Human Rights at Home

This project has ongoing components in coordination with other University of Chicago Centers and community partners:

Right to Education Project: coordinated with the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, and in collaboration with the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, Susan Gzesh and Sital Kalantry began this project in Spring 2013. Spring events included a well-attended panel on the privatization of education and a meeting with parents of students subject to Chicago Public Schools’ massive project of school closings.

In summer 2013, faculty and students prepared and filed a Letter of Allegation on behalf of parents, students, and interested organizations and citizens to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Education, Contemporary Forms of Racism to request an investigation of the human rights impact of the school closures. The Human Rights Program organized community and other participants in the petition. The press release and effort received extensive coverage in the local press and online.

The project will continue throughout 2013-14, including support for filing a Shadow Report for the October 2013 United Nations review of U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

Hard Times: Black Appeals Local and Global Lecture Series is a joint project with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

The 2013-2014 series has included talks by Professors Michael Dawson (Blacks In and Out of the Left), Barbara Ransby (Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson), and Bernardine Dohrn (Visiting Lecturer in Human Rights). 

Our next presenter will be: 

  • Carol Anderson (April 29), Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. Professor Anderson will base her presentation on her renowned book Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955.  For her talk, Anderson will describe how the African American leadership struggled to bring the condition of African Americans to international attention, to expose the contrast between U.S. statements about human rights on the global scene and the realities of Jim Crow at home and the lessons of their struggles for today.

This project was inspired by An Appeal to the World, the 1947 petition to the United Nations by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The petition was edited and organized by Dr. W.E.B. DuBois; chapter authors included, Earl B. Dickerson, Milton Konvitz, William R. Ming, Jr., Leslie S. Perry, and Rayford Logan. Dickerson and Ming are both graduates of the University of Chicago Law School and important figures in the history of the South Side.

Read a blog post about the NAACP petition by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, University of Chicago Law School.

Read the full 1947 Petition (NAACP An Appeal to the World) here: