Full 2023 Conference Schedule

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Thursday, November 2nd
7:30 AM

Registration, Breakfast, Exhibition Viewing

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

7:45 AM

Graphic Design II Exhibition — 'Shedding Light'

Jeremy Yontz, University of Dayton

7:45 AM - 5:30 PM

Imagine a world where inequality is like a dark room, shrouded in obscurity and injustice. In this room, the rights and dignity of countless individuals remain hidden from view, denied the light they deserve. This lack of transparency, this absence of a window to let in the illumination of human rights, perpetuates a cycle of oppression. Now, consider the concept of “windows” as not just openings in walls but as metaphors for transparency and openness in society. These metaphorical windows can be powerful tools to shed light on inequality and uphold human rights.

The exhibition presents work created by senior-level graphic design students in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Dayton.

Exhibit — Our American Journey: The Black Experience in America

Michael Carter, Sinclair Community College

7:45 AM - 5:30 PM

Sinclair's Chief Diversity Officer, Michael Carter, has compiled his personal mementos of Black History Memorabilia, including a diverse range of objects and documents for you to "Remember, Reflect, and React."

8:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Natalie Hudson, University of Dayton
Darlene Weaver, University of Dayton
Serges Alain Djoyou Kamga, University of Free State
Bonny Ibhawoh, United Nations

Marshall Room

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Opening remarks by Natalie Hudson, Executive Director, Human Rights Center; University of Dayton Provost Darlene Weaver; Serges Alain Djoyou Kamga, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of the Free State, South Africa.

"Reinvigorating the Right to Development Agenda to Meet Today’s Global Challenges": Address by Bonny Ibhawoh, Expert-Rapporteur, UN Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development

8:45 AM

Setting the Scene

Satang Nabaneh, University of Dayton

Marshall Room

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Remarks by the Director of Programs, University of Dayton Human Rights Center

9:00 AM

Keynote 1 — The Unfinished Black/African Struggles for Liberation

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, University of Bayreuth
V. Denise James, University of Dayton
Novea McIntosh, University of Dayton

Marshall Room

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

The ongoing Black Lives Matter, Rhodes Must Fall, Indigenous people, and Black women/feminist movements among many other subaltern formations are clear signifiers of the unfinished struggles for liberation, reverberating within Global Africa. The unfinished struggles include the abolitionist, anti/decolonial, Black womanist/feminist, Indigenous people, civil rights movements and initiatives aimed at delivering development for dispossessed and destituted peoples. At the centre of the unfinished struggles has been overlapping historical (a people denied of history, dismemberment & Black condition), existential (coloniality of being & antiblackness), material (dispossession & destitution), epistemic (cognitive empire & coloniality of knowledge), and identity (self-definition & selfdetermination) concerns and questions. These are constituent elements of initiatives aimed at reworlding the world from the vantage point of Global Africa. This keynote address revisits the fundamental unresolved concerns and issues of the Black/African struggles for liberation and reflects on the trajectories of liberation struggles as it simultaneously critiques notions of human rights, discourses of development, and limits of decolonization of the 20th century as they continue to fail to deliver Black lives which matter.

10:15 AM

Immersion — Bringing Context to Life: Understanding the Complexity of a World of 10 Billion People

Anjani Harjeven, WomEng and WomHub

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

In this session, we take participants through a simulation to understand what a world of 10 billion people will look like, from the number of people to the limited resources, and how we either allocate limited resources or innovate around maximizing resources. The simulation will ask participants to make tough decisions around food, energy, resource scarcity, and ultimately, the ethical question of curtailing population growth.

11:15 AM

Plenary 1 — Decolonizing Development: Rethinking the Paradigm

Ann Hudock, Counterpart International
Anjani Harjeven, WomEng & WomHub
Patrice Vahard, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Crystal Simeoni, Nawi – Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective

Marshall Room

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

At the heart of inclusive development is a commitment to centering marginalized voices and prioritizing justice and equity as critical forms of resistance to colonialism and neoliberalism. In the midst of decolonization, how can alternative models of development move us closer to human dignity and human flourishing? For this opening plenary, we have invited eminent scholars and practitioners from across the globe to give us insight into the dynamics of decolonizing development, including exploration into redistributive models, rights-based economies, and financial institutions for achieving Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

12:30 PM

Lunch and Performance: Ebony Heritage Singers


12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

The Ebony Heritage Singers are the University of Dayton's Gospel Choir, led by the Rev. Dr. Donna M. Cox

1:45 PM

Concurrent Sessions: Round 1

1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

3:30 PM

Plenary 2 — Black Power in the 21st Century

Banolo Makgale, University of Pretoria
Tiffany Williams Roberts, Southern Center for Human Rights
Adebayo Okeowo, Witness
Thenjiwe McHarris, BlackBird
Neish McLean, Astraea

Marshall Room

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

From contesting democratic deficits and police violence to campaigning for environmental and economic justice, Black political leaders and grassroots activists are driving many of today’s most visible human rights movements. This second plenary delves into the crucial theme of generating power through resistance and movement building, particularly through the lens of modern Pan-Africanism. As Africans and people of African descent organize and mobilize in new ways, we want to examine the opportunities and challenges in this work. Particularly critical to this discussion is the role of new technologies in countering anti-rights movements, as well as the increased democratic fragility evident in many parts of the globe.

Banolo Makgale, Moderator

5:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions: Round 2

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

6:15 PM



6:15 PM - 7:30 PM

Featured pre-keynote performance: St. Benedict’s Multiethnic Choir

7:30 PM

Keynote 2 — What is the Mandate of this Moment?

Amara Enyia, Movement for Black Lives
Danielle Poe, University of Dayton


7:30 PM - 8:45 PM

A conversation between Amara Enyia and University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences Dean Danielle Poe.

Today, Africans and people of African descent are connecting in unprecedented ways. New international mechanisms are making space for collective visioning and action; new manifestations of the impacts of racial capitalism, climate disaster, and the politics of “development” are spurring broad participation in movements for change. As African heads of state finally catch on to the calls for reparations that have emanated from civil society and grassroots organizations for years, they are now engaging with their counterparts in the Caribbean and elsewhere to develop a global reparations strategy. At the same time, the rising influence of China and the Russia-Ukraine war have exposed an opportunity for Africans and people of African descent to chart a path toward self-determination and challenge the status quo of unipolarity and the legacies of imperialism. In confronting this complexity, this keynote will consider what is the mandate of this moment and ask how we should take account of these many factors as we chart paths forward in our respective spheres.

(More from the keynote address is available in the downloadable document in this record.)

Friday, November 3rd
7:30 AM


7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

8:00 AM

Interactive Dialogue

Marshall Room

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

8:30 AM

Concurrent Sessions: Round 3

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

9:45 AM

Student Poster Session


9:45 AM - 10:30 AM

This poster session provides an opportunity to encounter research findings and insights for social change from student researchers and advocates at the University of Dayton. The session represents work from the following classes: ANT 325 Anthropology and Human Rights, ENG 346 Literature and Human Rights, SPN 472 Human Rights Narratives in Latin American/Latinx Culture, SEE 490 Experiential Study in Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment, INS 499 Capstone in International Studies, HST 336 History of Africa I: Pre-history to the 19th Century, and HRS 497 Capstone in Human Rights Studies.

10:30 AM

President's Remarks

Eric Spina, University of Dayton

Marshall Room

10:30 AM - 10:40 AM

10:40 AM

Plenary 3 — Facilitating a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition

Robert J. Brecha, University of Dayton
Rebekah Shirley, World Resources Institute
Carolyn Logan, Michigan State University
Joab Okanda, Christian Aid
Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University

Marshall Room

10:40 AM - 12:00 PM

From hurricanes and floods to droughts and wildfires, the human and environmental toll of climate change can no longer be ignored. These signs of the times demand courageous, bold, and well-resourced solutions to the world’s energy demands. Of course, the differential human rights impact of energy transitions on diverse populations cannot be ignored nor underestimated. This plenary brings together sustainability experts and activists to explore challenges and opportunities for ensuring that the transition to a clean energy future is just and equitable, particularly for advancing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7. The session creates space for varying regional perspectives from Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean, and will focus on actionable pathways to a just, inclusive, and equitable energy system.

This session is co-hosted by the University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute (HSI), moderated by Bob Brecha.

12:00 PM

Lunch and Partner Showcase

Lunch in Café; Partner Showcase in Marshall Room

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

2:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions: Round 4

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

3:30 PM

World Café


3:30 PM - 5:15 PM

5:15 PM

'In Conversation': Members of the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent

Gaynel Curry, United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
Justin Hansford, United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent

Marshall Room

5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Established in 2021, the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent builds on at least twenty years of global work from the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action through the Working Group and Decade on People of African Descent. The Permanent Forum was invited by the General Assembly to develop a declaration of rights as a concrete step toward the implementation of the ideas initiated through the Durban process. This session brings together two elected members of the Permanent Forum to share the progress on the draft declaration and discuss the outlook for this new international mechanism.

6:30 PM

Rights Fest (Dinner and Performances)


6:30 PM - 8:45 PM

Human rights require tremendous work, grit, and sacrifice. It also involves passion, artistic expression, and celebrating human life and diversity. This evening, we will take time to find the joy in our work through an immersive exploration using art and culture to delve into the intricate themes of belonging, identity, memory, and healing. Through engaging activities, participants will have the chance to share their stories and contribute to a collective journey toward empowerment and transformation.

  • TINO, hip-hop artist
  • Dayton Poetry Slam (Ayesha and Shay)
  • David Tinashe Hofisi
  • MC: Te’Jal Cartwright

Saturday, November 4th
7:30 AM


Kennedy Union Ballroom (on UD's main campus)

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

8:30 AM

Concurrent Sessions: Round 5

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

10:30 AM


Kennedy Union (on UD's main campus)

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

1:30 PM

Identity and Belonging: A Fireside Chat with UD Black Students

Havana Glover, University of Dayton
Mercy John, University of Dayton
Aja McMichel, University of Dayton
Aiba Kake-Camara, University of Dayton
Ikram Hennaoui, University of Dayton
Ahmi' Moore, University of Dayton
Tierra Freeman, University of Dayton
Justlynn Russell, University of Dayton
David Henderson, University of Dayton
Marion Pope, University of Dayton

Kennedy Union Ballroom (on UD's main campus)

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Moderator: Havana Glover

3:00 PM

Concluding Circle, Closing Remarks

Kennedy Union Ballroom (on UD's main campus)

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

4:30 PM

Closing Reception

Kennedy Union Ballroom (on UD's main campus)

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM