Community Engagement for Human Rights Practitioners

Friday, October 27, 2023, from 9:30 am ET to 2 pm ET
Overview: In this workshop, students will discuss how theory and practice intersect in the workplace, and how to uphold inclusive methodologies that center impacted communities in decision-making and design. We will examine how community engagement augments human rights and social justice work, and identify impactful program interventions. Effective community engagement  remains a challenge for many practitioners, despite its importance in the human rights field. 
Some of the core themes in this workshop include:
  • Building an effective alliance with groups organizing on the ground;
  • Designing collaborative programmatic interventions, such as campaign design, documentation, and community-focused advocacy interventions before treaty bodies or government bodies;
  • Formulating community-centered advocacy strategies, and ensuring meaningful participation of community stakeholders;
  • Identifying common challenges and effective ways to mitigate them.
Students will discuss the balancing act and considerations today’s human rights professionals must address, including questions around positionality, organizational power dynamics, accountability, and moving at the speed of trust for effective partnerships.
Workshop Facilitator: Nahal Zamani serves as the Senior Vice President at the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a national resource and strategy center for state legislators working to move bold public policy that builds an equitable, resilient, and prosperous country for all. At SiX, Nahal oversees the program teams and serves on the Executive Team.
Before SiX, Nahal was the Director of Movement Building at Demos, a progressive think tank that powers the movement for a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy. At Demos, Nahal served on the senior leadership team, oversaw the partnerships and campaigns teams and represented the organization as a senior leader in external coalitions and tables.
Previously, Nahal was an Advocacy Program Manager for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) for over a decade, leading impactful campaigns and advocating regularly before elected officials, the UN, and the public. Nahal’s work included challenging the NYPD’s abusive stop-and-frisk practices and other discriminatory policing practices; criminal justice; economic and gender justice; immigrants’ rights, and government abuse of power. Nahal also served on the Steering Committee of the Communities United for Police Reform campaign in New York City. Before that, Nahal led human rights advocacy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) national headquarters. Nahal’s work has been covered in The New York Times, City and State New York, MSNBC, Al Dia and BRIC TV. Nahal holds an M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Rutgers University. You can follow Nahal on X at @NahalZamani.
RegistrationRegister here by October 20.  A light breakfast will be served.