life, Slovak life and American life. The Museum seeks to inspire people from every background to connect to Czech and Slovak history and culture. Through extraordinary exhibitions and experiences, the Museum tells stories of freedom and identity, family and community, human rights and dignity connecting yesterday with today and tomorrow. The Museum honors those who immigrated to America and worked hard, contributing their skills and vision to the formation of our nation. For more information, visit www.ncsml.org or call (319) 362-8500.

Media contact: Jim Miller, Vice President for Development and Marketing

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