human rights

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What If You Were An Immigrant?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi1TjE13S3s In this moving TEDxPortland Talk, Ben discusses what it means to be an immigrant and the importance around policy and awareness of who we are letting in and why. Ben Huh is the founder and CEO of the Cheezburger Network. He’s been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowd sourcing and mainstreaming Internet memes. His media company includes more than 50 online humor sites, receives 400 million page views monthly, has spawned two New York Times Best Sellers and inspired a TV series. He’s a cofounder of Circa, an online journalism start-up reimagining the way we consume news. Huh holds a BSJ from Northwestern University and lives in Seattle with his wife, Emily.

Michigan’s Water Wars: Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays for Poisoned Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCl-3WwkJgg&t=223s As Flint residents are forced to drink, cook with and even bathe in bottled water, while still paying some of the highest water bills in the county for their poisoned water, we turn to a little-known story about the bottled water industry in Michigan. In 2001 and 2002, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued permits to Nestlé, the largest water bottling company in the world, to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan. This sparked a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and the residents of Mecosta County, Michigan, where Nestlé’s wells are located. One of the most surprising things about this story is that, in Mecosta County, Nestlé is not required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of leases to a private landowner. In fact, the company…

The Urgent Need for Reconciliation in the United States | Bryan Stevenson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNzEb77diyI Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the Memorial to Peace and Justice relates America’s history of racial terror and lynching. In this powerful, off-the-cuff conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, Bryan Stevenson shares why he hopes the memorial will be a tool to help heal a nation riven by centuries of racial injustice. (Note, Bryan spoke at the end of the TED Talk by architect Michael Murphy, designer of the memorial.)

Anticipating a Crush: In Prison, Tactical Teams Declare Uneven War

By Phil Hartsfield | co-published by Praxis Center and Truthout

About 7:45 am on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, I muster the energy to get out of bed and walk the step to the sink from the bottom bunk and I hear it. Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. “Shit!” I say to myself as my cellmate and I look at each other wide-eyed. We know that sound anywhere. That’s three-foot-long, two-inch diameter solid wood batons hitting the steel bars as “Orange Crush” runs down the gallery clunking every bar along the way as they yell. Though it’s not our cell house, it’s E House right behind us. We’re able to hear them through the utility alley that the cell houses share behind the cells. They’re making their rounds due to an unauthorized pair of headphones found during a cell search in another cell house.

The Tea Project Fasts, Reflects and Imagines

By Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes

Course One: Sweet Hot Tea

In a recent conversation with one of his lawyers, Mohamedou said that he holds no grudges against any of the people he mentions in this book, that he appeals to them to read it and correct it if they think it contains any errors, and that he dreams to one day sit with all of them around a cup of tea, after having learned so much from one another.—Author’s Note from Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi[1] 

Making Visible the Lives and Deaths of People in Custody

Illinois Deaths in Custody Project

“Those who commit the murders write the reports.”  — Ida B. Wells, Lynch Law In All Its Phases, 1893

In 2017, at least twenty-two people died at Chicago’s Cook County Jail (CCJ). This news is not readily available. Rather, multiple Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests filed by the Illinois Deaths in Custody Project (IDCP) with Cook County entities to confirm names and glean a few more institutionally produced “facts” produced the following: Clifford V. Nelson, 49, died while being transferred; Lopez House, 47, collapsed and died at the jail; Lindbert McIntosh, 57, died in his sleep; Jerome Monroe, 56, also died in his sleep at CCJ. By November of 2017, a few of these deaths, somewhat surprisingly, began to make local news.

Yet, the deaths are not actually that surprising. Death is business as usual in our nation’s prisons and jails.

Embracing the Joy in Human Rights: An Interview with William Simmons

By Shayna Plaut

In 2015, I organized a panel on “Teaching Human Rights Inside and Outside the Classroom” at the Social Practice for Human Rights Conference in Dayton, Ohio. William (Bill) Simmons, author of the forthcoming book, Joyful Human Rights, was on the panel as well as Praxis Center’s Lisa Brock and Alice Kim. That is where we met and we have continued collaborating ever since.

Given the current state of human rights in the world which requires a healthy dose of hope, creativity and ingenuity, as well as my own passion for focusing on possible human rights strategies, I was particularly interested in Bill’s journey to Joyful Human Rights. Bill is a professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Arizona and the founding director of the first online Masters of Arts in Human Rights Practice in North America where I serve as a member of the international advisory panel.

“It Is the Young People Who Will Free Us”: Resisting Militarized Violence, from Honduras to Chicago

By Gaspar Sánchez and Veronica Morris-Moore | In These Times

Gaspar Sánchez and Veronica Morris-Moore are young organizers from Honduras and Chicago, respectively. Gaspar is a leader of the Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and a Lenca indigenous LGBT activist. He was mentored by the late Berta Cáceres, the COPINH co-founder who was assassinated on March 2, 2016. Veronica has been on the front lines of youth struggles in the era of Black Lives Matter, from winning a trauma center to helping oust the state’s attorney who played a role in covering up the Chicago police murder of Laquan McDonald.

No Perfect Victims Convening 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7mMvkqbdFA&feature=youtu.be Between 1977 and 2007, the population of U.S women prisoners grew by 800% with an annual growth rate doubling that of men over many years. The vast majority of incarcerated and criminalized women (trans and non-trans) have previous histories of domestic and sexual abuse. This gathering at the Allied Media Conference in 2017 engaged participants on how to pro-actively support and advocate for survivors who live at the intersection of gender violence and criminalization. They highlighted the experiences of grassroots organizations and defense committees in supporting those who don’t fall into the “perfect victim” narrative and shaed a new toolkit for those who want to do similar work. View the full Criminalized Survivors Panel and No Perfect Victims Convening 2017 For more information, visit: www.SurvivedandPunished.org www.LoveandProtect.org Thanks to our funders for the convening: Groundswell Fund, Open Society Foundation, Allied Media Conference, and dozens of individual donors. Video by Tom Callahan (www.SensitiveVisuals.com) Photos by Sarah-Ji…

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