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Advocating While Black: Navigating Black Identity in the Human Rights Field
Aspects of human rights work may present particular challenges and opportunities for practitioners of color. Human rights advocates work cross-culturally and undertake work that often requires international travel or relocation abroad. Pathways into the field are often relationship-dependent, and once in the profession, expectations about an advocate’s identity can impact relationships with peers, communities and decision-makers. How are these features experienced by those who define themselves as Black or of African descent in the human rights field? Knowledge of these experiences would add to critical debates around the practice of human rights that focus almost exclusively on Global North/Global South distinctions. Panelists will interrogate the status quo at a time when practitioners are questioning whether structures designed to promote justice could themselves contribute to systemic racism and inequality in society.

Speakers will include:

-Godfrey Odongo, Senior Program Officer, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
-Christopher Richardson, Immigration Attorney, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, BDV Solutions
- Rosebell Kagumire, Editor, AfricanFeminism
-Cassandre C. Théano, Assistant Director, Human Rights and Public International Law, Columbia Law School
-Moderated by: Aminta Ossom, Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School

Co-sponsored by the Harvard African Law Association, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice.

Sep 24, 2020 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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