US Human Rights Network Blog
USHRN Welcomes 2021 with New Additions to USHRN Board of DirectorsJan 6, 2021
We are pleased to announce the addition of four new board members to the US Human Rights Networks’ Board of Directors. Please join us in welcoming:
The Ubuntu Institute for Community Development
Molefi Askari is a community organizer in Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina and a 10 year member of the US Human Rights Network. He co-leads a dedicated, intergenerational group of men and women rooted in the Southeast, who are committed to building awareness of the human rights framework and how it can be applied locally to advance social justice. His rural upbringing and years of experiences in cities and communities throughout the Carolinas continues to fuel his deep commitment to the southern U.S. within a wider worldview.
US Human Rights Cities Alliance
Noel Didla is an immigrant from Guntur, South India making Jackson, MS home. She is invested in people and people centered movements and systems change work in Jackson, Mississippi, the Deep and Gulf South, and the Global South. Noel is committed to a lifetime of principled struggle with people and places that she calls home.
Marco Castro-Bojorquez is an LGBT activist and an impact filmmaker focusing on marginalized communities, elevating the experiences immigrant people (especially those who are undocumented), LGBTQ people (with emphasis on transgender women of color), people living with HIV/AIDS, POC communities, youth and young adults, women, sex workers, people struggling with mental health, people who inject drugs, and people with non-traditional abilities. He works to weave together these interconnected struggles, and in doing so, intentionally challenges toxic masculinity, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other “isms” that threaten our collective well being.
First Defense Legal Aid
Eliza Solowiej has been Executive Director of First-Defense Legal Aid (Chicago) for over eight years. She is dedicated to stopping the cradle-to-prison pipeline and replacing it with government accountability for human rights. For 20 years, she has focused her career on youth, community and organizational leadership development to this end. She is a Public Allies staff alumna, AmeriCorps alumna and management consultant for capacity building and social responsibility in the public and private sectors.
The new directors are excited to take on this very important role at a time when advancing human rights in the US is so vitally important. You may read their full bios here.
In 2021, there will be a flurry of USHRN activity including: (1) strengthening our organizational structure, (2) supporting healing engagement within and between member-communities, (3) and providing culturally competent human rights education in order to (a) support capacity-building of civil society groups on the ground, and (b) facilitate engagement with human rights mechanisms internationally.
After our success in requesting that the UN Human Rights Council examine the issue of racism and police violence in the U.S., we will continue to engage in 2021 to ensure that the forthcoming report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights applies a people-centered approach in its modalities and analyses. We will also mobilize our members for the final phase of the Universal Periodic Review, and will engage in the upcoming treaty reviews (CERD, ICCPR), the International Decade for People of African Descent, and more, with your input and generous support.
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