University Human Rights Network

From Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance
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Pittsburgh calls itself a human rights city, and the Human Rights City Alliance is working to close the gap between rhetoric and reality. The institutions where we work can play a role in helping us ensure that all residents of our region enjoy the rights promised them in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Universities play a critical role in:
  • Shaping conditions for all workers in our region--including regional minimum wages and working conditions;
  • Educating and informing students and the public;
  • Shaping public discourse;
  • Influencing public policies in a variety of areas that affect human rights, including transportation, the built environment, access to education and health care;
  • Defining health care options and services;
  • Shaping access to critical resources in our community.

As workers in Pittsburgh's institutions of higher learning, we are coming together to explore ways to make colleges and universities better leaders in the work of building a Human Rights City and County. Our institutions should reflect the city's Human Rights City aspirations. We can bring skills, resources, and creative thinking to support the work of human rights advocates and organizers in our region, and we can help young people and the general public better understand human rights and the work residents are doing to help realize their promise.

To join the Pittsburgh Area University Human Rights Network (low-volume) email list, go to:

All faculty, staff, and graduate students at universities and colleges in the Pittsburgh area are welcome to be part of this network!

2017- Current work
University of Pittsburgh Human Rights Working Group and Community Advisory Council

Past Collaborative University-Human Rights City Alliance Projects

Community Collaborations

  • Pitt faculty and graduate students helped organize a few programs for the Community Empowerment Association Saturday University. This network could help foster more communication and sharing between community residents and our city's universities.


  • Making the Global Local:Human Rights Cities Workshop June 22-23, 2015-University of Pittsburgh. Local organizers and scholars met with human rights leaders from around the country and around the world to compare experiences and learn about innovations in human rights cities. This network is continuing conversations to help bring the latest ideas about human rights to our city. Read the Conference Summary Report

Panels and Events

  • In honor of World Food Day-October, 2015-- the Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council hosted a panel to consider connections between human rights and food. The Right to Food: Local and Global Dimensions 4130 Posvar Hall. Speakers:Dawn Plummer, Director, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council;Jessica Powers, Director, WhyHunger's Nourish Network for the Right to Food; Saulo Araujo, Director, WhyHunger's Global Movements Program (this session will also be recorded and shared online). (More details at:
  • Monday October 12, 7:00 PM--Indigenous Peoples Day & Global-Local Struggles for Human Rights and Dignity