Using a Human Rights Defender Framework in the Struggle for Black Liberation
Furman Hall 604
245 Sullivan St.
New York, NY 10012
Black Lives Matter’s stated mission is to broaden the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state, including the state’s impoverishment of Black communities. This talk will explore how human rights lawyers must center national and local organizing efforts in the movement and the potential of the human rights framework to defend activists and organizers in the struggle for racial and economic justice.
About the Speaker
Jeena Shah is a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law – Newark, where she teaches the Constitutional Rights and International Human Rights Clinics. She is currently working together with organizers and lawyers supporting the Movement for Black Lives to incorporate a human rights framework in the movement’s strategies. She is also co-lead counsel on a lawsuit brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda, an umbrella organization for LGBTI-led groups in Uganda, against a U.S.-based anti-gay extremist for contributing to the persecution of Uganda’s queer community, and represents four Iraqi men in their lawsuit against a U.S. military contractor for torture at Abu Ghraib. Jeena has worked closely with organizers and oppressed communities in New York, Iraq, India, and Haiti, appeared on TV and radio news programs and authored several op-eds discussing issues of U.S. militarism and imperialism, and co-designed a training on movement lawyering.
This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights.