USHRN Biannual Conference Workshops and Panels Saturday Session 2

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We are excited to announce the workshop and panel sessions for the Biannual Conference.  The sessions cover a wide range of issue areas, highlighting critical human rights struggles and victories on-going across the United States. Sessions will introduce participants to frontline, cutting edge work that communities around the country are engaged in to promote human rights for all.

 

 

The workshops and panels for the Saturday, December 7, 3:00pm - 4:30pm session include the following:

 

Organizing to End "National Security" and Profiling as a Tool of Social Control

Session Summary
The workshop will present a brief history of national security policies here in the United States, as well as the emergence of similar policies in other regions. The workshop will present stories of how communities have been impacted, the intersections with work on immigration, mass incarceration, and surveillance, and highlight organizing efforts and opportunities to end such policies. Speakers will include human rights activists and directly affected community members. Expected outcomes will be heightened awareness about challenges faced by Muslim, migrant, and workers communities as well as successful strategies to resist state repression.

Presenters
Monami Maulik, Founder/Executive Director, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
Azadeh Shahshahani, National Security/Immigrants' Rights Project Director ACLU of Georgia and President of the National Lawyers Guild
Fahd Ahmed, Legal and Policy Director, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)

Location: Camelilia
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Facing Deportation: Domestic and International Human Rights Advocacy in the U.S. and Latin America

Session Summary
This session will address advocacy efforts both domestically and before international human rights bodies, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations, as well as the human rights implications of immigrants’ experience pending deportation and the adversity they face within immigration systems throughout the Americas. Panelists will also address the efforts of U.S., Latin American, and Caribbean civil society groups to halt deportations, with a particular focus on deportations to post-earthquake Haiti in light of the humanitarian crisis and particularly the horrific detention conditions in Haiti.  Panelists will also invite conversation about how human rights advocacy efforts on behalf of Haitians might create opportunities to advocate for alternatives to deportation for other immigrant groups.

Presenters
Carrie Bettinger-López, Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law
Marleine Bastien, Founder and Executive Director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (FANM)/Haitian Women of Miami
Sunita Patel, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Rose Dominguez, Paralegal with the Human Rights and Immigration Clinics at the University of Miami School of Law
Katherine Caldwell, Lawyering Process Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Kelleen Corrigan, Practitioner-in-Residence/Lecturer and Supervising Attorney at the University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic

Location: Dunwoody A
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Affected Communities Driving Criminal/Juvenile Justice Reform

Session Summary
This workshop will be interactive and begin with panelists briefly framing their work within local, regional and/or nationwide community driven criminal/juvenile justice reform.  Interactive dialogue will address some of the following questions: What is community driven criminal/juvenile justice reform? What does it mean to be “family-driven?” What works and what are some of the barriers? How do we make change/transformation and be “truth-tellers” at the same time (being direct and not tip-toeing around issues for incremental change)? What is the most effective way to mobilize and organize around these issues and not work within silos (i.e. not being single-issue groups)?  The workshop will conclude with a strong “action/next-steps” piece specifically on maintaining and strengthening supportive networks of action, resources and wisdom.

Presenters
Steven Renderos, National Organizer, Center for Media Justice
Khalilah Brown-Dean, Political Science Professor, Quinnipiac University
Lex Steppling, National Organizer, Equal Justice USA
Jed Oppenheim, Senior Advocate, Southern Poverty Law Center

Location: Maplewood A
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Working at the Bottom:  Invisible Workers in the Shadows of the United States' Sub-Minimum Wages

Session Summary
This workshop will introduce participants to human rights violations that are rampant across the U.S. among workers.  Presenters will discuss their experiences organizing and advocating with disabled workers in Wisconsin and restaurant workers in New York and Florida.  Presenters will discuss and facilitate group dialogue about the impact of subminimum wages, occupational segregation and discrimination, union busting and powerful lobbying interests that have kept these unsustainable and inhumane policies legal and widespread. Links will be made between the worker rights, disability rights and food justice movements, in order to introduce participants to a holistic vision of health, workplace justice, environmental sustainability, economic justice and human rights.  Participants will leave the session with specific actions they can take to improve the wages and working conditions of the most marginalized workers in the U.S.

Presenters
Patricia Williams, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Wisconsin
Hnin W. Hnin, National High Road Coordinator, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
RJ Thompson, Miami High Road Coordinator, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Location: Azalea A
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From Our Shores to Yours: The Impacts of US Militarism at Home and Abroad

Session Summary
This presentation will combine the work of several interests concerned with the social, cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of US Militarism. The work of the New South Network of War Resisters chronicles the expansion of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) across the Southeast U.S, depicting the scope of the MIC’s social, economic, racial and cultural injustices & accommodations thrust upon Southern communities in the name of War and National Sacrifice. The combined interests of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers’  Guild, and Iraq Veterans Against War synthesizes the legacy of U.S. militarism abroad and particularly highlights how communities most affected by the intentional bombing, chemical warfare, and attacks by the U.S. military are seeking to hold the US government accountable for egregious human rights violations. This panel explores how  U.S. based allies have been engaged to re-ignite outrage over the preemptive military destruction of communities and countries, highlighting organizing tactics, transnational solidarity work and international human rights principles that have shaped these struggles. 

Presenters
Maggie Martin, Organizing Director, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Clare Hanrahan, Organizer, New South Network of War Resisters
Coleman Smith, Organizer, New South Network of War Resisters

Location: Conference Center
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Stepping Up an Accountability Agenda: How to Make the Human Rights System Work for You

Session Summary
This session will share key information on how to promote a human rights agenda that the government can be held accountable for in the United States. The session will feature speakers who have worked effectively with human rights mechanisms - the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Convention Against Torture and all forms of Cruel and Degrading Treatment (CAT), and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) - to promote human rights accountability and concrete wins at home. The session will also discuss a strategy for strengthening domestic structures at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure accountability to human rights obligations as advanced by the Human Rights at Home (HuRAH) Campaign. 

Presenters
Jamil Dakwar, Director, Human Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Nasrina Bargzie, National Security and Civil Rights Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
Antonio Ginatta, Advocacy Director U.S. Programs, Human Rights Watch
Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Joshua Cooper, Director, Four Freedoms Forum

Location: Azalea B
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Human Rights and Trafficking in the United States

Session Summary
This panel will provide an overview on human rights and trafficking in the United States, with a specific focus on legal standards applicable/sex trafficking/labor trafficking/pitfalls to implementation of protections for victims of trafficking.  The session will be useful to activists, lawyers, educators and anyone who wants to learn more about these important issues.

Presenters
Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, Human Rights Program, American Civil Liberties Union
Sunny Slaughter, Criminal Consultant/SME/Instructor, NAACP
Cindy Soohoo, Director, International Women's Human Rights Clinic at CUNY Law School
Dan Werner, Supervising Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center

Location: Dunwoody A
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Charter School Expansion and the Right to Education

Session Summary
This session will involve a short, multi-media presentation of Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy (PHRGE)'s perspective on the contradictory relationship between the national trend toward charter school expansion and efforts to advance the right to education for all students. The presentation will seek to engage participants--hopefully including teachers, students, parents and others with a stake in the public education system--in a discussion of issues including: (1) Complex experiences of communities of color with charter schools; (2) Record of charter schools serving English Language Learners and Special Needs students; (3) Corporate involvement in the charter school movement; and (4) Charter schools and teachers' unions. The session will make a special effort to provide a forum for exchange of experiences and deepening of connections among people working on these issues in different areas of the country.

Presenter
Kevin Murray, Executive Director, Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy at Northeastern Law

Location: Gardenia
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Using Culture to Bring Human Rights Home

Session Summary
Breakthrough, Urban Justice Center’s Human Rights Project and Fuel | We Power Change will lead a workshop on using creative tools + techniques to frame human rights issues in accessible and inspiring ways. The workshop will provide a historic overview of how the arts and social change have intersected, lead participants through contemporary case studies and demonstrate strategies for harnessing the power of media, art and community mobilization to create agents of social change. In the second part of the workshop, participants will be divided up into groups of 2-3 and asked to develop and present their own ideas for using media/art /culture to inspire people to support human rights and take action for change. Panelists will give the participants feedback on their ideas and encourage them to form alliances and partnerships that could enable the ideas to become a reality in the near future.

Presenters
Bridgit Antoinette Evans, President and Founder, Fuel Change
Shani Jamila, Director, Urban Justice Center’s Human Rights Project

Location: Dunwoody B
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From the Local to the Global: How Local Activists Have Used International Human Rights

Session Summary
This session will provide information on how local groups in the U.S. have utilized the collective work of legal professionals, academic institutions, and grassroots groups to elevate human rights in their institutions, communities, local government, and their field. Presentations will cover such topics as ethnic cleansing in New Orleans post –Katrina; torture in Chicago and how utilizing human rights started the process of justice for victims; how grassroots groups have begun to enforce the human right to housing in Chicago and beyond; how youth are demanding a human right to healthcare to save lives and are fighting for trauma centers in violent communities; and, how universities are answering the call for the community to get involved.

Presenters
Endesha Juakali, Survivors Village
Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Mechanism
Susan Gzesh, University of Chicago Human Rights Program
Stan Willis, National Conference of Black Lawyers and Black People Against Police Torture
Willie “JR” Fleming, Chicago Anti Eviction Campaign/Chicago Independent Human Rights Council
Veronica Morris Moore, Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) - STOP

Location: Dunwoody C

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