2015 Biannual Conference Workshops

For workshop descriptions, download the PDF below!

Workshop Session I (Friday afternoon)

The Global Challenge for Migrants’ Human Rights

Presenters from: Priority Africa Network; Alianza Americas (formerly National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities); National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and more.

Neoliberalism and Reproductive Justice: The Economics of Reproduction

Presenters: Loretta Ross and Monica Simpson, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Education is a Human Right! Undocumented Students’ Struggles to Gain Equal Access to Higher Education

Presenters: Ashley Rivas-Triana, an undocumented student and activist living in Georgia; Ana Flores, an undocumented student at The University of Texas in Austin; Dr. Laura Emiko Soltis, a longtime social justice activist and human rights educator based in Atlanta and Executive Director of Freedom University; Azadeh Shahshahani, a human rights attorney and activist based in Atlanta and past President of the National Lawyers Guild.

HIV Activism, Social Justice and Human Rights

Presenters: Suraj Madoori, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance; Maxx Boykin, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Black Youth Project 100 (other possible presenters to be confirmed)

Combating Police Violence, Brutality and Militarization: Success Stories from Local and Transnational Organizing and Advocacy Efforts

Presenters: Nadia Ben-Youssef, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; Morgan Hargrave, WITNESS; Nahal Zamani, Center for Constitutional Rights; Ahmad Abuznaid, The Dream Defenders;  Meena Jagannath, Community Justice Project, Inc.; Thenjiwe McHarris

Nuestro Texas: Building an Intersectional Human Rights Campaign in the Rio Grande Valley

Presenters: Katrina Anderson (Moderator), Senior Human Rights Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights; Ana Rodriguez Defrates is Texas Latina Advocacy Network (TX LAN) State Policy and Advocacy Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Ruben Garza, Field Organizer, Texas Freedom Network; Rosa Sanluis Reyes, El Centro de Trabajadores Fuerza del Valle (Fuerza del Valle Workers Center)

Gentrification in East Austin

Presenters: Susana Almanza, People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources (PODER); Dr. Tane Ward, Equilibrio

H2O Justice: Effective Advocacy for our Right to Water

Presenters: Sandy Ha, Executive Director, Coastal Communities Consulting; May Nguyen, Community Outreach Director, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic; Duane Chili Yazzie, Shiprock Chapter, Navajo Nation; Kevin Murray, Executive Director, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law, Colin Bailey, Environmental Coalition for Water Justice

Workshop Session II (Saturday)

Migrants Deaths, the Disappeared, and the Missing: Border Policies and the Failure to Identify the Deceased and Disappeared

Presenters from: Migrant Rights Collective (Houston, TX); Texas Civil Rights Project (Houston, TX); South Texas Human Rights Center (Falfurrias, TX); Coalicion de Derechos Humanos (Tucson, AZ); National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (Oakland, CA)

Family Matters: A Conversation about our Human Right to Family and the Political and Social Justice Ramifications of a Narrative Shift

Presenters: Ricci J. Levy, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance and Justyn Ashley Hintze, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance

Strategies for Organizing & Advocacy for Marginalized Populations

Presenters: Julia Perez, MSEE - Associate Director of the film “The Harvest/La Cosecha”, Patricia Allard, JD – Senior Policy & Research Analyst, Justice Strategies, Stephanie S. Franklin, Esq. – Founder, President & CEO of the Franklin Law Group, P.C.   

Cents & Sensibility: Labor and Women's Worth

Presenters: Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership and the past Chair of the Board of the USHRN; Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership and the founder of the Dignity Index.

10 Years After “Hurricane America”: Learning From Human Rights Struggles in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Presenters: Willie "J.R." Fleming, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (moderator); Endesha Juakali, Survivors Village; Maureen Taylor, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; TBD

Deprivation of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Subtle but Corrosive Systemic Violence

Presenters: Eric Tars, Rob Robinson, June Lorenzo, Mary Gerisch and Joshua Cooper

Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights & Create Human Rights

Presenters: David Cobb, co-founder Move To Amend; George Friday, Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Shamako, co-founder of Hip Hop Congress; Egberto Willies, activist and author

Using the Inter American Human Rights System to Advance Human Rights in the United States

Presenter: O. Hilaire Sobers, Human Rights Specialist, Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Workshop Session III (Saturday)

Advancing Human Rights by Challenging Immigration Detention, Incarceration, and Prison Profiteering

Presenters (probable):  Cristina Parker and/or Bob Libal - Grassroots Leadership (Austin, TX); Mary Small - Detention Watch Network (Washington, DC); Azadeh Shahshahani - past president of the National Lawyers Guild/Georgia Detention Watch (Atlanta, GA); Hope Mustakim - advocate for detained individuals (Waco, TX); Judy Greene - Justice Strategies (New York, NY)

Acts of Love, Commitment, and Family Criminalized: How Immigrants, Border, and LGBTQ Communities are Marginalized and Penalized

Presenters: Melissa Hooper, Human Rights First; Myra Llerenas, Equality New Mexico; Vicki B. Cynthia Pompa, ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights

City by City: A Campaign to Advance Gender Equity at the Local Level

Presenters: Tara Yarlagadda is a Field Associate for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Lenka Belkova is a Policy Associate for Women’s Intercultural Network; Sam Streed is the Research and Policy Coordinator at the Urban Justice Center’s Human Rights Project

Building a Sex Worker Rights Movement: How Oppression Keeps Us Down

Presenters: Derek Demeri (New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance), Megan McLemore (Human Rights Watch), Janet Duran (New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance), Meylessa (Sex Workers Outreach Project - Austin), Ms Sassy Sherry (Sex Workers Outreach Project - San Antonio), Sharmus Outlaw (Best Practices Policy Project)

Defending Human Rights and Dignity During Pregnancy

Presenters: Farah Diaz-Tello, Senior Staff Attorney, National Advocates for Pregnant Women; (possible) Theresa Martinez, Justice Now

Guantánamo North or Terre Haute South?  Differential Justice Towards Muslims in U.S. Criminal Justice Systems

Presenters: Dr. Maha Hilal is the Deputy Executive Director of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms and completed her PhD dissertation on Muslim American responses to the War on Terror; Alka Pradhan is a civilian attorney detailed to represent Ammar al Baluchi (directly impacted), with  extensive experience in the international human rights arena, including representing indefinite detainees at Guantánamo Bay; Jihad Abdulmumit (directly impacted) is a community activist, motivational speaker, author and playwright who was a domestic political prisoner for 23 years.  He is the Chairperson of JERICHO.

Using Human Rights to Dismantle the School-To-Prison Pipeline and Build an Education-Centered Human Rights Movement

Presenters: Fernando Martinez, Dignity in School Campaign National Field Organizer; Cynthia Soohoo, Director, International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, City University of NY Law School; Zachery Williams, Associate Professor, University of Akron; VP for Programs, The National Institute for Restorative Justice; & possibly: Gina Womack, Executive Director, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children

From the Frontlines of Privatization: Sharing Strategies to Realize the Human Rights to Water and Housing

Presenters: Toussaint Losier, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (moderator); Maureen Taylor, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; TBD, Right to Housing Alliance; TBD, Los Angeles Anti-Eviction Campaign; TBD, Just Cause/Causa Justa

Related Information



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