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26 September 2011

Beyond Conventions: A Ford Forum on Human Rights

In our final 75th anniversary Ford Forum, we gather activists, rights defenders, government and private sector leaders, artists and writers to challenge us all to think beyond conventions and to reimagine what human rights can and should be in an era of transformation. “Beyond Conventions: Reimagining Human Rights in a Time of Change” will be held at the foundation on Sept. 20, 2011.

  • Highlights from Beyond Conventions Beyond Conventions: the Highlights Our final Ford Foundation anniversary forum explores the global human rights movement, past and present, and how human rights are defined today in the context of changing technologies, communities, leadership and needs. (03:27)
  • Beyond Conventions Opening Video Human rights luminaries from around the globe talk about what it means to go beyond conventions for the next wave of human rights work. With Gloria Steinem, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson and many more. (05:06)
  • Welcome Remarks Welcome Remarks Luis Ubiñas, Ford Foundation’s president, and Maya Harris, Ford&8217;s vice president for Democracry, Rights and Justice, welcome guests and kick off the day’s events. (12:32)
  • Human Rights on Trial Human Rights on Trial An open hearing on the movement’s past—and its future with. Features Jackie Dugard, co-founder and executive director of Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa; Jeremy Heimans, co-Founder and CEO of Purpose; Diego Luna, actor and activist; Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union; and Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International. Moderated by Geoffrey Robertson QC, human rights lawyer. (01:05:27)
  • Women of the World Women of the World A conversation with global leaders. Features Michelle Bachelet, executive director of UN Women, and U.S. ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues. Moderated by Cynthia McFadden, ABC News' anchor and correspondent. (47:04)
  • Sussan Deyhim Performs Sussan Deyhim Performs A special moment with the Iranian composer, vocalist and performance artist. (12:12)
  • We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident Lunchtime Discussion: We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident The state of rights in the United States. Features Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Harold Hongju Koh, legal adviser for the U.S. Department of State. Moderated by Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for The New Yorker. (41:24)
  • Universes Performs Universes Performs A unique performance by the international ensemble company. (12:05)
  • Technology: The Next Frontier Technology: The Next Frontier The possibilities and pitfalls of technology in the pursuit of human freedom. Features Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web; Rebecca MacKinnon, senior fellow at the New America Foundation; Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First; Andrew McLaughlin, executive director of Civic Commons; and Danny O’Brien, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Internet advocacy coordinator. Moderated by Sewell Chan, deputy editor for The New York Times. (51:28)
  • On the Frontlines of Human Rights On the Frontlines of Human Rights A profound conversation with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Desmond Tutu, chair of The Elders. Moderated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, NPR’s foreign correspondent. (55:54)
  • Paths to Prosperity Paths to Prosperity Human rights and the pursuit of economic and social inclusion. Features Hossam Bahgat, founder and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; Nonkosi Khumalo, chair of the Treatment Action Campaign; Angélique Kidjo, founder of Batonga; Balakrishnan Rajagopal, director of the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice; and Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Moderated by Lyse Doucet, BBC World Service’s correspondent. (57:54)
  • Angélique Kidjo Performs Angélique Kidjo Performs An internationally acclaimed artist shares her global perspective through song. (14:33)
  • Cesar Rodríguez-Garavito Cesar Rodríguez-Garavito The director of the Program on Global Justice and Human Rights considers how we can move beyond legal conventions to effect real change. (00:22)
  • Regan Ralph Regan Ralph The executive director of the Fund for Global Human Rights answers the question of why we need to move beyond conventions. (00:33)
  • John Payton John Payton The president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund speaks about the meaning of “convention,” at the local level. (00:31)
  • Lydia Alpízar Durán Lydia Alpízar Durán The executive director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development explains how women are at the heart of the human rights movement. (00:35)



Images from the Day

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About the Event

Session One: Human Rights on Trial (9:20-10:40 a.m.)

The global human rights movement has achieved tremendous success. It has reshaped international and domestic policy worldwide, confronted authoritarian regimes, supported dissidents and defended the rights of millions. It has grown from a mere handful of organizations to a powerful global network, winning passage of standards-setting conventions, securing breakthrough legal victories and capturing the imaginations of people everywhere. But it also has unfinished business. How will the movement confront the challenges of implementing rights? Effectively tackle the increasing role of non-state actors? Build a movement of inclusion and diversity? Embrace economic and social rights as a next frontier? In this curtain-raising session, we will interrogate these propositions and explore the future direction of this vital movement.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Geoffrey Robertson QC Geoffrey Robertson QC (Moderator) Human Rights Lawyer
Jackie Dugard Jackie Dugard Co-Founder and Executive Director
Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa
Jeremy Heimans Jeremy Heimans Co-Founder and CEO
Diego Luna Diego Luna Actor and Activist
Anthony D. Romero Anthony D. Romero Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union
Salil Shetty Salil Shetty Secretary General
Amnesty International

Session Two: Women of the World (11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

At the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton proclaimed that “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” Where are we today, and where are we headed? Are women’s rights the defining cause of the 21st century? Has heightened global awareness of women’s equality improved the lived realities of women and their families? Two leading voices for human dignity come together to explore how women everywhere can work across sectors and movements to solve the world’s most intractable problems.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Cynthia McFadden Cynthia McFadden (Moderator) Anchor and Correspondent
ABC News
Michelle Bachelet Michelle Bachelet Executive Director
UN Women
Melanne Verveer Melanne Verveer U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Live Performance by Sussan Deyhim (12:00-12:10 p.m.)

Sussan Deyhim is an Iranian composer, vocalist and performance artist who is known around the world for creating a unique sonic and vocal language imbued with a sense of ritual and the unknown. Deyhim was part of ballet companies in Iran and Europe before moving to New York in 1980 and embarking on a multifaceted career involving music, theater, dance, media and film. She has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Peter Gabriel, Talvin Singh, Branford Marsalis and Shirin Neshat.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Sussan Deyhim Sussan Deyhim Composer, Vocalist and Performance Artist

Lunchtime Discussion: We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident (12:35-1:30 p.m.)

After 235 years, the United States is still striving to fulfill the promise of rights set forth in its Declaration of Independence. As a leading voice on human rights around the world, what is the next generation of achievements needed at home? From criminal justice to immigration and education, what are the priorities and the paths that define a new era of rights? This lunchtime conversation will explore the issues we must confront to achieve “a more perfect union.”

Portrait Name Title and Address
Jeffrey Toobin Jeffrey Toobin (Moderator) Staff Writer
The New Yorker
Wade Henderson Wade Henderson President and CEO
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Harold Hongju Koh Harold Hongju Koh Legal Adviser
U.S. Department of State

Live Performance by Universes (1:55-2:05 p.m.)

Universes is an international ensemble company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse poetry, theater, jazz, hip hop, politics, down-home blues and Spanish boleros to create theatrical works that are moving, challenging and entertaining. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to set forth their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater-crafters and theater-goers to reshape the face of American performance.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Universes Universes International Ensemble Performance Company

Session Three: Technology — The Next Frontier (2:05-3:10 p.m.)

How are human rights defended or denied in an online world? In this conversation, we tackle the role technology can play in advancing the human rights agenda. What do freedom of expression and the right to privacy mean in the digital environment? What is the role and what are the limitations of technology in fueling social movements? What are the threats that human rights defenders face online and how can they protect themselves? A provocative panel of technologists and human rights defenders offers thoughtful conclusions about how the movement can activate the digital space and get wired for change.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Sewell Chan Sewell Chan (Moderator) Deputy Editor
The New York Times
Tim Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee Inventor
World Wide Web
Rebecca MacKinnon Rebecca MacKinnon Senior Fellow
New America Foundation
Elisa Massimino Elisa Massimino President and CEO
Human Rights First
Andrew McLaughlin Andrew McLaughlin Executive Director
Civic Commons
Danny O'Brien Danny O'Brien Internet Advocacy Coordinator
Committee to Protect Journalists

Session Four: On the Frontlines of Human Rights (3:10-3:55 p.m.)

Throughout their distinguished careers, Madeleine K. Albright and Desmond Tutu have been leaders and game-changers. They have witnessed some of the worst atrocities and greatest triumphs of the 20th century. In this special conversation, they will share their collective wisdom as they discuss what they’ve learned over decades of intense engagement with global struggles for human rights, reflect on unfinished business and look ahead to the challenges facing the next generation.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Charlayne Hunter-Gault Charlayne Hunter-Gault (Moderator) Foreign Correspondent
Madeleine K. Albright Madeleine K. Albright Former U.S. Secretary of State
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu Chair
The Elders

Session Five: Paths to Prosperity (4:25-5:20 p.m.)

The significance of human rights conventions as tools on the road to justice is well-established. And the growth of democratic movements and governments across the globe brings hope. But these successes have failed to create a path to economic prosperity that is more broadly shared. Billions of people are denied economic opportunity and access to resources. An equal number continue to face discrimination and exclusion. Can traditional human rights strategies deliver justice for those who are excluded and marginalized not just politically but socially and economically? This conversation will explore the new opportunities and voices that are offering answers to fundamental questions about the future of the human rights movement and its ability to move a globalizing world toward dignity for all.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Lyse Doucet Lyse Doucet (Moderator) Correspondent
BBC World Service
Hossam Bahgat Hossam Bahgat Founder and Director
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Nonkosi Khumalo Nonkosi Khumalo Chair
Treatment Action Campaign
Angélique Kidjo Angélique Kidjo Founder
Balakrishnan Rajagopal Balakrishnan Rajagopal Director
MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice
Kenneth Roth Kenneth Roth Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

Live Performance by Angélique Kidjo (5:20-5:30 p.m.)

Angélique Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. Her internationally acclaimed repertoire includes collaborations with Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys and Joss Stone. Kidjo’s album “Djin Djin” won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album in 2008 and her most recent album, “Oyo,” was nominated for the same award in 2011.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Angélique Kidjo Angélique Kidjo Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist

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