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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.

(Register Now)

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Part 4 – Asia & the Pacific
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. 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 (5)

Photo Courtesy of: Fondo Semillas
Oct18
Webinars10:00-11:15am Mexico City

Mexico Post-Earthquakes Donor Briefing

Last month Mexico was hit by two large earthquakes that deeply affected Mexico City and several states around central and southern Mexico. The urgent situation has generated an immediate response from civil society and citizens around the country and beyond. Please join this urgent update call to learn from colleagues in Mexico about the unfolding…

Past Events

Sep20
In-Person Gatherings2:30-4:00pm

Human Rights Funding: Mapping the Who, What, and Where

Join the Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN), hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and co-sponsored by Disability Rights Fund and New England International Donors, for a look at HRFN and Foundation Center’s Advancing Human Rights research and a funder-only tutorial on Foundation Maps: Human Rights, HRFN’s interactive map of human rights grantmaking.

Sep20
In-Person Gatherings10:30am-12:30pm EST

Joint Funders Roundtable Discussion on Promoting & Supporting Young People’s Participation In Peacebuilding & Violence Prevention

Location: UNDP, 304 East 45th Street, New York 6th Fl Conference Rm & Remote Participation via Conference Line The United Nations Security Council, Member States and international actors are increasingly giving youth a greater voice in decision-making and enabling young people to play an important and positive role in promoting international peace and security. This…

Jul10to13
In-Person Gatherings

2017 Convening: Map -> Resist -> Support

From July 10th to 13th, funders will convene in New York to map challenges, share concrete tactics to resist, and chart a new course for support. The Map section will set the stage by helping funders understand the regional trends, catalysts, and case studies of repressive societies. Resist will explore tactics used on the ground…

Photo Courtesy of: Brazil Human Rights Fund
Jul10
In-Person Gatherings

2017 New York Institutes

This year, IHRFG will be hosting three simultaneous institutes on July 10th to offer participants the opportunity to further delve into a specific theme with a smaller cohort of individuals.

Jun29
In-Person Gatherings5:30 - 7:00 pm ET

June Early Career Professionals Happy Hour

New York, NY HRFN and the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) invite you to another Early Career Professionals Happy Hour in New York City! Meet other rising professionals working in human rights, security, and philanthropy. If you are interested in attending or joining the mailing list for future networking events, please email Michele Bornstein.

Jun15
Webinars11:00 am ET

A Human Rights System in Peril

Co-sponsored by: Funders for Reproductive Equity and Peace and Security Funders Group. In light of the human rights challenges posed by global trends of closing civic space and rising authoritarianism, and exacerbated by the Trump Administration in the United States, HRFN is hosting a series of webinars examining funder responses. The second webinar in this…

Jun14
In-Person Gatherings2:00 pm ET

Human Rights Funding: Mapping the Who, What, and Where

Join us for a funder-only tutorial on Foundation Maps: Human Rights, our interactive map of human rights grantmaking, part of IHRFG and Foundation Center’s Advancing Human Rights: Knowledge Tools for Funders initiative.

Jun08
Webinars12:00 PM EDT

Digital Security In An Age Of Hacking & Cyberthreats

Reflecting the universality of the cybersecurity threat, eight donor affinity groups offer this webinar focused on how funders can support grantees in addressing and responding to digital security concerns.

Jun07
In-Person Gatherings5:00 pm - 6:30 pm ET

Strategy Meeting: Childhood Statelessness and Human Rights

There are more than 6 million stateless children in the world today. Childhood statelessness is a phenomenon in most countries and all regions in the world. Join this strategy meeting to discuss the role of funders in addressing childhood statelessness.