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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

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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
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.

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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.

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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.

No Upcoming Events.
Sep05
Webinars10:00am - 11:00am EDT

[Webinar] New Data New Discoveries: What can we learn about human rights philanthropy?

Join us to discuss the findings from our latest Advancing Human Rights report, our annual review of global human rights grantmaking. We’ll share highlights from the data, including new trends to keep an eye on and interesting ways the grantmaking of our members differs from non-members. We’ll also touch on questions the data raise about…

Past Events

May07
Webinars1:00-2:00pm EST

[Webinar] Utilizing Shareholder Power for Human Rights

Please join this webinar hosted by the Human Rights Funders Network and co-sponsored by As You Sow, Investors Alliance for Human Rights, EDGE Funders Alliance – Engaged Donors for Global Equity, the Libra Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund. Human Rights advocates were the first shareholders to use their power – nuns in the 1970’s…

Apr24
Webinars12:00-1:30pm EST

[Webinar Series] The Underpinning Stories: A Funder’s Dialogue Series about Climate Solutions

Co-sponsored by: Environmental Grantmakers Association, Human Rights Funders Network, Confluence Philanthropy, the Ariadne Network, the Center for Story-Based Strategy, JusticeFunders, and the Whitman Institute. As is the case with many systemic, pressing challenges, no one has all the answers. The CLIMA Fund will be creating a space for transparent, deeper discussion about the underlying narrative…

Apr17
Webinars11:00-12:00pm EST

[Webinar] Global Gag Rule Expansion: What Funders Should Know

Please join AJWS, FCAA, FRE, Global Fund for Women, GPP and OSF for an urgent funder briefing to discuss an important update to the Trump administration’s second expansion of the Global Gag Rule, and its implications for private funders, bilateral and multilateral funders, and the movements and communities we support. Speakers: The webinar will include Global Gag…

Mar27
Webinars1:00-2:00pm EST

[Webinar] Owning our Narratives: how Participatory Video (PV) can drive a rights-based approach to the preservation of indigenous languages and the documentation of traditional knowledge.

Join the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) and InsightShare for a discussion on how Participatory Video is driving a rights-based approach to the preservation of indigenous languages and the documentation of traditional knowledge. Language loss and the erasure of identity has long been recognized as a key issue faced by indigenous peoples. PV offers a collaborative approach, facilitating self-representation and…

Mar13
Webinars12:00-1:00pm EST

[Webinar Series] Stronger Together Part II: Building the Capacity of Movements

Hosted by HRFN’s Learning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Working Group, coordinated by the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and Global Fund for Women, and co-sponsored by Philanthropy New York We invite you to a three-part webinar series, building on our previous series Stronger Together: New Frontiers in Funders Supporting Social Movements. The webinars will take place…

Dec12
Webinars3:00-4:30pm EST

Defending the Blue Heart: Indigenous Defenders Funders Briefing

The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples is hosting a funders briefing, co-sponsored by Human Rights Funders Network, EDGE Funders, and Biodiversity Funders Group, on the Pacific to learn about the challenges indigenous defenders face in the the region and meaningful opportunities for funder collaboration. Moderator: Lourdes Inga, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Speaker: Maureen Penjueli,…

Nov14
Webinars2:00-3:30pm EST

Security Briefing on Indigenous Defenders in Latin America

The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples is hosting a funders briefing, co-sponsored by Human Rights Funders Network, EDGE Funders, and Bioneers, on threats to indigenous defenders in Latin America fighting for self-determination and human rights. Moderator: Lourdes Inga, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Presenters: Ricardo Changala, Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America…

Photo courtesy of the Fund for Global Human Rights
Oct15to19
HRFN Conference; In-Person Gatherings

HRFN Global Conference in Mexico City

Reimagining Human Rights: New Energy for a New Era Past conference information—including theme, schedule, registration, and takeaways —is available on our 2018 conference page. When is your next conference? HRFN’s 2020 Conference will take place in September in New York City. We’ll be in touch soon with additional information about the conference theme and how…