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18th Annual Human Rights on the Hill
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7/22/2019 to 7/26/2019
When: July 22nd - July 26th
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where: UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Room 506
4340 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia  20008
United States
Presenter: National Lawyers Guild, John C. Brittain Chapter & the Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights
Contact: Joshua Cooper

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18th Annual Human Rights on the Hill

University of the District of Columbia
David A. Clarke School of Law
Room 515 & 505

International Human and Peoples Rights Law Program
Washington D.C.

July 22 - 26, 2019

for information:
Joshua Cooper at


Human Rights on the Hill is the supreme salon for social justice!

Human Rights on the Hill blends traditional instruction and transformative technological innovation with educational excursions of empowerment in the heart of human rights in Washington D.C. 

The presenters provide insight so participants can implement initiatives and influence international institutions. The programs prepare for mapping out optimal organization for the national and global human rights movement. 

Human Rights on the Hill is a week-long intensive course with nearly two decades of experiential education offered in a people centered approach for creative activism and courageous advocacy.  

There will be passionate professors sharing recent research rooted in attendance at major international human rights institutions providing latest analysis.  There will be half a dozen discussions led by faculty of fundamental freedoms dialoguing about direct experience in protecting human rights in person.  There are another six presentations by professional advocates communicating via Skype from Geneva and New York providing updates on United Nations thematic expert meetings, the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Level Political Forum covering major issues impacting our daily lives. 

Another couple of conversations will feature global civil society sharing strategies around climate justice, sustainable development and human rights with specific campaigns for participants to coordinate around the country. Through technology, participants will attend issue briefings and town hall enabling for later engagement to promote and protect human rights in the United States of America. 

Human Rights on the Hill allows participants to attend the two core bodies in the U.S. Congress covering human rights. Human Rights on the Hill will attend both the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus covering human rights around the globe.

Human Rights on the Hill will also allow participants to examine results of U.S. leadership for liberty and defending democracy and core values of our country in global affairs attending discussion on Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act at the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. 

Human Rights on the Hill also opens doors to discussions in major think-tanks covering creative conversations necessary in our nation regarding economic, social, civil, political and cultural rights. Participants will visit multiple think-tanks 

Human Rights on the Hill partner with international and national Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with in person presentations and co-sponsored evening events connecting participants with community activists. 

The Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America is one of the  most important initiatives in international human rights law. There is a one year campaign until September 2020 featuring the 3.5 hour review on May 11, 2020. Human Rights on the Hill will provide potential for participants to experience every phase of preparation of stakeholder reports for the review of the United States of America.  There will be an UPR Co-Chair & US Human Rights Network Strategy Sharing Session; an UPR Thematic Roundtable; an UPR National Coordination Conversation; an UPR Consultation with US National Administration & Agencies; and one of the dozen Working Groups hosting an UPR Cities -- Bringing Human Rights Home & Collecting, Compiling and Clamoring for Human Rights in Our Country -- National Webinar. 

There will also be a panel presentation on the recent Commission on Unalienable Rights weakening U.S. position on human rights in the world created one year after the withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council.  The national and global leaders prove the administration action lessen the legacy of liberty in U.S. history and the principle for peace around the planet.   Unalienable Rights is Unrecognizable Wrongs for Our World will cover the core challenges to the new Commission in our country. 

There are educational excursions of empowerment to historical documents and awe-inspiring art. Human Rights on the Hill will bring participants to witness The Charters of Freedom -- The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights -- in an early morning private viewing at the National Archives. The week will conclude with Art & Activism: Witnessing Global Migration exhibit at the Phillips Collection. 

The world is our classroom; however, Washington D.C. is our concentration. 

Human Rights on the Hill bring multiple methods for aspiring advocates to better understand our evolving aspiration for equality and equity respecting our natural ecology based on front line defenders of freedom guiding future generations on a journey for justice for all. 

Course Schedule

Please note *** indicates the particular program is NOT at UDC Law!

July 22  Monday

9:00 a.m.

The United Nations Human Rights Charter & Treaty Bodies Creation &
Civil Society Focus to Promote and Protect Fundamental Freedoms:
Speaking Truth to Power & Sharing Strategies to Realize Human Rights at Home

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:00 a.m.

Peace is a Human Right:
People Power Ability to Advance Human Rights
Based Approach to Public Policy Making & Holding
Leaders Accountable in Age of Autocracy

  • Michael Beers, Nonviolence International
  • John Capozzi, D.C. Statehood Advocate 

**Human Rights at Home Series:
Economic, Social & Cultural Rights in Our Communities
Think Tank Talks in D.C.

12:00 p.m.

Laboratories for Corruption
How Special Interests are Driving Harmful State Practices

Opening remarks: 

  • Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, External Affairs 

Featured Panelists:

  • State Sen. Dinah Sykes, (D-KS)
  • Lisa Graves, President, Board of the Center for Media and Democracy; Co-Founder, Documented Investigations
  • Naomi Walker, Director, Economic Analysis and Research Network at the Economic Policy Institute
  • Danielle Root, Associate Director of Voting Rights for Democracy and Government, Center for American Progress
  • Moderator: Sam Berger, Vice President of Democracy and Government Reform, Center for American Progress

Center for American Progress
1333 H St NW, 10th Floor

2:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Health Care is a Human Right
Louisiana's Prescription Drug Experiment:
A Model for the Nation?

  • Rebekah Gee, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health

Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington D.C 20036

4:30 p.m.

Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America
Co-Chair & US Human Rights Network
Strategy Sharing Session

July 23 Tuesday

9:00 a.m.

**Educational Excursion of Empowerment
National Archives
Charters of Freedom
Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution & The Bill of Rights

10:30 a.m.

Climate Change & Human Rights
Climate Reality Leadership Corps Campaign to Combat Climate Crisis

  • Al Gore, Founder and Chair, The Climate Reality Project
  • Olena Alec, Director of Engagement, The Climate Reality Project

10:30 a.m.

Equator Principles IV:
A Human Rights Perspective

  • First Peoples Worldwide, University of Colorado

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing
Venezuela: Economic Sanctions and Human Rights 

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James McGovern, Co-Chair TLHRC


  • Jeffrey Sachs, Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Chief Economist, Torino Capital
  • Eric Schwartz, President, Refugee International 
  • John Walsh, Director for Drug Policy and the Andes, Washington Office on Latin America

2172 Rayburn House Office Building 

12:00 p.m.

Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms Film Festival

1:30 p.m.

A Serious Situation for Human Rights in the United States

  • Heather Alexander
  • Karina Clough
  • Miiyon Ethiopis

3:00 p.m.

The Universal Periodic Review & the United States of America in 2020:
Your Role to Promote & Protect Human Rights in Your Community, City & Country

  • Joshua Cooper, Co-Chair National UPR Task Force, US Human Rights Network

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

UPR Cities Washington D.C.
Housing & Homelessness
UPR Roundtable

Housing is a Human Right

  • Eric Tars, Legal Director, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

8:30 p.m. 

Amnesty International USA
In-District Action Issue Briefing 

Human Rights at the U.S. Southern Border with Mexico

July 24 Wednesday

9:00 a.m.

**Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Discussion

  • Scott Busby, Senior Bureau Official, U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Harry S. Truman Room 1408

11:00 a.m.

Creative Campaigning & Coordinating for Human Right to Housing
n the United States of America:
Utilizing the United Nations Human Rights Machinery to
Make a Difference on the Streets of America

  • Eric Tars, Legal Director, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

12:00 p.m.

Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms Film Festival

2:00 p.m.

US Human Rights Network
Universal Periodic Review
National Conversation

Preparing Stakeholder Reports to Realize
Human Rights in the United States of America

4:30 p.m.

**Senate Human Rights Caucus
Religious Freedom in China:
Assessing the Role of Surveillance Technology
in Abuses Against Uyghurs and Others in China

Opening Remarks

  • Senator Coons and Senator Tills
  • Omer Kanat, Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project
  • Tina Mufford, Deputy Director of Research and Policy, US Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia, Freedom House

Dirksen Senate Office Building

5:30 p.m.

US Human Rights City Alliance
National Planning Meeting
Mobilizing Local Leaders in
Global Liberation Movement for Human Rights

July 25  Thursday   (All classes in Room 515)

9:00 a.m.

United Nations Human Rights Council:
Ability to Advocate Community & Country Issues
at the International Institutions

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:00 a.m.

Local Government &  Human Rights
Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights
Historical Meeting of Mayors & Local Leaders
in Geneva and the Ground

  • Bahram Ghazi, OHCHR Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, ESCRs / Urbanization and Social Issues Branch

11:00 a.m.

Human Rights Cities Around the World:
Initiatives to Include International Human Rights at Home;
Bringing the Voice of the People to City Hall and Emerging VLRs at the UN HLPF

  • Amanda Flety, UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights
  • Frederique Hanotier, Human Rights Cities Network

12:00 p.m.

Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms Film Festival

1:00 p.m.

Town Hall

  • Geoffrey Canada, Chairman Promise Academy, Thought Leader & Advocate for Education Reform

1:30 p.m.

Right to Human Rights City:
Possibilities from Pittsburgh

  • Jackie Smith, National Steering Committee, US Human Rights Cities Alliance; Professor, University of Pittsburgh

2:00 p.m. 

State of Human Rights Education in America

Human Rights Education - USA

3:00 p.m.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:
Potential for Children's Rights in the U.S. & Universality of UN CRC
on the 30th Anniversary

  • Mark Engman, UNICEF
  • Marty Scherr, CRC in U.S.

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

UPR Cities -- Bringing Human Rights Home

Strategies for UPR Cities & the 3 Cs--Collect, Compile and Clamor for Human Rights in Our Country
Hold Public Officials Accountable to Global Human Rights

7:00 p.m. 

Climate Justice & Human Rights
Town Hall Briefing 

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Co-Chair & Founding Member, Climate & Environmental Justice Task Force, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth

July 26 Friday  (All classes in Room 515)

9:00 a.m.

The UN Human Rights Council One Year After U.S. Withdrawal From World:
A Review of the 41st Session & Ability of Advocates to Promote &
Protect Human Rights

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:00 a.m.

Unalienable Rights is Unrecognizable Wrong for World and Legacy of
Liberty in  U.S. History

Keynote Panel Presentation 

12:00 p.m.

Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms Film Festival

1:00 p.m.

The UN Human Rights Council:
Civil Society Commitment to Create Campaigns on the Ground to
Coordinate Global Action to Impact the Agenda from Annual Discussions
to Special Procedures

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

2:00 p.m.

Universal Periodic Review v. Unilateral Perverse Rewrite:
US Civil Society Maintain Role in Global Human Rights
Universality & Multilaterlism Movement

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Co-Chair National UPR Task Force

3:00 p.m.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals & Human Rights:
Localizing the SDGs Through Voluntary Local Reviews

  • Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

4:00 p.m.  The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st. St., NW WDC

***Art and Activism: Witnessing Global Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns exhibit.


more Calendar

No Classes/University Closed (Independence Day)

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