Racial Justice Training Institute, ATJ Essay Contest & Using the Human Rights Framework in the U.S.

The Shriver Center Announces New Racial Justice Training Institute

Racial Justice Institute

Fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and the launch of the War on Poverty, the inextricable links between race and poverty continue. Marking these two anniversaries and recognizing the critical role that lawyers and advocates can play in advancing racial equity, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law announces the first Racial Justice Training Institute. By placing tools of race conscious advocacy in the hands of front line advocates, the Institute will ensure that race is front and center in our efforts to eradicate poverty in the communities we serve. 

The Institute will cover a wide range of equity best practices ranging from traditional litigation and policy advocacy to media and messaging to the latest debiasing strategies. Working in race-equity teams, and with support from skilled faculty and facilitators, participants will use new racial justice knowledge and skills in their daily work and in the race-equity initiatives that teams will pursue throughout the Institute.

Taking place over seven months (late May-November 2014), the Institute includes three parts:

PART 1: Online (May 26 – June 13, 2014)

PART 2: Onsite in Chicago (June 17-20, 2014)

PART 3: Online (July – November 2014)

Up to 35 advocates will be selected for the first Institute cohort based on a variety of factors, including experience, interest, goals, capacity, and racial and geographic diversity.

Learn more about the Racial Justice Training Institute

Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

A Different Lens: Applying a Human Rights Framework to Disparities in the United States

PRRACbanner1by Salimah Hankins & Balthazar Becker in the current issue of Poverty
& Race
of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.

Despite its complicated history in American politics and activism, human rights discourse is emerging once more as a powerful alternative framework to scrutinize issues related to poverty and race in the United States. This article offers a brief introduction of the U.S. Human Rights Network’s (USHRN) 2013 report, “Advancing Human Rights: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States,” which outlines the implications of human rights as they relate, among other things, to housing, education and the criminal justice system. The article highlights pivotal policies reviewed in the report and examines the ways in which a human rights lens can provide a public forum for resolving civil rights abuses on a national level.

While the language of civil rights, revolving around the U.S. Constitution, usually dominates much of mainstream discourse in this nation, for at least 65 years there has existed an alternative ethical and legal horizon. African-American organizations and individuals instantly recognized the rhetorical power and political potential of the emerging human rights discourse at its onset in response to the ravages of World War II and the Holocaust. Fully aware of the inherent contradiction of the United States’ ascension to moral world leadership— while the nation was holding on to a system of segregation in the South and practicing unequal access in a variety of areas, including housing and education— the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and others had, in Carol Anderson’s words, “already decided that only human rights could repair the damage that more than three centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism had done to the African American community.” Continue reading here.

$5000 Access to Justice Essay Contest Sponsored by Public Justice 

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