Sep 22, 2015
6:30pm - 8:00pm    |    Lipton Hall, 110 West Third street, New York, NY 10012

Valid ID and RSVP required. RSVP here or email Audrey Watne

#Black Lives Matter was created by three Black women in 2013, as a call to action after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. It gained momentum in 2014, when protests erupted following the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent failure to indict the officer on any charges.  The mobilization against anti-Black racism and police violence was fueled by more deaths of Black people—men, women, and children, straight, queer, and trans—at the hands of police officers in 2014 and 2015, their names too numerous to mention here. Today, the Movement for Black Lives stands for more than a challenge to extrajudicial killings of Black people by the police; it stands for a challenge to the multiple ways in which Black people are deprived of fundamental human rights and dignity in the United States and around the world.

Building off of the Law for Black Lives conference held on July 31 and August 1, this panel brings together activists, lawyers, advocates, and scholars to examine racial inequality and racialized violence in the United States through the lens of human rights.  The panelists will discuss the role of human rights law, principles, discourse, and institutions in the Movement for Black Lives, examine the limitations of domestic legal advocacy as a tool for combating racial inequality, and explore in what ways the international human rights regime contributes to the struggle.

This event is part of a new initiative of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice on inequality, the global economy, and human rights. The aim of the multi-year program is to critically examine the role of international human rights law in regulating the global economy and countering its tendency to exacerbate inequalities.  By promoting discussions on how these inequalities manifest for different groups in society, the Center seeks to enhance understanding of the structural causes of deepening inequalities in the United States and around the world, and contribute to the development of strategies to promote equal enjoyment of human rights for all.

About the panelists

Steve Hawkins is the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. He previously worked as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and as an advocate for human rights at Atlantic Philanthropies.

Vince Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work. Prior to this tenure, he was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gay J. McDougall is the former UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues and is currently a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Meena Jagannath is a co-founder of the Community Justice Project in Miami. Until 2012, she worked for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux/Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (BAI-IJDH) where she coordinated the Rape Accountability and Prevention  Project.

Thenjiwe McHarris is a co-founder of BlackBird and was formerly the Human Rights at Home Campaign Director at the US Human Rights Network.

Nikki Reisch will introduce the speakers. Philip Alston will be moderating the panel.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights.

CHRGJ and the Bernstein Institute sincerely regret that this event is scheduled on Yom Kippur.  For those who cannot attend, the panel discussion will be recorded and the video posted online for later viewing.  We will circulate the recording widely as soon as it becomes available (see www.chrgj.org/announcements for more information).

Download the poster here.

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