Feet on the Ground, Head Pointed to the Sun: Towards a Radical Human Rights Movement at Home

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Friday, the first full day of ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS 2015, begins with an opening plenary panel, Feet on the Ground, Head Pointed to the Sun: Towards a Radical Human Rights Movement at Home, that will set the stage for the rest of the conference. We are delighted and honored to announce the panelists for the session. The panel is sure to be full of bold vision, sharp strategy, and intersectional analysis for a people-centered human rights movement in the U.S. that radically shifts the relations of power towards dignity, safety, and liberation for all.

Did you forget to register to attend the conference before today? There is still time - the early bird registration deadline has been extended for a week - it will close next Friday!

Feet on the Ground, Head Pointed to the Sun: Towards a Radical Human Rights Movement at Home Panelists:

Erika Andiola is a former Congressional Staffer for Arizona Congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema and co-founder of the DRM Action Coalition. Erika started her community organizing experience when she co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. She then served in the National Coordinating Committee and the Board of Directors for the United We Dream Network. Her personal struggle as an undocumented woman herself, with an undocumented family, has given her the drive and the passion to keep fighting for immigrant rights.


Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership, and Professor, Women's and Gender StudiesRutgers 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), and author of Why MES with Human Rights: Integrating Macro Economic Strategies with Human Rights (Marymount Manhattan College, 2005). She has edited and co-edited several books and articles. Her work focuses on gender, development, the global economy, human rights and economic and social rights. Her research and advocacy work has sought to change the lens through which macroeconomic policy is interpreted and critiqued by applying international human rights norms to assess macroeconomic policy.

Makayla Gilliam-Price is a 17 year old Baltimore Activist. She founded the youth justice organization City Bloc. She also organizes with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a youth lead grassroots think tank which advances public policy and interest of black people in Baltimore. She is the 2015 recipient of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Certificate of Accomplishments and the Wired Up Community Hero Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Youth Leadership. Makayla is a senior at Baltimore City College High School in Baltimore, Maryland.


Isa Noyola was born in Houston, Texas and comes from culturally rich indigenous roots from Comitán, Chiapas and San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Isa identifies as a translatina, gender fluid, activist, two-spirit, queer, jota, pastor’s kid, muxerista, and cultural organizer. Isa is passionate about abolishing oppressive systems that criminalize trans & queer im/migrant communities of color. Her vision for thriving trans communities includes sharing wisdom through multi-racial and inter-generational spaces and amplifying lived experiences through art and culture. She currently works as the Director of Programs at the Transgender Law Center.


Dr. Keith Jennings is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the US Human Rights Network.  Dr. Jennings is the founder of the African American Human Rights Foundation, a national network of African Descendant human rights activists especially concerned with economic, social and cultural rights. Among many achievements, under Dr. Jennings’ leadership, the Foundation has sponsored the King Holiday Human Rights Prayer Breakfast for the past 10 years and sponsors an annual Human Rights Symposium at the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Jennings is a 2005 recipient of the Interfaith Alliance’s Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award and a 2006 recipient of the National Center for Human Rights Education, Human Rights Defenders Award.

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Dec 10, 2015 to Dec 13, 2015
Biannual National Conference in Austin, Texas!