MIDWEST COALITION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Location of Organization/Basic Contact Information:
Contact: Rochelle Hammer
Human Rights Program
University of Minnesota
214 Social Sciences
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Organization Mission Statement:
The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights is a network collaborating to promote and protect international human rights both in the United States and abroad.
Members of this Organization Include:
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) - Toledo: www.ablelaw.org
- Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) works with sister-organization Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) to provide high quality, legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, economic opportunity and equal justice. Among the projects housed in the Toledo office is the Migrant Farmworker and Immigrant Worker Project.
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois: www.aclu-il.org
- The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to protecting freedom, liberty, equality and justice for all within the United States. With a membership of more than 22,000 across Illinois - a total of more than 400,000 across the nation - the aclu accomplishes its goals through litigation, lobbying and education programs. The work of the ACLU is based upon, but not limited to, protecting the liberties and freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution, especially those contained in the Bill of Rights.
American Friends Service Committee – Great Lakes Regional Office, Chicago, IL: http://www.afsc.org/chicago/default.htm
- The Chicago office of the American Friends Service Committee is committed to developing leaders from within the diverse communities of Chicago, and to building a sustainable peace with justice movement that reaches beyond the city's borders.
Amnesty International USA – Midwest Office: www.amnestyusa.org
- Founded in London in 1961, Amnesty International is a Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with over 1.8 million members worldwide. Amnesty International undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.
Center for Civil and Human Rights – Notre Dame Law School: http://www.nd.edu/%7Ecchr/
- The Center for Civil and Human Rights is founded on the belief that the worth and dignity of every human being mirrors the image of God and that education is essential to build a human rights culture in which the values of human dignity, peace and democracy are cherished and protected. Lawyers, serving as champions of the rule of law, have a unique responsibility to ensure that the civil and political institutions of each society are imbued with these fundamental values. To this end, the Center is dedicated to becoming a leader in the education of law students, lawyers and the community at large concerning human rights issues throughout the world, through the development of outstanding teaching programs, publications and research projects.
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies - University of Minnesota: http://www.chgs.umn.edu/indexNS.html
- The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, established in 1997, serves as a center for information and teaching about the Holocaust and contemporary aspects of genocide, houses a resource library, and provides speakers for events. The Center teaches and provides support for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide around the work, past and present, and the relationship to human rights questions.
Center for International Human Rights – Northwestern University School of Law: Chicago, IL: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/humanrights/
- The Center for International Human Rights conducts academic and practical work in support of internationally recognized human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Center stresses a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach, and invites participation by other University departments.
Center for Victims of Torture: Minneapolis, MN: http://www.cvt.org/main.php
- The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) exists to heal the wounds of government-sponsored torture on individuals, their families, and communities and to stop its practice. CVT works locally, nationally, and internationally to build healing communities where torture survivors feel welcomed, protected and healed. CVT fulfills its mission by providing services directly to torture survivors, by training health, education and human services professionals, through research on the effects of torture and on effective treatment methods and through advocacy and public policy initiatives.
Centre on Housing and Eviction Rights - United States Office: www.cohre.org
- The Centre on Housing and Eviction Rights (COHRE) promotes and protects the right to housing for everyone, everywhere. To achieve this, COHRE has developed a varied work programme, guided by international human rights law, and designed to reach as may people as possible. The Centre's work involves housing rights training; research and publications; monitoring, preventing and documenting forced evictions; fact-finding missions; housing and property restitution; women's housing rights; and active participation and advocacy within the United Nations and regional human rights bodies. COHRE is committed to local and national capacity-building in the area of economic, social and cultural rights and places particular emphasis on securing respect for the housing rights of traditionally disadvantaged groups, including women, children, ethnic or other minorities and indigenous peoples.
Chicago Religious Leadership Network: www.crln.org
- Responding to the call of Latin America’s poor majorities, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) is an interfaith information and action network that mobilizes religious leaders and congregations in Illinois to advance peace, justice and human rights in our hemisphere. CRLN’s 600 members include lay leaders, pastors, rabbis, bishops, denominational executives, seminary professors, and men and women religious. Many have traveled to Latin America. Others have associates there. Through speakers, workshops, informational updates, action alerts, advocacy initiatives, annual visits to Latin America, and meetings with U.S. policy-makers, CRLN engages religious leaders to speak out for more just U.S. policies in our hemisphere.
Children and Family Justice Center – Northwestern University School of Law: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/cfjc/
- The Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) is a comprehensive children's law center where law students, under the supervision of attorneys and clinical professors, represent young people on matters of delinquency and crime, family violence, school discipline, health and disability, and immigration and asylum. CFJC collaborates with communities and child welfare, educational, mental health and juvenile justice systems to develop fair and effective policies and solutions for reform.
Citizens Alert: www.citizensalert.org
- Citizens Alert, founded in 1967, is Chicago's only police accountability organization working for systemic change in law enforcement agencies and for human, effective law enforcement while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct. The goals of the organization are to make law enforcement agencies accountable to the public by acting as civil righgts advocates for victims of police brutality and abuse; providing information, counsel, and referreals; monitoring police conduct and policies to assure greater accountability to the public; building coalitions to involve other organizations in social justice issues; recommending policy changes that encourage more humane and effective law enforcement; and educating the public on criminal justice matters.
Coalition to Protect Public Housing: www.cpph.org
- Founded in 1996, in response to the federal mandate to demolish more than 100,000 units of public housing nationwide - 18,000 of those units in Chicago, the Coalition to Protect Public Housing (CPPH) is an advocacy group of public housing residents, community-based organizations, religious institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Community Renewal Society, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Metropolitan Tenants Organization all working to protect the rights of individuals living in public housing and to ensure the future of public housing.
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago : www.ciogc.org
- The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago was officially formed in 1992, with twenty member mosques and organizations. Since then, with the growth of the Chicago area Muslim community, the Council has grown to include almost 50 formal members, including the largest mosques and Islamic centers, established small mosques, full-time accredited Islamic parochial elementary and high school, institutions of higher education, community service institutions, civil rights groups, and professional associations - several smaller Islamic organizations, althoug not formal members, are loosely affiliated or otherwise within the networking sphere of the Council. Today, the Council is the premiere federated body representing the cross-section of over 400,000 Muslim Americans in the Greater Chicago area. By way of its membership, the Council has the knowledge, contacts and long-standing relationships to both reach out to and represent this diverse Muslim American community.
Council on Crime and Justice: www.crimeandjustice.org
- The Council on Crime and Justice, a leader in the field of criminal and social justice for over 40 years, provides an independent voice for a balanced approach to criminal justice. The Council has been at the forefront of many new programs in such areas as offender services, alternative sanctions, victim's rights, and restorative justice. The mission of the Council is to build community capacity to address the causes and consequences of crime and violence through research, demonstration, and advocacy.
Enlaces América : www.elacesamerica.org
- Enlaces América is an adviser, facilitator and support center for transnational Latino and Caribbean immigrant organizations committed to building healthy communities both in the United States and in their countries of origin. In fulfilling this role, Enlaces América is gradually enabling immigrant community leaders to take on leading roles in domestic and international policy advocacy process in areas such as immigration and international economic development.
Freedom House – Detroit
- Freedom House is a non-denominational nonprofit organization established in 1983 to address the needs of homeless and/or indigent refugees seeking asylum in either the U.S. or Canada. Guided by the belief that all persons deserve to live free from oppression and deserve to be treated with justice, compassion and dignity, Freedom House's goals are to offer a continuum of care and services to persons living in its shelter, as well as other refugees in need; and, to advocate for systemic change which more fully recognizes the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights
- Heartland Alliance's mission is to advance the human rights and to respond to the human needs of endangered populations – particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced – through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society.
Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago
- Founded in 1997 as an interdisciplinary program in the Center for International Studies, the University of Chicago Human Rights Program promotes innovative multi-disciplinary approaches to the stsudy and practice of human rights. The Program's core mission to bridge the gap between theory and practice is reflected in its diverse programming: undergraduate and graduate curriculum, a summer internship program, public events and projects, and collaborations with human rights activists. Faculty teaching and leadership is complemented by student participation in all areas of the Human Rights Program.
Human Rights Program – University of Dayton
- The International Studies and Human Rights Program at the University of Dayton offers a multidisciplinary major designed to meet the needs of students interested in acquiring a broad-based, international perspective for eventual careers in areas such as government service, international business, education and social service. The interdisciplinary minor in human rights provides students an opportunity to address issues related to human rights from various disciplinary approaches.
Human Rights Program – University of Minnesota
- The Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota educates students by connecting them with academic and real-world experience in the field of human rights. The program serves as a connection between the University's students and faculty and the greater local, regional, national, and international human rights communities.
International Human Rights Law Institute – DePaul University College of Law
- The International Human Rights Law Institute is dedicated to developing and promoting international human rights law and international criminal justice through fieldwork, research and documentation, publications, and advocacy. While the Institute does not sponsor direct litigation, faculty and staff support domestic and international cases through clinical educational programs, technical assistance and training. The Institute coordinates a broad array of teaching, research, and advocacy projects throughout the world, with a special focus on the Arab World and the Americas. These projects cover a number of key areas including, rule of law, judicial training, human rights education, trafficking, support for the International Criminal Court, weapons control, memory and conscience, and post-conflict justice.
International Women's Rights Action Watch
- The International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) was organized in 1985 at the World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya, to promote recognition of women's human rights under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a basic international human rights treaty. IWRAW now is the primary international nongovernmental organization that facilitates use of international human rights treaties to promote women's human rights and rights within families.
Justice for Our Neighbors - Nebraska
- Justice for Our Neighbors provides free immigration legal services to immigrants and encourages cross-cultural community building.
Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture
- The Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture provides comprehensive services to survivors of officially sanctioned government or political torture who live in Chicago and the Midwest. Medical, mental health, emergency, and other support services help survivors of torture overcome the trauma they have experienced so that they can begin a life in the United States without fear. Through case management, forensic evaluation, medical treatment, and counseling, Kovler Center staff meet the needs of survivors of torture using a holistic approach to healing. Treatment is provided by highly trained staff and numerous dedicated volunteers. Survivors are sometimes referred to other Heartland Alliance progams and outside human service organizations.
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
- Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights works locally, nationally, and internationally on human rights issues impacting children, women, refugees and immigrants, and marginalized populations. Minnesota Advocates documents human rights abuses, advocates on behalf of individual victims, educates on human rights issues, and provides training and technical assistance to address and prevent human rights violations.
National Immigrant Justice Center
- The National Immigrant Justice Center (formerly the Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center,) a program of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, ensures human rights protections and access to justice for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through direct legal services, policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding, the Center has been unique in building on the foundation of client representation to promote national systemic reform.
Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
- Organized by leaders from law, business, academia, and civic organizations, Nebraska Appleseed fills a major gap in our justice system - a means to address problems at their roots - such as, limited access to legal representation, unfair legislation and public policy, and denial of basic rights and opportunities - rather than the symptoms.
Program in International Human Rights Law – Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis
- The Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL) was established in 1997 to: further the teaching and study of international human rights law; promote scholarship in international human rights law; assist human rights governmental, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations on international human rights law projects; and facilitate student placement as law interns at domestic and overseas human rights organizations.
University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
- The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR), founded in 1999, is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, a year-long University of Iowa commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the Center has as its mission to assist in the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing distinguished multidisciplinary leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the University of Iowa, its surrounding community, the State of Iowa, and beyond. To this end, it attends to all categories of human rights, beginning with "first generation" civil and political rights, while paying special attention to "second generation" economic, social, and cultural rights and "third generation" solidarity or community rights.
University of Minnesota Human Rights Center
- The Human Rights Center, located in the University of Minnesota Law School, trains and assists the work of human rights professionals and volunteers through five primary programs including: applied human rights research; educational tools; the Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship Program, the Hubert H. Humphrey Human Rights and Law Fellowships and other field and training opportunities; the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library; and through learning communities and partnerships.
Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights – University of Cincinnati College of Law
- The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights grants fellowships to attract students to the University of Cincinnati Law School and every summer sends approximately 10 students around the world on "externships." In addition to teaching students international human rights law, the Institute is home to one of the oldest academic journals dedicated to human rights, Human Rights Quarterly. The journal is a multidisciplinary endeavor, with about half of the articles dealing with the legal aspects of human rights and the other half addressing various social concerns about human rights.
What are the basic goals of the organization?
- Faced with serious human rights violations in the United States and around the world
- Cognizant of a mood of national isolationism in the United States and in our Midwest region
- Taking into account the skills and interest of international human rights among individuals and groups working in the North American heartland
- Convinced that increased communication and collaborative work in our region will lead to more effective efforts to promote and protect international human rights….
The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights will…
- Use the standards found in international human rights treaties, declarations, and customary norms to guide its work.
- Work as a network to share information, to respond collectively to urgent human rights issues, to conduct joint investigations, and to sponsor educational programs.
Administrative responsibilities will be shared voluntarily by the participants in the Coalition.
- Members of the Midwest Coalition will meet at least bi-annually to discuss common activities and programs.
Does the organization have a long-term goal(s)? A 5- or 10-year plan?
Founded 1995, founded by a Minneapolisite and Chicagoan.
Midwest Coalition is developing a three-year plan (to start 2007). Two years ago, the program received funding for collaboration within the coalition on regional human rights issues. The allocation created a forum to collaborate more and more easily. By use of a conference with the Coalition, two issues were decided:
Subsequently, the Coalition and Heartland Alliance collaborated for additional funding and hired a Field Coordinator. The three year plan includes the development of both one- and three-year plans for each of those issues in advocacy.
In addition to the three key issues, the Coalition would like to build a more cohesive regional human rights network. Within three years, a new directive will be set as well.
This organization does some international issue work, as well.
Describe a “day in the life” of the organization? What basically is accomplished by employees and volunteers on a daily basis?
The Coalition specifically employs a Field Coordinator (to address the three goals): Combined with the steering committee and the key project leaders are working together to develop the work plans. The Field Coordinator’s responsibility will be to completely organize and carry out the three programs. The Field Coordinator works with the visions of the leaders of the Coalition organizations and synthesizes concrete objectives for the plans, identifying resources, obtaining the resources, and kicking off the projects.
Since this is a Coalition, there are many job opportunities with Coalition members. Most include educational and legal services:
-Undergraduate education focus
The purposes of the Coalition include:
• providing more opportunities for volunteers to contribute their time and expertise on concrete projects and cases that promote and protect human rights;
• increasing leverage on policy makers in the U.S. and other countries;
• providing broader visibility for human rights issues and for the member groups;
• expanding the constituency for international human rights;
• cross-training on human rights issues and activities to maximize the impact of work;
• sharing experience in administrative, organizational and policy matters.
Who does this organization employ? (i.e. Graduate degrees; only grant writing background, etc). Why?
Basic skill set includes:
-Undergraduate degree (minimum)
-Prior working and internship experience with Human Rights organizations
Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?
-Posted on website
-Posted to listserv
-These positions are rarely posted in newspapers
1. Does this organization take volunteers?
What are the expectations/minimum requirements for volunteers in this organization?
Yes, at the association level. Each of these would have to be decided at the particular office.
2. Does this organization take interns?
What are the expectations/minimum requirements to obtain an internship with this organization?
Students who are currently pursuing graduate or law degrees, and upper-level undergraduate students. The internship was awarded a stipend between $3000-$3500.
At the Coalition level there are interns and then internal interns within the smaller organizations. The interns attended the Fall Retreat and contributed to the work plans. They were primarily there to help with the effort on the regional level.
3. Are there employment opportunities at this organization?
What are the basic requirements for this organization for any employee hired to address human rights?
At the association level, there are always employment opportunities. These will have to be explored at the association level.