by Guest Blogger: Sacajawez Hall
In commemoration of the 64th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the US Human Rights Network launched a campaign to highlight the important human rights work that our members and partners are engaged in domestically. In the 64 days leading up to December 10th, otherwise known as Human Rights Day, the USHRN is highlighting 64 member and partner organizations as a way to raise awareness about the domestic human rights movement.
For this week, when the United Nations recognizes October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we are featuring six organizations working with low-income communities, fighting against poverty, and challenging structural inequality. To round out the week, we also feature the important work being done at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, and the role it plays in the domestic human rights movement.
Poverty is a deprivation of the full range of our economic human rights
Project South’s mission is to build the foundation for successful broad-based social justice movements. Project South works directly with communities pushed forward by conditions of poverty and racism in order to strengthen leadership for community organizing on critical frontlines of economic, racial, and social justice. Project South increases the number of skilled organizers in the South, creates space for leadership to converge and strategize for movement building, and produces cutting edge political education that reaches a national audience in order to provide direction for long-term movement organizing.
The Poverty Initiative’s mission is to raise up generations of religious and community leaders committed to building a movement to end poverty, led by the poor.
Economic disparity and poverty are increasing around the globe. By bringing an historical, political and economic perspective to these defining issues of our time, the Poverty Initiative deepens the way that activists, organizers, students, academics, clergy and the poor come together to think critically and act persistently to end poverty. With its rigorous approach to leadership development and its immersive, boundary-crossing, and comprehensive programs, the Poverty Initiative creates the space where leaders can learn to “think as we fight,” learn as we lead,” and “educate as we organize.”
POVERTY & RACE RESEARCH ACTION COUNCIL
The Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) is a civil rights policy organization with a mission of connecting advocates to social scientists working on race and poverty issues and promoting a research-based advocacy strategy on structural inequality issues. At the present time, PRRAC is pursuing project-specific work in the areas of housing, education, and health, focusing on the importance of “place” and the continuing consequences of historical patterns of housing segregation and development for low income families in the areas of health, education, employment, and incarceration. PRRAC’s work is informed by an extensive national network of researchers, organizers, attorneys, educators, and public health and housing professionals.
MICHIGAN WELFARE RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization is the union of public assistance recipients and low-income workers in Michigan. MWRO has chapters across Michigan and is one of the founding members of the National Welfare Rights Union. MWRO’s goal is to organize recipients and low-income workers to fight for our rights, to eliminate poverty in this country and to build an army prepared to battle for the economic and human rights of millions of disenfranchised Americans.
The Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc. (SWGAP) seeks to empower rural communities to work for change through education, advocacy, and economic development. It originally began in 1961 as a project of the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) when SNCC sent student Charles Sherrod to engage residents and coordinate activities for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1971 Charles Sherrod and his wife Shirley Miller founded the organization to continue the work of empowering black families in Southwest Georgia. Throughout its history, the organization has been an advocate for social justice through grassroots social community organizing among adults and youth, to register and educate voters, organize local advocacy groups, create jobs through the establishment of cooperative business and foods based businesses, and strengthen academic and leadership skills among youth.
GEORGIA CITIZENS’ COALITION ON HUNGER
The Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger was founded in 1974 as a statewide coalition of concerned citizens to end hunger, homelessness and poverty in the state of Georgia. The Coalition has been at the forefront of grassroots organizing, service delivery and policy changes that positively impact poor and working class communities in Georgia for over 35 years. The Coalition operates a food pantry, community garden and four outdoor farmers markets while also engaging in grassroots organizing, public education and leadership development so that low income citizens can address their concerns around food and economic security.
HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE – COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL
The Human Rights Institute sits at the heart of human rights teaching, practice and scholarship at Columbia Law School. Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Institute draws on the law school’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world. Over the past several years, the Institute and the Human Rights Clinic have become increasingly integrated, enabling it to multiply their impact on the field and engage students more fully in their work.
HRI currently focuses its work in three main substantive areas: Human Rights in the United States; Counterterrorism & Human Rights; and Human Rights & the Global Economy. HRI has developed distinct approaches to work in each area, building bridges between scholarship and activism, developing capacity within the legal community, engaging governments, and modeling new strategies for progress.
Woodhull is a proud member of the US Human Rights Network where we Chair the Sexual Rights and Gender Justice Working Group. This campaign is shared here and on the US Human Rights Network website – a treasure trove of human rights resources and up-to-the minute information!