US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



Nine USHRN members to attend CSW63

Mar 8, 2019




The sixty-third session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) is just around the corner. For two weeks, thought leaders, international nation-state leaders and representatives, and non-governmental organizations, activists, and human rights defenders will gather to shape global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Owing to the US Human Rights Network’s generous support from the Libra Foundation and Foundation for a Just Society, nine Network members will be attending CSW63 at the United Nations in New York. These nine women are not only human rights defenders; they are frontline activists, community leaders, students, professors, mothers, daughters, and sisters. 

We welcome these members to CSW63 and look forward to sharing their insights and experiences with you in the coming weeks. Please follow the Network’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for regular updates from CSW63.


chief caleenChief Caleen Sisk
Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California. She advocates for California salmon restoration; healthy, undammed watersheds; and the right to water. Chief Caleen ran for California State Assembly in 2018.


marlene chavez
Marlene Chavez
Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, providing Texas farmworkers with free civil legal services. Marlene is also the Founder of Human Rights Coalition of South Texas, and the Co-Founder of Fuerza del Valle Workers Center.


Marcia Olivo
Executive Director of Miami Workers Center, organizing domestic workers for fair housing and healthcare for all. Marcia has pushed the organization to center the experiences of low-income black and brown women, developing the Femme Agenda as both analyses of underlying social conditions and a program to shift power to those most impacted by oppression and exploitation.


Jovana Renteria
Legal Director for Puente Arizona, a grassroots migrant justice organization. Jovana is an advocate for civil and human rights; she has worked on issues including the immigration streamline, domestic violence, SB1070, and family detention and separation. Jovana ran for Encanto Justice of the Peace in 2018.


Belen Stoneman
Member of the Elder’s Council for the Gila River Indian Community, Belen is a traditional healer and medicine woman of the Hohokum (Pima) tribe. She was formerly the Cultural Coordinator for the Gila River Indian Community-Aji. As a long-time activist and healer, Belen continues to work on violence against indigenous women, girls, and elders, in defense of their recovery and healing.


Dr. Yolande Tomlinson
Co-Founder and Director of Education and Applied Intersectionality for the Organization for Human Rights and Democracy, Yolande develops national and international strategies for the organization. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, and previously worked for the US Human Rights Network as our National Education Coordinator. 


Niria Alicia Garcia Torres
Community Organizer and Youth Program Coordinator with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice in California. Niria Alicia’s work focuses on indigenous communities and farmworker communities around issues including climate justice and oil/gas drilling. She is a campaign coordinator of Run4Salmon, an initiative led by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to reinstate the ancestral Salmon of the McCloud River.


Desirae Harp
Desirae Harp joins CSW from the Indian Cultural Organization of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. She is a descendant of the Mishewal Wappo and Diné nations. She is a singer/songwriter, youth advocate, and cultural worker. Desirae uses her music as a teaching tool to facilitate workshops on cultural survival, social justice, and environmental justice with youth across the country. She is also a teacher in the Seventh Native American Generation youth program, and co-founder of the Mishewal Wappo language revitalization program.


pua case
Pua Case
Program Director for Mauna Kea Education and Awareness (MKEA), creating a platform for the protection of sacred places and for social justice for indigenous peoples of Hawai’i. Pua is a teacher of traditional dance, chanting, culture, and traditions of the kanaka maoli, the native peoples of Hawai’i. She sits on various educational and cultural boards including the Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club and Waimea Community Education Hui. Pua and her family are petitioners in the Contested Case hearing filed on behalf of Mauna Kea Mountain.