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Community Voices Blog

This is a space for all members to share their insights on topics related to human rights and grantmaking.

Displaying Posts (184)
October 11, 2017

The Challenge of Creating Human Rights Heroes

By Lesley Carson, Director of the International Human Rights Program at Wellspring Advisors LLC

The recent uproar about State Counsellor and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence in the face of the Myanmar military’s campaign of violence and ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya minority touches on one of the more confounding challenges for human rights funders. Communications experts affirm that we need compelling spokespeople who represent the… Read more

September 12, 2017

Lessons from a Frequent Conference Flyer

By Merrill Sovner, Research Fellow, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The Graduate Center at City University of New York

I had the pleasure of attending three conferences of international philanthropy and funder support networks in 2017, at a time when it felt the world had changed around us. While the conferences represent three different groupings with different audiences, they also share many overlapping values, attendees, and discussions. So, I thought it would be worthwhile… Read more

September 12, 2017

Political Actors in a Political Context

By Maíra Junqueira, Deputy Executive Director at Brazil Human Rights Fund

For me, as a Brazilian woman, who has attended the Human Rights Funders Network Conference three times, it was very important to see and to be part of a specific section on Brazil, especially at this delicate moment that the country is going through, where we are dealing with an increasing, well-orchestrated, and constant backlash… Read more

August 9, 2017

How Funders Can Support Nonviolent Action Amid Crackdowns

By Dr. Maria Stephan, Senior Advisor of the Program on Nonviolent Action at U.S. Institute of Peace

Originally published on the U.S. Institute of Peace blog on July 27, 2017. Dr. Maria Stephan explores how movements succeed with broad-based, local backing. When China’s national legislature passed a landmark bill in December 2015 outlawing domestic violence, it was the result of an unusual civic movement that reached far beyond groups concerned with violence against… Read more

July 5, 2017

We are now Human Rights Funders Network!

By Mona Chun, Executive Director at Human Rights Funders Network

Dear Members and Allies: With much excitement, I write to share the news that International Human Rights Funders Group has a new name to match the reach and vibrancy of our membership. We are now Human Rights Funders Network. Why a new name after twenty-three years? Our membership has grown to nearly 1,500 individual members… Read more

June 21, 2017

What Strengthening Human Rights Has to do With Challenging Inequality

By Martín Abregú, Vice President, Democracy, Rights, and Justice at Ford Foundation

Originally published on the Ford Foundation Blog on May 22, 2017, Martín Abregú, from the Ford Foundation reflects on the implications of their identification of inequities as the central focus of their grantmaking. In the two years since the Ford Foundation identified inequality as the central focus of all our grant making, I have been… Read more

April 25, 2017

Collective Power of Inclusion

By Catherine Hyde Townsend, Senior Program Officer at Wellspring Advisors LLC

Originally published on the Disability Rights Fund blog on April 10, 2017, Catherine Hyde Townsend of Wellspring Advisors reflects on the challenges and opportunities for supporting women and girls with disabilities. In September of last year, thousands of women gathered in Bahia, Brazil for AWID’s women’s rights forum to celebrate the collective power of women… Read more

April 7, 2017

Closing of Environmental Civil Society Space: Strategies for Support on the Frontlines

By Peter Kostishack, Vice President and Director of Programs at Global Greengrants Fund

Peter Kostishack of Global Greengrants Fund reflects on the anniversary of Berta Cáceres’ murder and shares effective strategies for supporting environmental rights defenders on the frontlines. The 2016 murder of Honduran river-protection activist, Berta Caceres, received international media attention, but her story is only the tip of the iceberg. Other appalling cases include the murders… Read more