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Session 4: Saturday, June 2nd: 4:00 - 5:50pm
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Right-wing mobilizations in the United States and elsewhere have brought what Human Rights Watch has called a “frontal assault on the values of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect.” We know from long history that the only way to protect the commons upon which all life depends is to build and strengthen movements for a just and inclusive society. This panel highlights work of a growing global “human rights cities” movement around the world that is coming together to build power, define alternatives to dominant economic policies, nurture inclusive and just communities, and defend the “right to the city.” Panelists from diverse communities will offer lessons and examples of how local organizing in a human rights framework can help us both protect ourselves from the further erosion of human rights and democracy while realizing alternatives to capitalism. Opportunities for participants to engage in work to build national and international human rights movements will be discussed.


Cathy is a constitutional and human rights lawyer with a background on the right to health. Cathy also has significant experience working in partnership with community organizers in the use of human rights standards to strengthen advocacy in the United States. She co-founded NESRI along with...

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Jackie Smith is professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research ( Smith is author of numerous books and articles on social movements, and she helps lead both local Human Rights City work in Pittsburgh while serving on the...

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