The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the Frontiers of Research and Advocacy (University of Dayton)
We come together at a challenging time. Sixty-five million forcibly displaced persons. More than forty million slaves. Democracy under attack. Nuclear weapons, ethnic cleansing, ecological disasters and racial injustice headlining the news. The resurgence of a hardline, nativist intolerance around the world. While there are many threats to the realization of universal human rights, there are many powerful tools we can use to confront these dangers. Chief among these is our growing ability to come together, to communicate, to collaborate.
The University of Dayton — a Catholic, Marianist research university — long has been a center of programming, dialogue and education on social justice. Founded in 2013, the Human Rights Center expands the University’s mission to integrate theoretical and practical approaches to learning and unite with other institutions, groups and individuals working to realize the common good — locally and globally. SPHR17—a signature event of the Human Rights Center—brings together all types of human rights actors: scholars, advocates, funders, survivors, educators, students, government officials, NGOs and community partners.
At SPHR17, we explore challenges posed by racism, xenophobia, extremism, exploitation and what Pope Francis has termed “the globalization of indifference.” We have expanded our community of human rights actors and our commitment to human rights practices this year through a series of intentional steps. We provided funding support for emerging scholars, practitioners and international participants; we designed a program to amplify voices from the Global South; and we established a collaboration with Open Global Rights, a web-based, multilingual platform reaching more than 140 countries to support rights-based NGOs, donors and scholars in developing effective strategies through critical exchanges, opinion research and strategic planning. The need for sharing ideas, developing a spirit of global solidarity, assessing and improving through self-reflection and constructive critique, and engaging in meaningful and effective action to make real improvements in the lives of the poor and persecuted is great.
That is why we are here.
Anthony N. Talbott, Executive Director
University of Dayton
Farhat, Youssef and Kargl, Kathleen, "2017 Conference Program" (2017). Human Rights Center Publications. 9.
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