Call for Proposals: Advancing Human Rights 2015

Deadline for Submission Extended to June 12, 2015, 8:00pm EST

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is excited to announce its 6th biannual national conference Advancing Human Rights 2015 and to open its call for proposals. This year’s theme is Sharpening our Vision, Reclaiming our Dreams. This year’s theme reflects the deep need to re-center an economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) agenda as a key component of our movement work. Building off of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Poor People’s Campaign and his understanding that an end to racial oppression requires addressing poverty and all human rights, we seek to re-affirm and elevate the link between inequality, violence, and the criminalization of black, brown, indigenous peoples groups, as well as economically and politically marginalized groups. Effective human rights movement building demands an intersectional approach in which equal attention is given to the role and impact of race, gender and gender identity, economic and social class, sexuality, disability, age, immigration status and other dimensions of our lives. To that end, we welcome proposals that cover the full range of human rights relevant to the United States.

Please fill out and submit this form online by 8:00pm EST, June 12, 2015. The form will no longer be available after that date and time! Proposals will not be considered that are submitted after that date and time.

Before you fill out the forms:

  • Please decide whether you are submitting a proposal for a workshop OR a marginalized/emerging issue presentation. You may submit for both but this is not encouraged.
  • Please read questions carefully. You can download pdf to review all questions before beginning the application.
  • Please identify and speak to potential workshop collaborators before you fill out the form.
  • Please do not wait until the last minute to fill out the form. 

We encourage you to review the resource Framing Questions on Intersectionality in preparation for your proposal submission.

We seek proposals for capacity and skills building workshops OR marginalized/emerging issue presentations addressing the broad range of human rights concerns in the United States.

We encourage members and partners to collaborate on proposal submissions. 

Note: We plan to videotape and circulate via email all conference sessions. Time allotments will need to be adhered to strictly to allow for flow and to accommodate as many presentations as possible.

The US Human Rights Network coordinating center staff will soon be in touch with those who submitted a proposal.  Please direct any questions to

(e.g., criminalization, violence, economic rights, poverty, voting, access to clean water, sacred sites, housing, healthcare, solitary confinement, education, mass incarceration, self-determination/sovereignty, political prisoners, reproductive freedom, equal pay and decent work, family unification)
Highlight presenter experience in this issue area; Identify if presenter is directly impacted by this issue area.
Workshops are envisioned as opportunities to strengthen the knowledge base of participants on a human rights issue and/or build the capacity and skills of participants in human rights movement building. All workshops are expected to include both a learning and an application component. Please read carefully as a limited number of workshops will be selected based on the following priorities: 1) In order to be considered for a workshop proposal, you must fill out the following online form by the deadline, May 29, 2015; 2) Only workshops that include both a learning and application component will be considered. Workshops must have an interactive component for the session. For example, a workshop could include a presentation, panel discussion PLUS a group activity or facilitated group discussion; 3) All workshops are expected to address the intersecting impact of at least two of the following: race, class, gender, gender identity, and sexuality. The attached Framing Questions on Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality is provided as a resource; 4) Priority will be given to workshops that: lift up the connections between criminalization, violence and poverty; include and highlight the work of groups and communities most directly impacted by the issues or violations addressed; include at least the intersection of race and gender/gender identity. Other key factors to consider in designing workshops include: considering the role of corporate actors in perpetuating human rights abuse and hindering solutions, drawing attention to the role of the government in contributing to the abuses experienced and the responsibility of government to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and remedy violations, and utilizing the arts as a medium for advancing human rights concerns. Workshop and panel presentations will be 1 ½ hour break-out sessions. It is expected that these will relay pertinent and pressing human rights information on the issue area; there will be significant opportunity for audience interaction and engagement; and participants will leave with a post-session action item/next step.
What opportunities will exist for audience participation? How will "on-the-ground" experiences and realities be shared in the session?
Marginalized and Emerging Issues presentations will be made to the full conference and be no longer than 8 minutes, with no Q&A. It is anticipated that these sessions will inform participants about human rights issues that impact the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in the U.S. and/or are “emerging” or evolving rights concerns in the U.S., and that receive little to no attention. There will be opportunity in the conference agenda for conference participants interested in the emerging issue areas to meet and engage with presenters. Please read carefully as a limited number of marginalized and emerging issue presentations will be selected based on the following priorities: 1) In order to be considered for a marginalized or emerging issue presentation, you must fill out the following online form by the deadline, May 29, 2015; 2) Only presentations that address human rights issues that are marginalized, impact the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in the U.S. and/or are “emerging” or evolving rights concerns in the U.S., and that receive little to no attention will be considered; 3) Priority will be given to proposals that feature speaker who is directly impacted by the issue being discussed, or who works directly with impacted communities; 4) Applicants must accept to abide by our proposed preparation timeline in order to be accepted.
Thank you for your application.
USHRN staff will be in touch 3-4 weeks after your submission if they have questions or need additional information regarding your proposal.
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