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UD conference asks: What does human rights advocacy look like in a global pandemic?

hospital protest.jpg
Paul Becker
University of Dayton
Doctors demonstrate on behalf of Black people killed at the hands of police.

The pandemic has done a number on human rights. It has accelerated the willingness of some authoritarian governments to impose even greater rule. It has also heightened rights to privacy and equal access to vaccines and housing.

UD’s Human Rights Center asks, what is human rights advocacy in the wake of the pandemic? Its biennial conference is scheduled for Dec. 2-4 both virtual and in-person.

Despite lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, many social justice demonstrations continued, says the Center’s Executive Director Shelley Inglis.

“You have seen major social movements continue to take to the streets during the pandemic and part of the plenaries that we have is bringing young people in particular to the table who have been a part of these social movements who have been advocating and expressing themselves in nonviolent and large-scale resistance movements around the world,” says Inglis.

Asian virus pic.jpg
Paul Becker
University of Dayton
University of Dayton Sociology Professor Paul Becker has imagery reflecting the content being explored at the conference.

Speakers include Erica Chenoweth, director of the Nonviolent Action Lab at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and Nathan Law, a democratic activist in Hong Kong.

“The pandemic also has forced us to more intentionally connect local and global human rights efforts,” Inglis says. Because of that, “one of our goals is to really inspire that conversation more in Ohio around what are human rights goals and advocacy methods that can help to move things forward at the local level and our state level?”

Session presenters at the conference include representatives from the Atlanta Civil Rights Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Here’s the schedule.

Information and registration information is here.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology