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LitTalks: Global Politics & Philanthropy

A Regional Discussion Series

HRFN’s “LitTalks” raises the most pressing questions about the global impact of United States politics on human rights today. We’re gathering regional perspectives from activists, funders, political thinkers, artists, and others to:

  • Unpack the state of social justice organizing
  • Analyze human rights philanthropy in times of pandemic
  • Shed light on a shifting world order


Part 1 – Latin America and the Caribbean:
Debating the Impact of the U.S. Election
Pilot Program – Debuted Wednesday, December 9, 2020

What can Latin America expect from the Biden Administration? What are the central issues to be addressed: Migration? Organized crime? Defense of democracy? What priorities does civil society expect to see in policy and what do human rights activists themselves want to see? What role does philanthropy play?  With examples from the most excluded sectors, such as Afro-Colombians and Indigenous people, and an eye on changing global relations, we explore this moment. What is the role of gender in the region? Will China be the new hegemonic power in LAC? Priorities for philanthropy?

(English Video) (Spanish Video)


Part 2 – The United States: A New Relationship with the World?
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | 10–11:30 AM ET

The hegemonic crisis. The internal fractures (racism, inequality, poverty) and their link to foreign policy. How will a post-imperial United States link up with the world? The Atlantic relationship, the anti-interventionist tendency (of the right and the left). Is the U.S. sharing power or is it trying to lead in the international system? How will the Biden Administration make the transition to a new role? What is the role of U.S. philanthropy domestically and abroad amidst this sea of changes?

(English Video) (Spanish Video)

Livestream in Spanish available in collaboration with EsGlobal.


Part 3 – A New Middle East After Trump?
Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 10–11:30 AM ET

The Trump Administration’s impact on the region. The U.S. withdrawal. Who takes its place? The geopolitical, political, and identity tensions in the region (Iran vs. Saudi Arabia). Supporting social movements in crisis. Internationalized civil wars (Syria, Libya, Yemen). Social protest in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The problem of oppressed communities. The role of women in protests and in militarization. Internal migration.

Find out more about the conversation here.

Livestream in Spanish available in collaboration with EsGlobal.


Part 4 – Resisting Authoritarianism in Asia
Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 8:00am (EST), 12:00pm (UTC), 5:30pm (IST), 8:00pm (CST)

Massive mobilizations for human rights are standing strong across the Asia region: from the months-long farmers’ strike across India to the anti-government, anti-monarchy student movements flooding the streets in Thailand. The resistance movements defying the military coup in Myanmar are the most recent example of the pressing fight for human rights.

At the same time, new challenges are emerging. How are issues of the climate crisis, digital rights and online surveillance, authoritarian rules, economic growth and COVID-19 shaping the landscape for human rights organizing in the region? What role does China play as a growing regional and global power and what will the new United States administration’s agenda look like in this context?

Join us to unpack the interconnected human rights issues shaping — and being shaped by — the Asia region today!

Find out more about the conversation and view English and Spanish recordings of the event here.


Part 5 – African Futures
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 10-11:30 AM ET

Throughout the African region, self-led and self-determined movements are redefining African futures. Land defenders are fighting  state -sponsored land grabs. LGBTQI communities are  organizing  (and winning!) to overturn colonial-era laws that criminalize same-sex relations. Youth organizers are resisting police violence and government corruption via hashtags and social media. Regional funds are building structures for resourcing their communities using participatory models and supporting on their own agendas.

The reconstruction of the post-Soviet influence. Nationalism on the rise. Authoritarian democracy and corruption. Reinforcement of the military apparatus. Tensions with NATO. Restrictions on civil society: the November 2020 law on “foreign agents.” How can foreign philanthropy operate under the control of civil society? The future of the relationship with the United States, China, and Europe.


Part 6 – The World Needs Multilateralism (Reformed!)
Date and Time: TBD

Crisis of the multilateral/liberal system formed after World War II. Weaknesses and limitations of this system. The relationship with International Law and protection of rights. Attacks of the global ultra-right. How to improve and defend it. Role of civil society and foundations. A new multilateralism for a multipolar world. What role for Southern countries? How can philanthropy support the multilateral system?

(Register Now – please note the date and time are TBD)

For questions about the series, please contact us at info@hrfn.org.


Host: Ana María Enríquez

Executive Director, Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN), Ana María leads the network’s efforts to connect activists, intellectuals, artists, and social movement leaders with philanthropy leaders, promoting dialogues and strategies across sectors. Ana María has 20 years of experience working in the USA, Europe, and Latin America. She has worked with global private foundations, multilaterals, and NGOs working to advance human rights including UN Women, where she designed and led the Fund for Gender Equality, a 50 Million Euro Fund to advance women’s rights, the Ford Foundation, where she led an initiative in support of social justice philanthropy in the Global South, and the Global Fund for Women, among others. Fluent in Spanish, French, and English (and conversant in Portuguese), Ana María works from her home country of Colombia and is currently Co-Chair for the Management Board of the Funders Initiative for Civil Society (FICS).

Moderator: Mariano Aguirre

Mariano Aguirre Ernst, our moderator based in Oslo, is a researcher on peace and conflicts; political analyst. He is an associate fellow Chatham House (London); member of the Latin American Network for Inclusive and Sustainable Security, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Berlín-Bogotá); and Board member of the Human Rights Institute, Deusto University (Bilbao). He is also a member of the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam). He has been Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding at the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Colombia (2017-2019) and Director of the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) (Oslo) (2009-2016). A Spanish citizen, born in Argentina he has lived in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, the United States, and Colombia. Aguirre is the author, among other books, of Leap into the Void. Crisis and decline of the United States.

No Upcoming Events.
11:00 EDT/15:00 GMT/16:00 CET (Past Event)

How can funders protect the Youth Climate Movement?

This webinar was organized by Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and was co-hosted by Ariadne and the Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN). _____________ The Youth Climate Movement (YCM) is one of the most important movements of our time. Over the past few years youth activists have demonstrated the power to fundamentally shift climate narratives and galvanise public,…

Past Events

8:00 – 9:00 PT │11:00 – 12:00 ET │16:00 – 17:00 BST

LGBTQI Rights and the Power of Following the Funding

Power in Numbers: Evidence-based advocacy to move money to social justice movements This two-part series is about how we change the narrative and move more money to the forefront of social change.  This is the second session, visit Mapping Funding: Black feminist activism, disability rights, and regional funding disparities to learn about part one. Scroll…

8:00 – 9:00 PT │11:00 – 12:00 ET │16:00 – 17:00 BST

Mapping Funding: Black Feminist Activism, Disability Rights, and Regional Funding Disparities

Power in Numbers: Evidence-based advocacy to move money to social justice movements This two-part series is about how we change the narrative and move more money to the forefront of social change. This is the first session, visit LGBTQI rights and the power of following the funding to learn about part two. Scroll down to…

2:00pm CST/ 1:00pm ET/ 10:00am PT

Impactos da COVID-19 e a filantropia para a justiça social no Brasil

Impacts of COVID-19 and philanthropy for social justice in Brazil Join Baobá Fund for Racial Equity, Brazil Human Rights Fund and House Socio-Environmental Fund for the launch of an innovative philanthropic collaborative for social justice.  The event will be held via Zoom and English interpretation will be available. Register here.

12:30 PST | 3:30 EST

Where is the Money for Black Feminist Organizing?

On the State of Human Rights Funding: Where is the Money for Black Feminist Organizing? As we move through #BlackPhilanthropyMonth, Black Feminist Fund co-founder, Hakima Abbas will be joined by deputy director of HRFN, Kellea Miller for a live converation to discuss our collaborative research “On the State of Human Rights Funding: Where is the…

10:00-11:00 ET│15:00-16:00 BST│16:00-17:00 CEST (Past Event)

Advancing Human Rights: Research Briefing

Join us to discuss findings from our latest analysis of the human rights funding landscape: Advancing Human Rights: Annual Review of Global Foundation Grantmaking – 2018 Key Findings. The report, authored by HRFN and Candid, sheds light on which issues get funded and which don’t, where human rights issues overlap and intersect, and how funding…

10:30-11:30 ET│16:30-17:30 CEST (Past Event)

Alternative Approaches to Addressing Violence Against Human Rights Defenders

Join us for a webinar drawing on the experiences of the Zero Tolerance Initiative, a rights holders’ response to the gaps in the Human Rights Council’s resolution on environmental defenders, and other existing efforts to protect defenders in relation to business projects. The webinar will draw on the situation in Peru in particular, to illustrate…

Webinars8:00-9:00 PT │ 11:00-12:00 ET │ 16:00-17:00 BST

Measuring Human Rights: Tools for Informed Philanthropy

Join us on Wednesday, June 16, for a discussion with the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) to learn about their global platform to track the ups, downs, and overall trends in how countries around the world are – or aren’t – meeting their human rights commitments. During this 60-minute conversation, we’ll unpack what information HRMI captures and…

Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time (Past Event)

African Futures

Fatimah Kelleher writes: “…from Ghana to South Africa, women across Africa are resisting orthodox economic models and coming up with visionary alternatives towards an African ecofeminist future.” Throughout the African region, self-led and self-determined movements are redefining African futures. Land defenders are fighting  state -sponsored land grabs. LGBTQI communities are  organizing  (and winning!) to overturn…

1 pm Eastern Time | 12 pm COT - (Past Event)

LitTalks NOW: What is Happening in Colombia?

At HRFN, the unfolding human rights crisis in Colombia is personal. Executive Director, Ana María Enríquez, lives in Medellín and has been closely monitoring the escalating attacks on protesters and local and national responses — both those of solidarity and of militarization. Join Ana María this Thursday, 13 May at 1 p.m. ET, 12 p.m….