USHRN Biannual Conference Workshops and Panels Sunday Session

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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 Sunday, December 8, 11:00am - 12:30pm session include the following:

 

Coming to America:  Stories of Diverse African Migrants Seeking Justice and Integration through the American Immigration System

Session Summary
This workshop will uncover common stories of migration through the socio-political and economic reasons that necessitated them.  We will address tensions faced by various groups in process of navigating the American immigration system and suggest solutions that will make this experience beneficiary to both immigrants and citizens. Some of the anticipated outcomes are an increased understanding of history and the drivers of immigration, a sharpened political analysis of the current debate on immigration reform, and an increased commitment and activity by those who engage the workshop. 

Presenters
John Adewoye, Courage Nigeria: Serving the needs of African LGBTI immigrants
Terence Courtney, Black Alliance for Justice Immigration

Location: Camelilia
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Promoting Children's Human Rights in the Justice System 

Session Summary
The workshop will provide an overview of the causes and consequences of the criminalization and incarceration of youth in the U.S. and discuss relevant human rights standards. The session will address the disproportionate criminalization of poor youth and youth of color and consider how sex, gender identity and sexual orientation create unique risks of rights violation.  Participants will gain a better understanding of the policies and practices that lead to the adultification, imprisonment and human rights violations of youth in conflict with the law in the U.S. and the potential for advocacy at the U.N. and Inter-American human rights system.

Presenters
Deborah LaBelle, Director Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative, American Civil Liberties Union, Michigan
Cindy Soohoo, Director, International Women's Human Rights Clinic at CUNY Law School

Location: Maplewood A
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Applying a Human Rights Perspective to Macroeconomic Policy

Session Summary
An understanding of the overall impact of macroeconomic policy on human rights can be an effective tool in feminist and social justice activism. As feminists advocating for the full realization of human rights and the achievement of gender equality, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) believes that to fully comprehend systemic issues of inequality one must have in-depth knowledge of the impact of economic policies. At this workshop, U.S. based activists will gain a better understanding of macroeconomic policies and the ways in which it relates to human rights.

Presenter
Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership
James Heintz, Associate Director and Associate Research Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Location: Maplewood B
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U.S. Toxics Policy & Community Health: Holding U.S. Based Corporations Accountable to Human Rights

Session Summary
The legally-permitted production, storage, and export of banned toxic pesticides by the U.S. demonstrate the failure of federal laws to ensure corporate responsibility, environmental justice and protection of human rights.  The lack of accountability by corporations and States results in devastating health impacts. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to this pressing human rights issue; learn what communities are doing to stop these abuses; and be introduced to relevant United Nations mechanisms that can be utilized to protect environmental rights.

Presenters
Andrea Carmen, Yaqui Indian Nation, Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council
Monique Harden, Co-Executive Director, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

Location: Conference Center
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Using Human Rights Framing and Strategies to Advance Reproductive Justice in the U.S.

Session Summary
This workshop will provide an introduction to the reproductive justice movement, describing its historical roots in human rights and relationship to other social justice movements. Presenters will share two case studies showing how human rights strategies and frameworks can be used to further reproductive justice in the United States, including a campaign to draw attention to lack of affordable reproductive health care for Latinas in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and an analysis of the unintended consequences of health care reform for certain communities. The workshop will draw on the experience of all participants to explore intersections between reproductive justice and other sectors of the U.S. human rights movement. 

Presenters
Katrina Anderson, Human Rights Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights
Lucy Felix, Coordinator of the Texas Latina Advocacy Network, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Malika Redmond, Executive Director, SPARK
Tonya Williams, Member of Board of Directors, SPARK
Heidi Williamson, Member of Board of Directors, SPARK

Location: Dunwoody A
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The Obama Administration and Human Rights Violations in the U.S.

Session Summary
This round table will bring together several U.S. based human rights defenders who will
outline a number of major human rights challenges in the U.S. that occurred in 2013,
including issues related to health disparities, inequality, and political participation. The
panelist will debate the issues and make critical assessments of the administration’s
responses to the outlined abuses.

Presenters
Jamil Dakwar, Director, Human Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Dázon Dixon Diallo, Executive Director, SisterLove
Dr. Keith Jennings, President, African American Human Rights Foundation (Moderator)
Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Martin Luther King III, US Human Rights Network Board Member
Senator Bobby Singleton, Chair, the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus

Location: Azalea B
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Humanizing Homelessness: A Human Rights Approach to Homelessness

Session Summary
In 2012, the Dept. of Justice condemned criminalization of homelessness as a human rights treaty violation – a first for a domestic agency. While some victories have been achieved housing advocates are increasingly under attack themselves, much more remains to be done to achieve the human right to housing. Participants will learn both about the human rights involved, as well as the strategies, including use of international mechanisms, used to address them.

Presenter
Eric Tars, Director Human Rights and Children's Rights Programs, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Rob Robinson, Take Back the Land
Anita Beaty, Metro-Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless
Ken Neubeck, Eugene Human Rights Commission

Location: Dunwoody B
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Immigration Policies Impacts in the South and on the Southern Border

Session Summary  

This session will look at the impact of local and federal laws and the consequences deportations and family separation has had in local communities, with focus on the experiences of the immigrant Latino community in Georgia and Indigenous peoples affected along the Arizona borders.  The session will explore the history of immigrant communities in the U.S., the current situation of the “border wall” and the militarization of the Southern border, as well as racial profiling and on-going racist immigration policies.  The impact of U.S. trade agreements such as NAFTA will also be addressed. The current conversation surrounding immigrant rights and immigrant legislation will be discussed to get insight into national and local strategies and actions to achieve justice and equality for immigrant and Indigenous communities. The importance of community organizing and actions such as marches and rallies will also be discussed.

Presenters
Michelle Morales, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Jose Matus, Director, Indigenous Alliance without Borders
Tupac Enrique Acosta, Founder and Coordinator, TONATIERRA

Location: Dunwoody C

 

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