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Summer Human Rights Institute

Course Descriptions

Course 1

Human Rights Methodology: Tools and Tactics

Instructor: Bonnie Docherty, Clinical Professor, Harvard Law School

May 10 – May 14, 6:00 pm – 9:45 pm
May 13 – June 11 distance learning

This course provides students with practical skills for conducting human rights research. It teaches students how to develop projects, conduct interviews, work with documentary and physical evidence, and analyze relevant laws.

Bridge Class: Disability Rights Advocacy

Instructors: Stephanie Ortoleva, former State Dept. Disability Rights Coordinator, and Janet Lord, BlueLaw and Harvard Law School Project on Disabilities

May 15 – May 16 all day

Led by two of the leading experts on the rights of people with disabilities, this two-day skills workshop provides students with an insiders look at a successful human rights campaign.

Course 2

Human Rights Advocacy Workshop: “New human rights” in the U.S.—Opportunities and challenges for President Obama

Instructor: Julie Mertus, Professor, American University

May 17 – May 21, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
May 21 – June 18 distance learning

“New” human rights, such as LGBT rights or the right to clean water, serve as a focus for the various methods of human rights advocacy, from reporting and fact-finding to litigating and lobbying. Considerable attention is devoted to the creative use of international human rights instruments and mechanisms to advance struggles for justice in the U.S. today.

Bridge Class: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Instructor: Catherine Albisa, Director, U.S. Program, Center for Economic and Social Rights

May 22 – May 23, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

This workshop emphasizes the importance of economic, social and cultural rights and strategies to advance ESCR advocacy. Case studies are both national and international.

Course 3

Human Rights Organizations: creating and running an effective human rights NGO.

Instructors: Joseph Eldridge, co-founder of the Washington Office on Latin America and of the Washington Office of the Lawyers’ Committee on Human Rights, and Robert Tomasko, leading authority on business management, author, consultant and lecturer

May 24 – 28, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
distance learning until June 14

The purpose of this course is to give participants hands-on exposure to the challenges of running a non-governmental organization. It will focus on the basic skills needed to organize an effective NGO “from the ground up.” Topics to be covered will range from nuts-and-bolts issues such as goal setting, fund raising, strategic planning and organization design, to the more mindset-oriented skills of motivating, momentum-building, using power, and winning hearts-and-minds. The course is team-taught by two leading experts on NGO management.