The Enduring Significance of Charter 77


The Czech Republic’s successful transition from communism to democracy would not have been possible without the activists who provided a courageous voice in favor of political and intellectual freedom and civic engagement. This roundtable will explore the enduring significance of the Charter 77 document for the partisans of human freedom.

9:00-10:30 AM Embassy of the Czech Republic 3900 Spring of Freedom St. NW Washington, DC 20008 Breakfast will be served. Advance registration required.

Speakers: Hon. Martin Palouš – Czech Ambassador to the United States (2001-2005) Marianne Canavaggio Silvereano – Teacher, Lycee Rochambeau Dr. James F. Pontuso – Professor, Hampden-Sydney College Dr. F. Flagg Taylor, IV – Professor, Skidmore College Moderator: Marion Smith – Executive Director, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Lighting a Torch in Times of Darkness: Charter 77 as a Model for the Promotion of Human Freedom Today

The leadership of the Charter 77 signatories stands as an example to all who challenge political totalitarianism of every stripe. As one of the first to sign, Ambassador Martin Palouš will share his experiences in the hope of cultivating a new generation of responsible, well-informed leaders and thinkers.

12:00-1:30 PM

Riggs Library, Georgetown University

3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20057

Lunch will be served. Advance registration encouraged.


Hon. Martin Palouš – Czech Ambassador to the United States (2001-2005)

Screening: Unfinished Dialogue between Oswaldo Payá and Václav Havel

Chronicling the kinship that linked Václav Havel with murdered Cuban dissident leader Oswaldo Payá, this film explores the broader importance of their relationship for those dissident artists and activists still working for a free Cuba, and highlights the importance of free expression to human flourishing.

2:00-3:30 PM Riggs Library, Georgetown University, 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20057 Advance registration encouraged.

Speakers: Hon. Martin Palouš – Czech Ambassador to the United States (2001-2005) Rosa María Payá (above) – Executive Director, Cuba Decide

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