UMass Boston


Upcoming Events

International Women's Day #BreakTheBias Roundtable 

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The Human Rights Group at UMass Boston and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development invite you to join our roundtable discussion in celebration of International Women’s Day. The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough. Action is needed to level the playing field.

Event Title: #BreakTheBias International Women’s Day Roundtable Discussion (hybrid event)

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Time: 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Location: University Hall, Auditorium 2300

Virtual Location:

Zoom Meeting ID: 916 2840 0901

Register here

For questions, please email

Past Events

International Human Rights Day Movie Night and Film Discussion



Date and time: Friday, December 10, 2021, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Hybrid Event.
On-Campus: University Hall, 2nd Floor, 2110

Zoom: 988 1788 5233
Please register for the event here, to allow us to accommodate the number of participants accordingly.

Join us for a movie, food, and drinks!

The School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD) and the UMB Human Rights Group present a film showing of the documentary, Before the Flood (2016), followed by a discussion with panelists from SGISD.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and environmental activist, and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet. Beyond the steps we can take as individuals, the film urges viewers to push their elected officials in supporting the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. 


Carlos A. Perez-Espitia, GISD Lecturer, Human Rights Attorney
Dadasaheb Tandale, GISD PhD Student
Thalia Viveros-Uehara, GISD PhD Student
Nicholas H. Johnson, GISD PhD Student
Shauna Murray, GISD PhD Student

For more information, please contact

Human Rights Day Fall 2021 Keynote Address

We will Mark Human Rights Day, Show Solidarity with the People of Sudan, and Discuss Climate Justice

Date: Friday, December 10, 2021, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 
Virtual Location: Please contact to RSVP and receive the Zoom link. 

Keynote Speakers: 



Nisreen Elsaim has been at the forefront of climate justice and youth activism in Sudan and globally since 2012, including during the 2018/2019 uprising. She is the founder and chair of Youth and Environment-Sudan, a platform that facilitates networking opportunities for youth working on the environment and climate justice.  She is also founder and chair of the Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change (SYOCC). Ms. Elsaim Chairs the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. Ms. Elsaim has an MA in renewable energy from the University of Khartoum. She has written several policy papers on the themes of climate change, renewable energy, youth, and gender equality.




Maurice Roberson, a Washington, D.C. native, graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a major in Africana Studies and a Minor in Human Rights in 2021. Upon graduation, Maurice received the John F. Kennedy Award, which is the top undergraduate honor. He also served UMass Boston as a senator in the Undergraduate Student Government, on the Student Advisory Council to the Vice Chancellor. He also co-founded the Human Rights Group. Maurice is a veteran who currently serves as a paralegal with the Air National Guard. He is currently pursuing his law degree at Georgetown University.

For more information, please contact,, or 

Consortium on Gender, Security & Human Rights Webinar

Extractive Industries, Violence, and Corporate Criminality: Is There a Pathway to Global Justice? 

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET
Zoom Webinar: registration required 
Campus location for group screening: University Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 2110, UMass Boston


Toxic Extraction and Corporate Criminality
Anna Zalik, Associate Professor, Environmental & Urban Change, York University, Canada

Exposing Mines as Sites of Crime Against Women
Catherine Coumans, 
Research Coordinator & Asia-Pacific Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada

Commentary from the Field Perspective
Marta Ruedas, 
Former Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and UN Resident Coordinator, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq.

Register here. 

Please visit our website to learn more about the Consortium's events at

Consortium on Gender, Security & Human Rights

In a World of Interlinked Crises, is the Green New Deal Enough? How a Feminist & Decolonial Global Green New Deal Can Transform Systemic Inequalities

November 9, 2021, 11:00 AM ET

Featuring Speakers:  Bhumika Muchhala & Anne Marie Goetz

Over the last few years there have been several Green New Deals emerging across the developed world. There have also been responses, critiques and alternative formulations, particularly from the Global South, centered on global economic and social justice and on the need for Green New Deals to address systemic inequalities and still-persisting colonial dynamics. What does a feminist and decolonial global Green New Deal look like? What would be its key principles and provisions? And could it serve as a viable, intersectional framework for building sustainable peace in worn-torn countries?

Register here for the webinar. 

Colloquium on  Decolonial Praxis
Friday April 30, 2021, from 1pm - 3pm EST 

Save the Date for this colloquium on anti-racist, decolonial perspectives and practices.

Four special guests will be joining our Psychology Department here at UMass Boston for this special event. We will be welcoming Shahnaaz Suffla, Hugo Canham, Urmitapa Dutta, and Sarah Ihmoud for a circle discussion on Friday April 30, 2021, from 1pm - 3pm EST. We will send out a Zoom link for this event as we approach the date. Stay tuned!




“Decolonizing Human Rights: Re-thinking the 'Human' and Examining other Vocabularies of Justice” Dr. Shenila Khoja-Moolji Bowdoin College, Maine
Wednesday, March 10 @ 4 – 5:30pm

This spring, we are delighted to host Dr. Shenila Khoja-Moolji, Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College, Maine. Dr. Khoja-Moolji is the author of the award winning book, Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia (2019) and the forthcoming book, Sovereign Attachments: Masculinity, Muslimness, and Affective Politics in Pakistan (2021). Her research interests include: Muslim girlhood(s), masculinities and sovereignty, and Ismaili Muslim women's history. She investigates these topics empirically in relation to Muslims in Pakistan, the United States, and Canada.

Zoom Link:
Passcode: 251755

Feminisms Unbound - Global Protests
Thursday, February 18 from  6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Zoom event (


Unprecedented levels of global hardship and suffering in 2020 have been accompanied by stunning eruptions of people gathering on the streets and in public venues protesting systemic oppressions. From authoritarian regimes to white supremacy, police brutality to military occupation, caste discrimination to gendered and sexualized violence, economic inequality to policy failures, labor exploitation to health disparities, voluminous and vociferous crowds have peppered our visual landscape and living experience of the pandemic and illuminated the increasing urgency to co-imagine a different future. From Australia to Hong Kong, USA to UK, Brazil to Bangladesh people are marching – masked, undeterred and resistant- demanding attention and justice with bold messages like “Silence is Violence”, “I Can’t Breathe”, and “No Justice No Peace.” These messages and movements lay bare the asymmetries of privilege and oppression, the unevenness of growth and wellbeing, and simultaneously encourage a social transformation that takes seriously interdependencies of life, humanity, and ecology. We invite panelists to think through the lessons of their areas of research and expertise and to shed light on how they are thinking about the paradoxes and power of protests.

Speakers include:

  • Ather Zia, CU Boulder
  • Ghassan Moussawi, University of Illinois
  • Marcela Fuentes, Northwestern
  • Maria John, UMass Boston
  • Nusrat Chowdhury, Amherst College

Fall Keynote Lecture in Human Rights (featuring Professor Rashida Manjoo)
Thursday December 10, 2 PM Eastern 

On Human Rights Day, we were honored to mark the worldwide celebrations of Beijing + 25: the 25th anniversary of the landmark United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action.

Professor Rashida Manjoo, from the Public Law Department of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, joined us on Zoom. The title of her presentation was “Achievements, Challenges, and Gaps in the Quest for the Realization of Human Rights of Women.” Also joining us was Tashi Lhamu, graduate of the UMass Boston Human Rights Minor 2020, and recipient of the Human Rights Award last spring.

International Human Rights Day Panel
Thursday December 10, 1 PM Eastern 

We engaged with community members who are involved in research and advocacy on human rights issues here in Boston, nationally, and around the globe. Watch the recording!

Moderator: Dr. Elena Taborda (SGISD alum)


  • KONSTANTINOS KOUTSIOUMPAS, PhD candidate: Awareness of human rights in Boston
  • REYES COLL-TELLECHEA, PhD, Professor, UMass Boston, and a commissioner on the Boston Human Rights Commission: Discussing the first six months of the commission’s work
  • SINDISO MNISI WEEKS, DPhil, Assistant Professor, UMass Boston: On teaching human rights: Local and international human rights practice
  • SHAHRZAD SAJADI, PhD candidate: The National Human Rights Cities Alliance
  • PRISCA TARIMO, PhD candidate: Mandates of Human Rights Commissions across the U.S.
  • ESTHER KAMAU, PhD candidate: The International Human Rights Cities movement

Book Launch: Foundations of Global Health & Human Rights
Thursday December 10, 9 AM Eastern

We celebrated the launch of this new book from Oxford University Press: Foundations of Global Health & Human Rights.

This text seeks to provide a systematic understanding of the evolving relationship between global health and human rights, laying a human rights foundation for the advancement of transformative health policies, programs, and practices. Associate Professor Gillian MacNaughton is a contributor.

Bringing together the WHO Director-General and leading academics in the field of health and human rights, this book launch:
(1) explained the norms and principles that define the field,
(2) examined the methods and tools for implementing human rights to promote health,
(3) applied essential human rights to leading public health threats, and
(4) analyzed rising human rights challenges in a rapidly globalizing world.

We look to this textbook in providing a foundation for public health students. As we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we see this book as more necessary than ever before — preparing the next generation for the global health and human rights challenges ahead.

October 7–9, 2020
Confronting the Climate Crisis: Feminist Pathways to Just and Sustainable Futures


This online symposium called attention not only to the climate crisis, but also to what is at stake in the kinds of responses to it that are proposed. Many of the proposed “fixes” are rooted in the same political economic paradigms and worldviews that created the current climate and ecological crises in the first place. Thus, they often not only pose great environmental risks, but also threaten to deepen existing gender, racial, and global inequalities.

However, there are encouraging signs that many activists and researchers are approaching climate breakdown with a global justice perspective. This event highlighted the work being done by diverse feminist thinkers, including feminist political economists and feminist political ecologists. They are outlining the radical solutions that the crisis demands, proposing fundamental shifts in the dominant global economic model.

Throughout the symposium, the focus was on intersectional feminist analysis, with an emphasis on global justice and sustainability.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at 2PM: Book Talk! 4th Wheatley, CPCS Atrium

UMass Boston welcomes Andrew Ross—Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University—for a discussion of his most recent book, Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 2:00-6:00 pm:  2nd Annual Global Health and Human Rights Working Group Workshop
SGISD Bayside, 4th Floor, Room 454

The PhD Program in Global Governance and Human Security and the PhD Program in Global Inclusion and Social Development, in collaboration with the Health and Human Rights Working Group, announce a workshop on Global Health and Human Rights to be held at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, Bayside Building, 4th Floor, 150 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester (next to the Double Tree Hilton Hotel). Download the program here.




Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 12 - 2:00pm: Book Party! Alumni Lounge, Campus Center, 2nd Floor. 

Please join the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as we celebrate the books our faculty have published this year!  The UMass Boston Community, Friends, and Family are invited! Contact for more info!


Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 3:00-4:00pm: Book Party! Chancellor’s Conference Room, Quinn Building, 3rd Floor.


Book Party celebrating the release of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights: History, Politics, Practice - a publication by the UMass Boston Human Rights Working Group. The event happened on Feb 20th at Chancellor’s Conference Room, UMass Boston.



Wednesday, December 10, 2018 at 12 - 2 PM: International Human Rights Day. UMass Boston Campus Center, Third Floor, Ballroom A.

Forum on Border, Refugees and Violence – the Plight of the Rohingya refugees at the Bangladesh/Myanmar Border. We are joined by three distinguished speakers spanning research, advocacy and global health arenas:







Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 5:00 PM: BOOK PARTY! Bayside Campus (150 Mt. Vernon St.), Room 454.




Celebrate the publication of “Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World,” edited by Gillian MacNaughton and Diane F. Frey. There will be presentations by the two co-editors and chapter author PhD Candidate James Murphy, followed by discussion and refreshments.





Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 12 - 2 PM: Speaker Series Fall 2018: Human Rights in Colombia, Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3540




Register now and join us for a discussion with the Executive Director of Corporación Vínculos, an NGO founded and led by women, based in Bogotá, Colombia. Learn about their efforts to provide psychosocial care to victims of the Colombian armed conflicts, and how they are building cultures of peace and promoting gender equality.

Speaker: Liz Arévalo Naranjo.

Light refreshments will be served.

Co-Sponsored by Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, and the Human Rights Minor.

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.

Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM: Carmen Alanis, JD, Center for Mexican Studies. Bayside Building (150 Mt. Vernon St.), Fourth Floor, Library Conference Room.



Carmen Alanis, Director of the Center for Mexican Studies at UMass Boston will speak about the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Also learn about faculty and student research, education and advocacy on human rights.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 4 - 6 PM: Launch of "Human Rights at UMass Boston" Website.  UMass Boston Campus Center, Third Floor, Ballroom B.


More than 60 guests participated in the launch of the new "Human Rights at UMass Boston" Website.  Students, professors, and others in our community who work on human rights issues here in Boston, nationally, and around the globe discussed their research and programs.

The event was sponsored by:

  • School for Global Inclusion and Social Development
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department
  • Honors College
  • Human Rights Minor
  • Center for Peace, Democracy and Development
  • Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
  • Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
  • Labor Resource Center
  • Human Rights Research and Practice Group

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 2:30 - 6:30 PMFirst Annual UMass Boston Health and Human Rights Workshop.  Bayside Campus (150 Mt. Vernon St.), Room 454.  


The PhD program in Global Governance and Human Security and the PhD program in Global Inclusion and Social Development, in collaboration with the Health and Human Rights Working Group, conducted a workshop on Global Health and Human Rights at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 3 PMPresentation by Professor Maria Green on Human Rights and Development.  Bayside Campus (150 Mt. Vernon St.), Library Conference Room

Professor Maria Greenʼs work focuses on human rights and development, with an emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights and on practical implementation of human rights standards as part of development or anti-poverty policy and practice. She also writes and teaches on issues relating to law, literature and human rights.  Join us to discuss the right to development, human rights-based approaches to development and the sustainable development goals!

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 12 PM: Celebrate Boston Human Rights City Day! Webinar at 12 noon.

Join us to celebrate Boston Human Rights City Day!  Discuss:

  • What does it mean for Boston to be a Human Rights City?
  • What is the Boston Human Rights City Initiative?
  • How can we protect and strengthen the rights of vulnerable populations, here in Boston and beyond?

April 13 was the 7th anniversary of the Boston Human Rights City Resolution. SGISD faculty and students held an engaging talk about the Boston Human Rights City Initiative. You can watch the Webinar here.

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 4 - 5:30 PM: "Abortion Rights and Access in a Global Context." Presentation by Alejandra Cardenas, Deputy Director of the Global Legal Program, Center for Reproductive Rights and Susan Yanow, Co-Founder of Women Help Women.  Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd Floor, Room 3300

Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 12:30 - 1:45 PM: Spring 2018 Human Rights Minor Keynote Address by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and activist, who is the founder and executive director of the Zimbabwe-based Rozaria Memorial Trust, the Chair of ActionAid International, and the African Union's Good Will Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.

Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 5 PM: Steering Committee of the Boston Human Rights City Initiative

Book Launch Party Held for Sindiso Mnisi Weeks



A book launch party was held on February 9, 2018 for Sindiso Mnisi Weeks, assistant professor of public policy of excluded populations in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD). In Access to Justice and Human Security: Cultural Contradictions in Rural South Africa, Minisi Weeks proposes a cooperative governance model that would deliver peace and protection from violence, as well as mitigation of poverty and destitution, which rural people genuinely need.  

“I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share the narrative in this book,” Mnisi Weeks said. “While unique in some ways, these rural South African communities' stories are also representative of the everyday violence, insecurity, and injustice experienced by people living in poverty in other areas I've studied and throughout the world."

Photo by Dave Temelini. All Rights Reserved.

Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals Panel


On December 13, 2017, the Human Rights Research and Practice Group held a panel on “Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals” at SGISD. Esther Kamau, a PhD student at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, and Michael Scanlon, a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston, co-hosted the event.  The panel featured four papers that were published in the special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights (2017) on “Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.” Read them for free here.

“Neglecting Human Rights: Accountability, Data and Sustainable Development Goal 3” by Dr. Carmel Williams (Essex and Harvard)

“Evaluating the Health-related Targets in the Sustainable Development Goals from a Human Rights Perspective,” by Dr. Audrey R. Chapman (UConn)

“Economic Growth, Full Employment and Decent Work: The Means and Ends in SDG 8,” by Dr. Diane F. Frey (SFSU)

“Vertical inequalities: Are the SDGs and Human Rights Up to the Challenges?” by Dr. Gillian MacNaughton (SGISD)


Photo by Matt Annunziato.  All Rights Reserved.

Human Rights at UMass Boston

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125