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LitTalks: Global Politics & Philanthropy

An 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 this sea of changes?

(English Video) (Spanish Video)

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). 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.

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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.

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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. Postcolonialism and the challenges to build-up effective States. The environmental crisis, megacities, destruction of arable land, and migration. The 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 neighborhood 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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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.

Upcoming Events (6)

Jul23
Webinars10:00 AM EDT/ 15:00 PM BST/ 16:00 PM CEST

Children on the Move in the context of COVID-19

Ensuring appropriate care and protection for children on the move in Northern Central America, Mexico, and the US in the context of COVID-19 Even before the pandemic, children and families from Central America and Mexico have been literally fighting for their lives amidst violence, exploitation, persecution, extreme poverty, a stifling lack of access to education,…

Past Events

Jun25
Webinars10:00 AM ET/ 4:00 PM CEST/ 5:00 PM EAT

The Global State of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Movements

Report Launch: Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced: The Global State of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Movements   Hello members, We’re excited to invite you to join Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Mama Cash in a discussion of the findings of their new report “Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced: The State of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Movements” on Thursday,…

Apr08
Webinars9:00 EST / 14:00 BST / 15:00 CET

How Human Rights and Social Change Funders Can Respond to Mass Statelessness and State-Sponsored Anti-Muslim Violence in India

Ariadne and Human Rights Funders Network invite you to a webinar on the human rights situation in India. Description: India has witnessed mass public protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the last six months. The state in response has escalated repression: The Muslim community in particular has been targeted in shootings, beatings, burnings, and…

Apr03
Webinars9:30 PT / 12:30 ET / 16:30 GMT

Young Professionals Virtual Lunch Meetup: Work & Life in the Age of Coronavirus

Please join young professionals in Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) and Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) for an interactive discussion on how we can manage work and wellness in the age of coronavirus. Bring your lunch and come prepared to share the “life hacks” you’re using and challenges you’re encountering in this uncertain time….

Mar12
In-Person Gatherings1:00-2:30 pm EST

Cancelled: In-Person Town Hall: Draft Human Rights Grantmaking Principles

Cancelled – As circumstances have continued to evolve in relation to the coronavirus, our host has advised us that they are taking the precaution of no longer holding such in-person events. Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN), Ariadne, and Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights (PAWHR) are pleased to invite their members and other human rights funders…

Mar10
Webinars8:00 PT / 11:00 ET / 15:00 GMT

Demystifying Grants Data: How and Why to Share

Whether you’re an experienced contributor, or new to the Advancing Human Rights research, we’d love to speak with you about the data submission process. We’ll discuss the mechanics of sharing your grants, demonstrate how detailed grant descriptions can help tell your foundation’s story, and explain how funders are using the data. We’ll also go over…

Feb24
Webinars13:00 ET / 18:00 GMT / 19:00 CET

Virtual Town Hall #2: Draft Funding Principles

We are pleased to invite you to join a virtual town hall – for HRFN, Ariadne, and PAWHR members – where you can share your feedback and recommendations on the draft human rights funding principles. Please register through the link below. We encourage you to read the principles ahead and join by video if you…

Feb13
Webinars9:00 ET / 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET

Virtual Town Hall #1: Draft Funding Principles

We are pleased to invite you to join a virtual town hall – for HRFN, Ariadne, and PAWHR members – where you can share your feedback and recommendations on the draft human rights funding principles. Please register through the link below. We encourage you to read the principles ahead and join by video if you…

Jan14
Webinars10am-11am Eastern / 15.00-16.00 UTC

WEBINAR: Uncalculated Risks: How funders can address threats to human rights defenders in development

Please join us on 14 January at 10am Eastern / 15.00 UTC for a discussion about the report Uncalculated Risks: Threats and Attacks Against Human Rights Defenders and the Role of Development Financiers, authored by the Coalition for Human Rights in Development in June 2019. Human rights defenders are increasingly subjected to threats and attacks…

Dec19
Webinars12:00 - 1:00pm EDT

WEBINAR: Career Planning in Peace, Security, and Human Rights Philanthropy: A Conversation with Alex Toma and Catherine Townsend

To better support our young professionals cohort across the broad spectrum of human rights, social justice and peace and security philanthropy, we invite you to “Career Planning in Peace, Security, and Human Rights Philanthropy: A Conversation with Alex Toma and Catherine Townsend.” Taking place virtually, the webinar features the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG)…