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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)

Jun01
Webinars11:00 am-12:00 pm

Brazil Funders Call: Supporting Environmental and Human Rights Defenders

Sponsored by HRFN’s Latin America Funders Working Group In March 2017, Brazil’s Social Justice Philanthropy Network, with the support of Freedom House, organized a meeting to discuss ways funders can better support Environmental and Human Rights Defenders in Brazil and conducted research on the current context of Human Rights in Brazil. This call will present…

Past Events

Apr27
Webinars4:30pm IST/6pm ICT

Mapping Human Rights Funding in Asia & the Pacific

Do you wish there was a simple way to: See the top human rights issues funded across Asia? Find potential grantees working on women’s rights in India or freedom of expression in Thailand? Map your grantmaking by country, issue, or population – and identify peer funders supporting similar work? Join IHRFG’s Asia & Pacific Funders…

Mar29
Webinars10:00-11:00 am EST

Gender and the Refugee Crisis

Co-Sponsored with Ariadne–European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights Women’s migration is not a new phenomenon, but it is increasing in Europe, with an estimated more than 1 million refugees and migrants coming to the European Union (EU) in the past two years. The majority of these refugees and migrants have from Syria and…

Mar23
Webinars12:00 - 1:30 pm EST

Corporate Capture and Human Rights

Corporate capture, or the ways that companies exercise their outsized influence in shaping government policy, can skew outcomes away from serving the public interest and toward the benefit of corporate interests while leading to threats to human rights and the environment. Join this webinar to learn about concrete human rights efforts to combat corporate capture….

Mar02
In-Person Gatherings12:00-2:00 pm EST

Strategy Meeting: Applying a Rights-Based Approach to Funding Climate-Forced Displacement and Relocation

New York, NY Sponsored by HRFN’s Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and Human Rights Working Group and Organized by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Speakers include: Salote Soqo, Senior Program Leader of Environmental Justice and Climate Action at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), will open with a brief introduction…

Feb09
Webinars11:00-12:00 pm EST

Statelessness in the Context of the Refugee Crisis

Co-sponsored with Ariadne- European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights The UNHCR has documented that statelessness has a “devastating psychological toll” on stateless people and their families, and dramatically limits opportunities. How does statelessness intersect with the global refugee crisis? Under Syrian law, citizenship can only be passed to children by the father. In…

Jan26
Webinars10:00 - 11:30 am EST

China’s NGO Law: Navigating The Human Rights Implications and Developing Strategies In Response

Co-Sponsored with EDGE’s Asia Pacific Funders Working Group China’s Overseas NGO law, enacted in April 2016 and effective January 1, 2017, moves most registration and management of overseas (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) NGOs and foundations to the Ministry of Public Security. The international community, as well as domestic institutions, are currently exploring various operational…

Dec14
Webinars11:00 am-12:00 pm EST

Cop 22: What it Means for Human Rights Funders and What Comes Next

Sponsored by IHRFG’s Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and Human Rights Working Group From November 7-18, 2016, one hundred and ninety-five nations came together for the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement, which was adopted at 2015’s COP 21 to combat…