Human rights struggles, including the present-day slavery of 27 million people worldwide, violence against women and economic justice in the 21st century, are topics to be covered by the 2011–12 WILL/WGSS Speaker Series at the University of Richmond.

Sponsored by the university’s Women Involved in Living and Learning and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs, the three lectures are free and open to the public.

Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, the United States sister organization of Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organization, and professor of sociology at Roehampton University in London, opens the series Sept. 20 with a talk, “The End of Slavery?” He will speak in Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room, at 7 p.m. Bales’ book, “Displaced People: New Slavery in the Global Economy,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and a documentary based on his work won a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards.

Sandra Moran, activist and member of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, will speak about “Women’s Right to Live: Women Confronting Violence in Guatemala;” Oct. 24, 7 p.m., at Carole Weinstein International Center Commons. Moran has worked with the Guatemalan women’s movement for 20 years and is employed by Colectivo Artesana, a nonprofit organization that combines the powers of art and the women’s movement to combat inequalities in women’s lives.

Rinku Sen, president and executive director of Applied Research Center and publisher of colorlines.com, will discuss “Renewing America: Race, Immigration and Economic Justice in the 21st Century,” Feb. 22, 7 p.m., at Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room. Sen will discuss innovative projects across the United States to organize and unify immigrants and native-born Americans in building a new economy.

For more information about the series, call 804-289-8578 or email koconne2@richmond.edu.