- 1 US National Human Rights Cities Alliance
US National Human Rights Cities Alliance
The US Human Rights Cities Alliance works to build a network of local and national/international human rights leaders and support activists and organizers in work that advances the human rights city organizing framework. The Alliance promotes and supports the development and sharing of models and best practices for strengthening respect for human rights and dignity. We work to connect local grassroots activists and organizers with global human rights and human rights cities movements, and support relevant action in the United Nations and other human rights institutions.
We advance people-centered human rights that emerge from the experiences and struggles of marginalized communities. We like to say that “human rights don’t trickle down, they rise up!” In other words, it takes communities organizing and acting together to “bring human rights home.” The US Human Rights Cities Alliance has put forward the following Human Rights Cities Statement of Principles to guide our work. The US Human Rights Cities Network operates in cooperation with the US Human Rights Network, a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations.
- To receive information and updates from the Human Rights Cities Alliance, please sign up for our email list here.
- Housing, Health and Human Rights: Zero Evictions Days 2020
- October 24-November 1: Film Screening, Push: screen the film online.
- Thursday October 29 7:00pm Webinar Part 1: Featuring Leilani Farha—former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing: Explore the lessons behind the film and the work to build a global housing rights movement. (Recording coming soon!)
- Thursday November 5 7:00PM –Webinar Part 2: Pushing the Human Right to Housing: Local organizers from Philadelphia, Atlanta and Pittsburgh discuss ideas for building a powerful cross-city movement for the human right to housing and an end to evictions. Zoom meeting link For more details and speakers see: Zero Evictions Days 2020
Recordings of past webinars
- Building a Human Rights Cities Movement Against Structural Racism, Thursday July 9, 2020
- Black resistances to dismantle violent police repression in the crux of the pandemic in the United States have inspired a global wave of resistance to both the immediate threats from violent police repression and the wider systemic forces that drive racial inequities and fuel what UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, E. Tendayi Achiume has called “a human rights crisis of existential proportions.” The global community has become activated like never before to demand accountability and transformative changes to address long-standing injustices. This webinar will offer context and clarity to help community leaders and activists learn how global human rights law and institutions can support our movements for fundamental changes in the United States. Participants will learn more about organizing work to hold local and national authorities accountable to global human rights. Speakers: Dominique Day, UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Ejim Dike, former Executive Director, US Human Rights Network; Jamil Dakwar ACLU Human Rights Program Director; Salimah Hankins, Acting Director, US Human Rights Network. Facilitators: Johnaca Dunlap-Ubuntu Institute & US Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee; Rob Robinson-International Alliance of Inhabitants & US Human Rights Cities Alliance Steering Committee. View Recording Flier
- Local & Global Strategies for Advancing the Human Right to Housing. June 11, 2020 (Recording). The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed and deepened the long-standing housing crisis in our communities. At a time when everyone’s health demands that all residents have a safe and stable home, more and more people face housing insecurity and homelessness. How can cities and communities better protect people’s right to adequate housing? This webinar features Julieta Perucca, assistant to the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing and currently Deputy Director of global housing rights initiative, The Shift. Learn about the human right to housing around the world and strategies for using international law and the United Nations to advance housing and other human rights. We’ll hear from leaders in Birmingham and other cities using innovative strategies for keeping people in their homes and expanding affordable housing. City Representatives: Brandon Johnson, Director of the Office of Peace and Policy, City of Birmingham; Daniel Joseph Wiley, Newark Ironbound Community; Crystal Jennings, Housing justice organizer with Pittsburgh’s Penn Plaza Support and Action Coalition & City of Bridges Community Land Trust; Timothy Franzen, American Friends Service Committee & Alison Johnston, Housing Justice League, Atlanta. This forum was hosted in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, as part of its series, Learning from COVID-19: Shaping a Health and Human Rights Agenda for our Region, the US Human Rights Network and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute
- NEW: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for Greater Coordination with Local Governments & Civil Society. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights clarifies the important role of local governments in the implementation of international human rights standards, providing reports and recommendations for actions by local and national governments. Many of these recommendations complement the work we are doing in the Human Rights Cities movement and the UPR Cities project. Download Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Local Government and Human Rights
We work to realize human rights by:
- Engaging, connecting and mobilizing communities, Peoples, workers, and diverse sectors across issue areas, constituencies, and regions to uphold and defend human rights and hold government accountable;
- Building the capacity and leadership of grassroots groups and individuals to effectively apply the human rights framework in developing strategy and making long-term structural shifts to achieve justice;
- Raising the visibility of local human rights concerns and activism to shape the public discourse locally, nationally, and internationally; and
- Facilitating effective collective action to secure the structural change needed to fully realize human rights.
The US Human Rights Network is guided by these core principles:
- Human rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible, and inalienable.
- Human rights movements must be led by those most directly affected by human rights violations.
- Human rights advocacy and organizing should prioritize the struggles of the poor and most marginalized groups in society.
- Human rights movements must be inclusive and respect and reflect the diversity within communities.
- Human rights encompass civil, political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, sexual, and development rights for individuals, Peoples, and groups.
For a more elaborated version see our: Statement of Principles.
This page links to work by national and international human rights organizers to use international treaties and United Nations human rights review processes to hold local and national officials in the United States accountable to our international human rights obligations.
Educational and Outreach Tools
- International Human Rights Mechanisms Slide Show
- Human Rights Cities Introduction Slide Show
- Video A European Coalition of Local Human Rights Cities in the Making, Utrecht, 12-13 December 2013-This video illustrates how groups in Europe are engaging similar questions and strategies as we are doing with this US Human Rights Cities Alliance. We are working to expand and deepen conversations between US activists and our counterparts in other parts of the world.
Reports and Documentation
- 2018 Greenville Human Rights Cities Convening-Summary Report
- 2018 Washington DC, July 2018 Convening Summary
- 2016 Washington DC 2016 Human Rights Cities Convening Report
- 2015 Pittsburgh 2015 Initial Convening of Human Rights City Leaders
- US Human Rights Cities Alliance 2017 Annual Report