2020 HRC Fellowship Conference

Human Rights Center Fellowship Events 2020

Zoom Link for the Events. 

Fellowship flyer 2020

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Tuesday,  Oct. 27, 1-2pm 

Public health and Human rights: No One Left Behind

Stories of neglected issues and marginalized communities worldwide.

Nazineen Kandahari, MD/MS student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program

Sofreh Salamati: A health initiative by and for forcibly displaced Afghan women

Reflections on a qualitative study of health, healthcare access, and more among Afghan immigrant women living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Alma Juarez Armenta, PhD student, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Femicides in Mexico: counting a country's missing women 

Raising the voice and awareness of Mexico's other pandemic.


Lena Musoka, MPH student, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

The World of ‘Frogmen’

Recognizing the forgotten workers of the sanitation sector in developing countries. 

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Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12-1pm

The Limits of Verification: Tech Approaches to Human Rights

This panel focuses on the use of technological tools and open-source data collection to investigate global human rights issues. From violations against ethnic minorities in Myanmar, to attacks on healthcare workers in Libya, to digital tools for pandemic response, these presentations ask how and when technology can verify, document and facilitate the protection of human rights. 

S. E. Freeman, PhD student, Department of Geography, UC Berkeley

Technologies of Pandemic Control: Privacy and Ethics for COVID-19 Surveillance

In response to the rapid and devastating spread of COVID-19 across the United States, private companies, state and local governments, nonprofits, and epidemiologists have been harnessing the powers of big data and technology in an attempt to better understand and contain the spread of the virus. While the power of technology could assist in mitigating this unprecedented public health crisis, it does so at the risk of eroding significant data privacy protections and civil liberties, as well as exacerbating the structural disparities already laid bare by the pandemic itself. This talk highlights these challenges and their potential consequences for a post-pandemic future.

Anne Daugherty, MJ student, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Challenges of Verifying and Reporting on COVID-19-Related Attacks on Health Care Workers and Facilities

The coronavirus pandemic brought with it dramatic increases in threats and violence against health care workers, equipment, and missions across the globe. This talk investigates the limitations and advantages of using open source intelligence to verify COVID-19-related attacks on healthcare infrastructure across different countries and contexts, and explores how best to disseminate that information to maximize impact and promote human rights.


Nilsu Çelikel and Sang-Min Kim, graduates, Political Science and History, UC Berkeley

Handling Open Source Content in an International Justice Context

Open source investigation has created a sea-change in the work of human rights accountability organizations, creating remote ways of documenting horrific abuses in inaccessible war zones never before available. This presentation explores the limits and best practices for human rights investigators using open source content to document and prove atrocities and war crimes. 

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Thursday, Oct. 29, 12-1pm 

Meeting the Moment: Flexibility and Service in Human Rights Lawyering  

What is the lawyer’s role in social change? This panel explores instances in which legal advocates have adapted their work to better serve the needs and goals of affected communities, both inside and outside of the United States.


Mara González -Souto, JD student, School of Law, UCLA

The Quest for Accountability: Challenges and Lessons in Human Rights Advocacy

For years, sometimes decades, communities around the world have grappled with the horrors of conflict, injustice, and oppression. When conflict wanes, how do survivors and communities push for accountability? Drawing on approaches from Argentina to Sri Lanka, this talk explores how organizations can support and amplify survivors’ voices.


Ivey Dyson, JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Reflections on Protests for Government Accountability in America and Lebanon

In October 2019, mass numbers of protesters took to the streets in the cities of Lebanon to protest against the government corruption that created an economic crisis. These protests continued into 2020, while protests against police brutality took place across the United States. This talk will examine the similarities of these two movements, and the ways in which grassroots attorneys responded to the needs of activists and protesters in rapidly changing environments.


Vanessa Rivas-Bernardy, JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Immigration, Coronavirus, and Trump: Uncertainty as a Strategy of Exclusion at the Border

In recent years, constantly changing U.S. immigration policies have kept immigrants in a perpetual state of uncertainty, and this has only intensified since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This talk will reflect on the challenges faced by immigrants and their advocates at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2020 and visions for the future of immigration law.

Sadaf Doost, JD student, School of Law, UC Irvine

Blueprints of Oppression

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, the United States was forced to reckon with racial injustice, white privilege, and systemic violence and racism present in our country today. Mechanisms to systematically oppress the Black community serve as blueprints for oppression, which lawyers, organizers, and advocates can use to understand and combat racial injustices across all communities of color.

Hugo Santiago, graduate, Legal Studies, minor in Public Policy, UC Berkeley

LGBTQ Refugees & Human Rights 

This talk looks at the unique challenges faced by SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) refugees. Santiago works with the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration, one of the first international non-profits to advocate for and assist people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in the 68 countries where it is illegal to be LGBT. 


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Friday, October 30, 1-2pm 

Global Problems and Place-Based Solutions: Striving for Economic Self-Determination

Dallas Lopez, JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Blueprinting how Native communities build their own schools: overcoming decades of waiting

Many U.S. tribal communities’ schools are decrepit, overgrown, and lacking funding. The federal government has a trust responsibility to provide schooling to U.S. tribal communities, but the Department of Interior’s process for rebuilding schools is extremely slow and bureaucratic. The Gila River Indian Community reservation pioneered a first-of-its-kind funding structure that allowed it to bypass a national decade-plus waiting list, building its own school for a lower cost, faster, and with more community involvement. Dallas will share GRIC’s process and lessons learned in hopes that it can be replicated in other tribal communities.


Esther Choi,  PhD student, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego

U.S. Solidarity Economy Ecosystems and Post-Capitalist Futures

Worker-owned cooperatives, urban farms, non-extractive community finance, and mutual aid are elements of ‘solidarity economy ecosystems.’ Examining five US case study regions as well as national organizing efforts, this talk explores how regional factors shape the development of these ecosystems and how they can be networked and scaled to offer viable alternatives to the extractive capitalist economy.


Emiliano Aguirre, JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Navigating the Navajo Nation’s Business Site Lease Process

Entrepreneurs on Native American reservations face inordinate barriers to starting small businesses because Indian trust land is subject to federal laws and oversight. Emiliano has created a guide for entrepreneurs to navigate the Navajo Nation’s Business Site Lease process, investigating  who regulates the process on the Navajo reservation and how to obtain a lease on Navajo trust land.


Sara O’Connor

Urban Citizens’ Movements Under Authoritarianism: A Case Study in Kazakhstan

Central Asia’s rapid urbanization has led to rampant gentrification with little recourse for citizens under authoritarian centralized governments. In response, citizens’ groups have organized initiatives to prevent demolition of historic sites, displacement, and unsustainable development. Looking at efforts to preserve housing in Almaty’s Golden District slated for demolition and replacement with luxury condos, this talk highlights grassroots efforts to maintain urban communities in the face of state and corporate backed gentrification and corruption.