2018 Human Rights Symposium


Saturday, January 27, 2018 (All day)


Starr Auditorium, 79 JKF Street, Cambridge MA

The Symposium will create a space for discussion and partnership among activists, policy makers, Harvard students, and academics involved in the struggles of oppressed groups across the world. The objectives of the Symposium are to:

•Examine the implementation of human rights frameworks and identify common challenges and opportunities for human rights struggles around the world;

•Suggest effective tactics to protect rights;

•Examine ways in which academic communities can support those whose fundamental rights are at risk.

Full information: https://www.hrsymposium.info/

9:00am - Welcome Address

Douglas Johnson, Lecturer in Public Policy,  Carr Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Mia Ozegovic, Chair, Human Rights Professional Interest Council (PIC)


9:15am - Keynote Panel: Human Rights and Global Challenges

Chair | Gessika Innocent, President of the Kennedy School Student Government

Keynote Speaker | Rajesh Sampath, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights, and Social Change, Brandeis University


10:00am - Panel One: Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Narratives and Implementation

Chair | Gerald L. Neuman, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and Director, Human Rights Program

Discussant | Kathryn Sikkink, Professor of Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Panelist | Leonardo Castilho, Fellow, Carr Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Panelist | Christine Mungai, Nieman Fellow 2018

Panelist | Damelya Aitkhozhina, Human Rights Lawyer

Panelist | Mukul Saxena, Colonel, Indian Army

11:30am - Panel Two: The Rights and Dignity of Refugees and Migrants and the Nationalist Backlash

Chair | Mayuri Anupindi, International Lawyer

Discussant | Deborah Anker, Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and Founder and Director, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic

Panelist | Heyam Alasrar, Project Manager, Care International

Panelist | Eva A. Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Panelist | Yee Mon Htun, Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Clinic

Panelist | Vaishali Sharma, Former Refugee Status Determination Officer, UNHCR


1:00pm - Lunch Break | Brown Bag Lunch


2:00pm - Panel Three: Shared Human Rights Challenges: The Treatment of Minorities Across the Globe

Chair | Salma Waheedi, Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Clinic and Affiliated Scholar, Islamic Legal Studies Program-Law and Social Change

Panelist | Brenda Jones, Communications Director, Rep. John Lewis

Panelist | Brandon Stephens, Director, The United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) Development

Panelist | Lillka Cuttaree, Director, KIP Leading  Women Programme, Mauritius

Panelist | Andras Kadar, Co-chair Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Panelist | Pedro Pontual, Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of Brazil


3:30pm - Coffee Break 


4:00pm - Panel Discussion: Shared Action across Human Rights Issues – Solidarities and Coalitions.

Chair & Discussant | Suraj Yende, Dalit Rights Advocate and  W.E.B DuBois Fellow, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard

Panelist | Khadijah Tribble, Member of the Board of the Directors, United Medical Center, DC

Panelist | Karlene Griffiths Sekou, Founder and Principal of The Dignity Project International and a Core Leader for Black Lives Matter Boston

Panelist | Charles Prouse, Chairman, The Indigenous Procurement Program , Lendlease

Panelist | Margareta Matache, Roma Rights Activist, Instructor, Harvard Chan School of Public Health


5:30pm - Conclusions

Dena Elkhatib, VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Harvard Kennedy School

5:45pm - Closing Remarks

Bethany Ellis, Human Rights PIC, Harvard Kennedy School