Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance

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Pittsburgh Human Rights City AllianceDignity & Justice for All of us"Human rights don't trickle down...they RISE UP!"

Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance works to bring together diverse groups and individuals to help envision and realize a city that maximizes human rights and dignity for all people who live in our region. We work with local struggles to implement people-centered human rights in Pittsburgh.
About the Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance



  • Wednesday February 20, 6-8PM People’s Budgeting:A Tool for Transforming our Region?, Biddle’s Escape Cafe 401 Biddle Ave. Wilkinsburg. Learn about how people around the world are working to prioritize human and community needs through participatory or human rights budgeting processes. Learn how to get involved in local efforts to implement this tool in our region. See:Human Rights Budgeting Resource Page
  • Thursday February 21 4:00PM (2432 Posvar Hall) Globalized Authoritarianism and Its Effects: Regimes, Refugees, & Resistance Panel Presentation and Q&A featuring: Sidney Tarrow, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, and Jackie Smith, Professor of Sociology at Pitt. Panelists will offer insights on contemporary political polarization and its relationship to broader social and political processes. This event is part of the Pitt Human Rights Working Group’s “Human Rights in Pittsburgh and the World” Speaker Series.
  • Ferguson Voices Exhibit Month of February, Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh. Opening Reception Fri. Feb. 1, 3-5PM, Thornburgh Room. Images and stories from Ferguson's struggles against police violence are considered in a global context, forcing us to confront troubling issues such as colonialism, genocide, and white privilege. Related events are scheduled throughout the month See Schedule.
  • Saturday March 2, 2019, 1:30-3:30PM Movement-building for a Just and Livable City for All ---Building on lessons from prior work of diverse groups to promote affordable housing, resist displacement of residents, and advance human rights in our region, this convening explores how can we move from reacting to threats towards promoting transformative change in our city. What opportunities and resources are available for advancing work for human rights and social justice? How can all residents join in this effort to make our neighborhoods and our region a place of dignity and justice for everyone? Human Services Building, 1 Smithfield St. Downtown PGH, Homestead Grays Room.
  • Tuesday March 19, 6:30PM-8:30PM “Economic Human Rights: It’s Time for a New Social Contract!” Cathy Albisa is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. [Pitt Community Engagement Center Homewood https://cec.pitt.edu/homewood/], 622 N Homewood Ave. Enjoy a light meal and learn about this exciting national initiative to change our national conversation and center human rights and people's basic needs! Cathy Albisa is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. She is committed to a community-centered and participatory human rights approach that is locally anchored, but universal and global in its vision. She has a background in constitutional and human rights and significant expertise in reproductive justice, corporate accountability, and economic and social rights.

Monday March 25 is International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • Thursday April 4 12:00 Noon “The Human Right to Water: Threats from Privatization in Pittsburgh and the World 4130 Posvar Hall. Emanuele Lobina, Department of International Business and Economics, University of Greenwich, and Public Services International; Discussion by activists in Pittsburgh’s Our Water Campaign who attend the recent Summit on the Human Right to Water in Lagos, Nigeria.

Other meetings

Forged for All? the Amazon HQ2 Debate & the Future of Pittsburgh

Learn more about how Amazon's bid to move to Pittsburgh would affect human rights here. Resources, data, and recordings of community forums.

Housing Justice

  • Housing Summit 2018 Area organizations are working together to build a broad alliance for affordable housing in our region. Mark your calendars for our November 10, 2018 Housing Summit, and watch for a series of events and activities aimed to develop new strategies for addressing Pittsburgh's housing crisis.
  • Housing is a Human Right: Slideshow on international treaties and opportunities to promote the human right to housing

Take Action:

Regularly scheduled meetings/ Local Human Rights Groups

Alerts & Updates

  • Campaign to Stop Plan to Increase Policing on Public Transit-- This campaign led by the Alliance for Police Accountability, Casa San Jose, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, and the Thomas Merton Center warns that the Port Authority's planned fare enforcement policy will unfairly impact communities of color, increase the problematic trend of criminalizing young people, and threaten immigrant residents.The campaign is calling for civilian fare enforcers rather than armed Port Authority Police and a citation process rather than a criminal process to deal with fare evasion (See FAQs for more information). Community organizations and individuals are asked to write letters to the Port Authority in support of this campaign (see sample letter).
  • PIttsburgh Public Schools Passes Sanctuary Resolution
  • Pittsburgh becomes 6th US City for CEDAW A broad coalition of human rights advocates helped advance a new ordinance enacting the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in our City, December 6, 2016. Stay involved in the work to carry out this commitment to better address needs of women and girls, families and communities in our city! www.pgh4cedaw.org

University-Based Projects

  • Pittsburgh area university faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited to join the University Human Rights Network. We invite volunteers from different campuses to help support work on your campus and coordinate with other campuses.
  • Pitt Human Rights Initiative
  • Campus worker organizing: Pitt faculty, graduate student workers, and other workers are organizing for their rights and to support and protect the right to education. Keep informed about the campaign on their website and Facebook page

How to get involved

Please get in touch if you're interested in some of these ongoing projects or in efforts to follow-up some of these past initiatives. We are an all-volunteer group and are working to create spaces for residents to work together to envision and build a different kind of city and region. pghrights [at] riseup [dot] net.

NEW Research on Pittsburgh and Human Rights Organizing:
Responding to Globalization and Urban Conflict: Human Rights City Initiatives Studies in Social Justice

Dangerous Times: Defending Human Rights
Values are fragile. Because the values of human rights depend foremost on the ability to empathize with others”to recognize the importance of treating others the way we would want to be treated ”they are especially vulnerable to the demagogue's exclusionary appeal. A society's culture of respect for human rights needs regular tending, lest the fears of the moment sweep away the wisdom that built democratic rule. Human Rights Watch "World Report 2017: Demagogues Threaten Human Rights-Trump, European Populists Foster Bigotry, Discrimination."

Defend Pittsburghers' Right to Stay in their City! Housing Justice
**Affordable Housing Initiative:** **Pittsburgh Housing Summit** (Resources and links to recordings of plenary sessions) "Don't evict Pittsburgh!" Housing is a human right! The essence of our city is people and communities--not buildings, businesses, and tourist attractions.Homes for All Pittsburgh

*The Human Rights City Alliance works to promote and support activities of all human rights advocates around the region. Please contact us about relevant events/activities to share: pghrigts [at] riseup.net .

About the Human Rights City Alliance

How to Get Involved


Link to more resources--toolkits, reports, and organizations supporting local human rights work

People-Centered Human Rights: Analyses from Around the Nation and World

OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute-Human Rights in Pittsburgh and Beyond, Resource Page

Past events

World Food Day 2015: Watch video recording of October 2015 panel on the Right to Food
International Workers Day March for Immigrant Rights 2016 Statement of Unity and Solidarity

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Website: pghrights.org Facebook: pghrights

e-mail: pghrights [at] riseup.net

Universal Declaration of Human Rights booklet with Pittsburgh's Human Rights City Proclamation

YWCA Pledge Stand against racism

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