Meet the 2015 FIHRE Facilitators!

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M. Adams - Organizer and Co-Executive Director, Take Back the Land and Freedom Inc

M. Adams is an Organizer with the Take Back the Land Movement, as a part of National Leadership Core, as well as a grassroots organizer with the local action group of Take Back the Land Madison. Adams has extensive experience in building the leadership and organizing capacities of most impacted communities, specifically in Black, Southeast Asian, low-income, and Queer communities. Adams brings an intersectional and multi-issue approach to campaign development, political theorization, and positive action organizing.

 

Radhika Balakrishnan, PhD - Center for Women's Global Leadership, Professor, Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, and Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, has a Ph.D. in Economics from Rutgers University. Previously, she was Professor of Economics and International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. She has worked at the Ford Foundation as a program officer in the Asia Regional Program. She is currently on the Board of the Center for Constitutional Rights and was the Chair of the Board of the US Human Rights Network from 2008 to 2012. She is the co-editor with Diane Elson of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account (Zed Books, 2011). She is the author of Why MES with Human Rights: Integrating Macro Economic Strategies with Human Rights (Marymount Manhattan College, 2005). She edited The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy (Kumarian Press, 2001), co-edited Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions, with Patricia Jung and Mary Hunt (Rutgers University Press, 2000), and also authored numerous articles that have appeared in books and journals. Professor Balakrishnan’s work focuses on gender and development, gender and the global economy, human rights and economic and social rights. Her research and advocacy work has sought to change the lends through which macroeconomic policy is interpreted and critiqued by applying international human rights norms to assess macroeconomic policy.


 

Ejim Dike - Executive Director, United States Human Rights Network

Ejim Dike is Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network. Ms. Dike has worked on social policy issues for over fifteen years and in the domestic human rights arena for the past ten years. Her human rights work focuses on addressing poverty and discrimination using a human rights framework. Previously, she was Director of the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center. Under her leadership, the Human Rights Project launched an annual report card on the human rights record of New York City Council members; coordinated a shadow report on racial discrimination with 30 local groups for submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD); organized a New York  visit by the UN Special Expert on Racism; and developed a toolkit on and coordinated participation for social justice activists in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. She has been cited in articles appearing in Harper’s Magazine (by Naomi Klein), The Daily News, Gotham Gazette, and City Limits. Ejim has contributed to articles published by the Center for American Progress and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute. She has co-chaired the CERD Taskforce, a joint project of the US Human Rights Network and the Human Rights at Home Campaign. Ms. Dike worked for several years on programs aimed at increasing access to employment in low-income neighborhoods. She received her undergraduate degree from Berea College and a Masters of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

 

Carlos Garcia - Puente Arizona

M. Thandabantu Iverson - 

M. Thandabantu Iverson is a veteran human rights activist, having participated in various social movements within the United States, including the Civil Rights, Black Student, Black Power, African Liberation Support, Vietnam Anti-War, New Left, and Human Rights Movements

Thandabantu has served on boards for several movement organizations, including: the U.S. Human Rights Network (USHRN, Founding); the Calumet Project; the United Association for Labor Education (UALE); African American Policy Forum (AAPF); Men Stopping Violence, Inc. (MSV); and the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF).

In addition to his experiences in political and social movements, Thandabantu has also gained valuable experiences working in a number of U.S. occupations in different industries, including health and safety organizer on the International Staff of the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU); stage hand and decorator within the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE); coal miner and mine safety activist within the United Mine Workers of American (UMWA); auto worker within the United Auto Workers (UAW); steel worker within the United Steel Workers of America (USWA); furniture worker, shipyard worker, cook and butcher, elementary and middle school teacher, and assistant university professor.

Thandabantu received his doctorate from the Department of Political Science at Clark Atlanta University in 2007. His dissertation, “Serving in the Shadows: African-American Women Health Care Workers in Gary, Indiana, 1980-2000,” is an examination of workplace and union conditions and resistance strategies of African American women. His teaching and research have been primarily focused on understanding the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation in the fields of Feminist Theory, African-American Political Thought, Labor Studies, and Human Rights. Professor Iverson served as a faculty member in the Labor Studies Department of Indiana University from 1996-2014, Thandabantu retired from Indiana University as a Senior Lecturer in 2014.

Meena Jagannath, Esq. - Community Justice Project

Meena Jagannath, co-founder of the Community Justice Project, Inc., is a movement lawyer with an extensive background in international human rights.  Prior to coming to Miami, she worked for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where she coordinated the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project, which combined direct legal representation with advocacy and capacity building of grassroots women’s groups.  While using her legal skills to build the power of movements locally in South Florida, she has also been a part of delegations to the United Nations to elevate U.S.-based human rights issues like police accountability and gun violence to the international level.

Meena has published several articles in law journals and other media outlets.  She received her J.D from University of Washington Law School where she was a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar. She also holds a Master's degree in International Affairs (human rights) from Columbia University where she was a Foreign Language and Area Studies scholar, and a BA in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University.

Rebecca Landy - Outreach Director, United States Human Rights Network 

 

Rebecca is the Human Rights Outreach and Advocacy Manager at USHRN. Previously, she was the Human Rights Advocate for Friends of Conscience, an organization dedicated to advocating for the freedom of political prisoners in China. At the international human rights program of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) she helped in the submission of a complain to the International Criminal Court and UN Committee on the Right of the Child regarding sexual violence in the Catholic Church.

She was the Assistant Director for the Center for International Human Rights and the Ronald H. Brown Program, both at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she also served as an adjunct professor. Rebecca is a former High Court of Botswana Law Clerk and intern at the Research Unit of the South African Parliament and Global Rights’ US Program. She also worked at NetAid on raising greater awareness on girls’ access to education.

She is the outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council on American Students in International Negotiations (CASIN). She is a member of the New York Bar Association’s Sex and the Law Committee and is a member of Amnesty International’s Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group.

Rebecca graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was an Urban Morgan Human Rights Fellow and served as the Assistant Managing Editor of Human Rights Quarterly.

Thenjiwe McHarris - Campaign Director, United States Human Rights Network

Thenjiwe McHarris has spent her entire political and professional career challenging the injustices that imprison people and their communities in a life of poverty or behind bars. That commitment has led her to campaign on human rights issues in the United States and around the world. She honed her human rights campaign development and organizing skills at the Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund and Amnesty International USA. From working to prevent the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, to launching an economic and social rights campaign in South Africa, to helping lead high profile mobilizations around the country, she has become a highly skilled campaigner for social justice and human rights.

Thenjiwe began her political career calling for an end to policies and practices that contributed to acts of torture committed by law enforcement. She went on to help organize efforts that addressed the human rights violations that occurred during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2009, she joined Amnesty International where she worked on a number of campaigns including those that addressed the illicit and illegal trafficking of small arms, solitary confinement, capital punishment, excessive use of force by law enforcement, and poverty.

Thenjiwe has worked with a number of social justice organizations and movements in the US and is helping to establish a global activist collective for organizers engaged in movement building work around the world.

Max Ramaeu - Positive Action Center

Max Rameau is a Haitian born pan-African theorist, campaign strategist, organizer and author.

After moving to Miami, Florida in 1991, Max began organizing around a broad range of human rights issues impacting low-income Black communities, including Immigrant rights (particularly Haitian immigrants), economic justice, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, particularly for ex-felons and police abuse, among others.

As a result of the devastating impacts of gentrification taking root during the housing “boom” in the summer of 2006, Max helped found the organization which eventually became known as Take Back the Land, to address land issues in the Black community. In October 2006, Take Back the Land seized control of a vacant lot in the Liberty City section of Miami and built the Umoja Village, a full urban shantytown, addressing the issues of land, self-determination and homelessness in the Black community.

Sam Streed - Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center

Sam Streed is the Research and Policy Coordinator for the Human Rights Project (HRP) at the Urban Justice Center.  At HRP, he analyzes local policies and coordinates the New York City Council Human Rights Report Card, the Project’s annual assessment of the city’s progress in advancing human rights.  Sam also conducts trainings for groups and other organizations about using the Report Card model to make local government more transparent and accountable to human rights.
Sam has worked in the New York City nonprofit sector since 2002.   
Prior to joining the Human Rights Project, he worked as the Associate Director of Development at the Correctional Association of New York, a non-profit prison reform organization based in Harlem. In that capacity, he managed the organization’s institutional funder portfolio, worked with senior staff to plan and build research and advocacy initiatives, and supported communications efforts.  Sam has also held development and communications positions at the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment and AIDS Service Center NYC.