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LitTalks: Global Politics and Philanthropy

8-Part Regional Discussion Series: December 2020 through August 2021 

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
  • Raise questions about the lasting legacies of Trumpism & U.S. foreign policies

Topics & Dates (updated):
All times in Eastern Time. Check your timezone here

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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)

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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 these sea of changes?

(English Video) (Spanish Video – Tenga en cuenta que en la versión en español la interpretación no comienza hasta el minuto diez.)

Livestream in Spanish available in collaboration with EsGlobal.

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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). Israel’s new relations with Arab states and the marginalization of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Social protest in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The problem of oppressed communities. The role of women in protests and in militarization. Internal migration.

(Register Now)

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Part-4 – Asia & the Pacific: Is the World Leaning East?
Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 8-9:30 AM ET

China: a regional and global power. The new “Silk Road.” China’s foreign policy and development cooperation approach towards Africa and Latin America. Will economic growth be globalized with authoritarianism? How will human rights networks operate? How can funders reach them? A new cold war with the United States? Geopolitical hot spots: Pakistan-India and India-China, Hong-Kong. The dangerous way ahead in Afghanistan. Human rights under attack in Myanmar. Common problems: authoritarianism, political radicalization, environmental crisis, macro cities, young populations.

(Register Now)

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

Twenty-four states, one billion people (half of whom will be under the age of 25 by 2050), and multiple identities. Nineteen “fragile” states. The highest number of armed conflicts in the world. Post colonialism and the challenges to build-up effective States. The environmental crisis, megacities, destruction of arable land and migration. Civil war in Ethiopia in 2020. The impact of COVID-19: 40 million more people in poverty. The presence of China and Russia. The role of civil society in consolidating democracy, particularly women and youth. The African Union and peacekeeping.

(Register Now)

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Part-6 – Global Challenges for Europe
Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 10-11:30 AM ET

The crisis of freedom of speech and gender equality (Poland and Hungary). The rise and influence of the far right. The impact of COVID-19 on public services and social inequalities. Challenges: financial crisis after COVID, climate emergency, migration, data and privacy, relationship with neighbourhood countries, future policy towards Russia. Reconnecting transatlantic relations. Projecting the EU through soft power: climate diplomacy, development cooperation, humanitarian aid and conflict resolution. Civil society networks. How can funders support?

(Register Now)

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Part-7 – Russia Is Back
Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 10-11:30 AM ET

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.

(Register Now)

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Part-8 – The World Needs Multilateralism (Reformed!)
Thursday, August 17, 2021 | 10-11:30 AM ET

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)

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

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Series 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).

Series 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.

Upcoming Events (7)

Mar23
Webinars11:00-12:30 EDT │ 15:00 GMT │ 16:00 CET

Moving Forward: from principles to action

Please join us on Tuesday, March 23 for the final workshop of our six-part series to explore principles to guide bold and just philanthropy. The series is open to funders, human rights organizations, and activists, and is a collaboration of Ariadne, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights (PAWHR), and Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN). Please register… Read more

Mar25
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

A New Middle East After Trump?

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). Israel’s new relations with Arab states and the marginalization of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Social protest in Lebanon,… Read more

Apr22
Webinars8 am - 9:30 am Eastern Time

Asia & the Pacific: Is the World Leaning East?

China: a regional and global power. The new “Silk Road.” China’s foreign policy and development cooperation approach towards Africa and Latin America. Will economic growth be globalized with authoritarianism? How will human rights networks operate? How can funders reach them? A new cold war with the United States? Geopolitical hot spots: Pakistan-India and India-China, Hong-Kong…. Read more

May20
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

African Futures: Subverting the Development Paradigm

Twenty-four states, one billion people (half of whom will be under the age of 25 by 2050), and multiple identities. Nineteen “fragile” states. The highest number of armed conflicts in the world. Post colonialism and the challenges to build-up effective States. The environmental crisis, megacities, destruction of arable land and migration. Civil war in Ethiopia… Read more

Jun10
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

Global Challenges for Europe

The crisis of freedom of speech and gender equality (Poland and Hungary). The rise and influence of the far right. The impact of COVID-19 on public services and social inequalities. Challenges: financial crisis after COVID, climate emergency, migration, data and privacy, relationship with neighbourhood countries, future policy towards Russia. Reconnecting transatlantic relations. Projecting the EU… Read more

Jul22
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

Russia Is Back

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… Read more

Aug17
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

The World Needs Multilateralism (Reformed!)

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… Read more

Past Events

Feb16
Webinars11:00-12:30 ET │ 16:00 GMT │ 17:00 CET

Grantmaking Principles: Collective Care

This workshop has already occurred. Please visit these links to watch an English recording or Spanish recording, view the materials, and see a visual harvest illustrating portions of the discussion.   Please join us on Tuesday, February 16 for the fifth installment of our six-part series to explore principles to guide bold and just philanthropy…. Read more

Feb09
Webinars10 am - 11:30 am Eastern Time

The United States: A New Relationship with the World?

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… Read more

Jan19
Webinars11:00-12:30 ET │ 16:00 GMT │ 17:00 CET

Grantmaking Principles: Accountability│Adaptability and Learning

This workshop has already occurred. Please visit these links to watch an English recording or Spanish recording, view the materials, and see a visual harvest illustrating portions of the discussion.   Please join us on Tuesday, January 19th for the fourth installment of our six-part series to explore principles to guide bold and just philanthropy…. Read more