About the Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance

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About Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance

Organizers and activists in Pittsburgh are part of a global movement of activists in cities around the world working to bring diverse groups together to raise consciousness and change policies in ways that center the needs and dignity of all people in our region. We invite individuals and groups to join our work to envision what it means to be a "human rights city" and to build our collective power to realize that vision. Together, we will press the mayor and other public officials to make good on the promises our City Council made in 2011 to make Pittsburgh a Human Rights City (Click here to see the Proclamation). Allegheny County also passed a Human Rights County measure, and we will work to make sure this is implemented in policies throughout the region. This will require residents' involvement to monitor human rights practices and to press for changes where they are needed.

We are not seeking to build yet another human rights-oriented group in Pittsburgh. Rather, this is a loose alliance of folks working together to move our city in a direction that maximizes the well-being of all residents and our communities. We help unite residents in support of the human rights work happening around our city and region and to build connections with national and global human rights movements.


The Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance is a founding member of the National Human Rights Cities Alliance, which is a network coming together under the auspices of the US Human Rights Network. The national network has developed a [:File:Draft_Human_Rights_City_Principles_2017.pdf| draft statement of principles] which will be discussed in upcoming national and regional gatherings of human rights organizers.

Organizing Principles: The Jemez Principles for democratic organizing provide excellent guidance for our work building new relationships from our neighborhood to national and global work. We are working to help share and integrate these into the work in our region.

Human Rights don't "trickle down" They RISE UP!

What do we want? Policymakers that put people over profits! We want a People-Centered Human Rights that guarantees human rights for all people and that engages people in the process of developing policies and programs that will achieve real human rights. This requires real changes in our political strategies. For too long, human rights have been treated as a by-product of pro-growth policies. Policymakers have prioritized the voices of businesses, assuming that when they succeed human rights will automatically improve. We see all around us that this is not the case. If we truly value human rights, we need policies that make achieving these rights top priority. (See Frequently Asked Questions for more details)

Our Work

The Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance is represented on the National Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee

Past events

We welcome input on this draft. Please send suggestions/comments to pghrights [at] riseup.net

  • Indigenous Peoples Day in Pittsburgh On Tuesday December 2, 2014 Pittsburgh City Council adopted a non-binding Will of Council signaling support of Council members for Indigenous Peoples Day. We will be establishing a task force to work on implementing this measure, including doing public consciousness-raising and work to draft a formal, binding Resolution. Contact pghrights [at] riseup.net to get involved.
  • Help create Pittsburgh's Shadow Report for the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) contact us at pghrights [at] riseup.net

Pittsburgh edition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Booklet format--PDF)


Annual Reports


Publications Responding to Globalization and Urban Conflict: Human Rights City Initiatives Studies in Social Justice, by Jackie Smith (Published in March 2018)

Steering Committee