National Human Rights Cities Alliance Workshop 2018, Washington DC

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Workshop on Human Rights Cities and Today’s Political Context Friday July 27, 2018, Washington DC, 9:00am-5:00pm University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law 4340 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, Room 505

This workshop convened human rights activists, scholars, and policy practitioners to consider lessons learned from a growing global “human rights cities” movement. Participants discussed global and national trends, opportunities, and challenges to “bringing human rights home” here in the United States. We also considered the question of whether and how human rights advocacy might be strengthened through the efforts of the National Human Rights Cities Alliance, which grew from previous such convenings in the Human Rights Cities of Pittsburgh and Washington DC. This is a space for sustained dialogue to promote understanding of human rights cities/communities and to advance ideas and models for local human rights practice. Particular attention is paid to disparities in race, class, gender, and environmental health, and we will explore how people-centered human rights cities can help to addresses these structural injustices. Lessons from the workshop will shape the ongoing work of the National Human Rights Cities Alliance and its support for local human rights organizers and movements providing leadership and advocacy to secure, protect, and promote human rights for all people.

Lessons Learned Human Rights Cities Workshop 2018, by Frederique Hanotier
Draft summary notes and links to Human Rights City Resources, J.Smith

Please tweet the forum at

  • #HumanRightsCities
  • #BringHumanRightsHome


*9:30AM-10:45AM The Global Movement of Human Rights Cities

  • This panel provides an overview of the emerging global human rights cities movement. It offers perspectives from different world regions and insights into how UN human rights institutions can be resources for local human rights enforcers.

*11:00AM-12:15PM Human Rights Cities in the United States: Background & Highlights/Lessons

  • This panel shares accounts from several human rights cities, offering perspectives on different models of human rights cities and projects that help build local human rights coalitions.

1:30PM-2:45PM Human Rights Cities Models and Campaigns

  • Continuing themes from the preceding panel, this session lifts up key struggles common to all cities and reflects on possibilities for mobilizing local human rights cities around alternative models for community emerging from various national and international campaigns.

3:00PM-4:15PM Today’s Challenges: Trumpism, Corporate Power and Local Resistance

  • Why Cities? What possibilities exist for using human rights frameworks to mobilize resistance to right-wing populism? Drawing from recent struggles around the rights of immigrant residents and to resist corporate-led local development such as that seen in cities vying to host Amazon’s 2nd headquarters, panelists reflect on the lessons and strategies needed to defend human rights amid current challenges.

4:15PM-5:00PM Concluding Dialogue

  • Participants will engage in dialogue and Q&A around ideas that emerge in the workshop, including the following possible themes:
    • Lessons from Human Rights Cities—Key models and initiatives
    • Identifying critical needs for US human rights advocates
    • Expanding international alliances and strategic use of international mechanisms