Workshop: Human Rights Cities and Today’s Political Context


When: Friday, July 27, 2018
Time: 9-5 pm
Where: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Cost: FREE

Conveners: National Human Rights Cities AllianceAmerican Friends Service Committee-DC Peace & Economic Justice, & Human rights on the Hill Institute

This day-long workshop convenes human rights activists, scholars, and policy practitioners to consider lessons learned from a growing global “human rights cities” movement. Participants will learn about global and national trends, opportunities, and challenges to “bringing human rights home” here in the United States.  This is a space for sustained dialogue to promote understanding of human rights cities/communities and to advance ideas and models for local human rights practice. Particular attention is paid to disparities in race, class, gender, and environmental health, and we will explore how people-centered human rights cities can help to addresses these structural injustices. Lessons from the workshop will shape the ongoing work of the National Human Rights Cities Alliance and its support for local human rights organizers and movements providing leadership and advocacy to secure, protect, and promote human rights for all people. See session summaries below.

Registration is free. Please RSVP to: Rachel Bergsieker, American Friends Service Committee DC Office (

The National Human Rights Cities Alliance has placed 3 double rooms at the Kellogg Conference Hotel on hold for out-of-town guests. Should you wish to book accommodations at this venue, please include the number of beds requested with your RSVP.

The workshops will run from 9AM-5PM Friday July 27th. There will be an optional program the evening of Thursday July  26th for participants who can attend. More details TBA.


The Global Movement of Human Rights Cities
This panel provides an overview of the emerging global human rights cities movement. It offers perspectives from different world regions and insights into how UN human rights institutions can be resources for local human rights enforcers.
Human Rights Cities in the United States: Background & Highlights/Lessons
This panel shares accounts from several human rights cities, offering perspectives on different models of human rights cities and projects that help build local human rights coalitions.
Human Rights Cities Models and Campaigns
Continuing themes from the preceding panel, this session lifts up key struggles common to all cities and reflects on possibilities for mobilizing local human rights cities around alternative models for community emerging from various national and international campaigns.
Today’s Challenges: Trumpism, Corporate Power and Local Resistance
Why Cities? What possibilities exist for using human rights frameworks to mobilize resistance to to right-wing populism? Drawing from recent struggles around the rights of immigrant residents and to resist corporate-led local development such as that seen in cities vying to host Amazon’s 2nd headquarters, panelists reflect on the lessons and strategies needed to defend human rights amid current challenges.
Concluding Dialogue
Participants will engage in dialogue and Q&A around ideas that emerge in the workshop, including the following possible themes: Lessons from Human Rights Cities—Key models and initiatives; Identifying critical needs for US human rights advocates; Expanding international alliances and strategic use of international mechanisms.

SPLC’s Whose Heritage? Report: A Teaching Opportunity

Schools, monuments and statues across the country pay homage to the Confederacy. Educators can use a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center to help teach the history behind these public fixtures—and how they spread throughout the South and beyond.  The report, entitled “Whose Heritage?”offers data and context that should inform and supplement any lessons on the Civil War, its legacy and the through-line of white supremacist ideology in the United States. A timeline, for example, illustrates the spike in Confederate-dedicated monuments that occurs in tandem with civil rights advancements for black people, or during moments of intense racial strife throughout recent U.S. history. An interactive map points to the geographic locations of these public homages, with monuments and schools in Union states like New York, Pennsylvania and California begging the titular question: Whose heritage is this, really? And what purpose were these symbols of the Confederacy meant to serve?

The data and brief history lessons in this report help answer these questions and counter Lost Cause myths—myths commonly held by, and passed down to, students. As calls to remove or rename symbols of the Confederacy continue to stir controversy, educators can resist the urge to avoid this topic and, instead, teach the hard history and motivation behind these monuments and public symbols. This report supplies a foundation for learning and fodder for lessons.

>> Learn more

Podcasting in Human Rights: Respecting the Storyteller 

Check out this podcast conversation hosted by the New Tactics in Human Rights on the potential of podcasting in human rights activism and the power of narrative storytelling. Hosted by Gianna Brassil.

In collaboration with podcasts The Irrelevant Arabs and Palestinians Podcast,  as well as Sylvia Thomas, producer at Freedom Podcasting Company and Barbara Frey, director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota, New Tactics created its own podcast that explores issues of representation, the value of oral storytelling, and accessibility in creating independent media.

>> Learn more and listen

A New Social Contract – Public Launch

When: Thursday, May 24th
Time: 6 – 7:30 pm
Where: Theresa Lang Center, 55 West 13th Street, Room 202, New York, NY 10011
Cost: Free

Join the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative at their public launch of A New Social Contract: Transformative Solutions Built by and for Communities  on Thursday, May 24 from 6-7:30pm. This joint event is part of NESRI’s Michael Ratner Roundtable Series and The New School’s Henry Cohen Lectures Series. A New Social Contract will spotlight solutions that communities across the United States are advancing to reshape our current landscape of inequity towards one that ensures the full range of human rights of all people. People’s Action, Resource Generation and Race Forward are all cosponsors of the event.

>> Learn more
>> Register for event

HRE USA – Summer Internship

HRE USA is currently inviting applications for its Summer Internship. This volunteer internship supports HRE USA’s strategic objective to build a culture of human rights by providing an innovative forum for HRE practitioners and supporters to learn, network, and exchange professional expertise and better serve our growing HRE community.  HRE USA welcomes undergraduate/graduate students to assist with research and writing, resource development, event planning, membership outreach, and social media communication. HRE USA will be accepting applications until the position is filled.

>> Learn more and apply

Venice Academy on Human Rights

When: Monday, July 2 – Saturday, July 7
Where: EIUC, Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice-Lido, Italy
Cost: See Tuition Rates

Application Deadline: May 23

The Venice Academy of Human Rights is an international and interdisciplinary program of excellence for human rights education, research and debate. It provides an enriching forum for emerging ideas, practices and policy options in the field of human rights. The Academy hosts distinguished experts to promote critical and useful research and innovation through the exchange of current knowledge.

This year’s Academy will focuses on “Migration, Mobility and Diversity: New Horizons for Human Rights”, under the coordination of François Crépeau, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, with the distinguished opening lecture held by Rainer Münz, Adviser on Migration and Demography to the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC). The program is specifically open to academics, practitioners, Ph.D./J.S.D. and master students.

>> Learn more and apply