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Center for Human Rights and International Justice

Upcoming Events

For more Fall 2014 events, please visit our homepage.


Working With Immigrants: An Overview of Current Immigration Issues and a Look at Greater Boston

Monday, October 20 and Tuesday, October 21
7:00 p.m.
Fulton 511

A training focused on BC undergrads working in service placements with immigrant populations.

See here for more information and to RSVP.   See flyer here.

Painting by Jorge A. Guzman

Crossing Borders: Organizing In El Salvador and the U.S. for Alternatives to Immigration

Friday, October 24
12:30 p.m.
Devlin Hall 218, Boston College


  • Edith Portillo, Organizer and elected leader of the Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES)
  • Felipe Tobar, Mayor of San Jose Las Flores, Chalatenango- popular historian, lifetime community organizer
  • Douglas Serrano, president of the community council of San Jose Las Flores and popular educator
  • Alexandra Early, Chelsea Collaborative
  • A newly arrived Central American refugee youth

Hear from community activists from El Salvador who are taking on the push factors driving the current immigration crisis. They’ll discuss how U.S. foreign policy created the current immigration crisis, how the Salvadoran government and social movements are responding, and what we can do at the local and international level to protect the rights of immigrants and the right of Central Americans to stay in their home countries.

Co-sponsored by the Cambridge Sister City Project, the Chelsea Collaborative, and the Lynch School Dept. of Counseling and Educational Psychology.

A light lunch will be served.


Corporations, Individuals, and the Common Good: The Uncertainties of Religious Freedom after the Supreme Hobby Lobby Decision

Friday, October 31
12:30 pm

Hovey House Library, Boston College
New location: Newton Room, Corcoran Commons, Boston College

With Cathy Kaveny, Professor of Law and the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Theology at BC. Part of the Center's Works in Progress colloquium series this fall.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014), the Supreme Court held that a closely held for-profit corporation was exempt from a federal requirement to provide coverage for certain types of birth control for its employees, because its owners conscientiously object to covering them and the government has a less restrictive means for making that coverage available. Hobby Lobby raises a host of questions about the nature, scope, and limits of religious freedom in a pluralistic society, including questions about the rights of large for-profit corporations, the religious liberty rights of employees, and the ongoing feasibility of the "less restrictive means" test. This session will outline the Hobby Lobby decision and the challenges it creates.

A light lunch will be served.


Carolyn Forché

A Poet's Journey from El Salvador to 2014: Witness in the Light of Conscience

Wednesday, November 19
7:00 pm
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons, Boston College

With Prof. Carolyn Forché of Georgetown University. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the slayings of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador. 

To learn more about the martyrs of the UCA, see this section of the Ignatian Advocacy Network's site.

Co-sponsored by the Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights, the Jesuit Institute at Boston College, the English Department, and the Latin American Studies program.

About the presenter:

Poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. The Country between Us was named the 1981 Lamont Poetry Selection and became that most-rare publication: a poetry bestseller. Some of its poems respond to the crisis in El Salvador.  Calling for a new poetry invested in the “social,” Forché’s anthology Against Forgetting presented poets who had written under extreme conditions, including war, exile, and imprisonment. Katha Pollitt remarked that “at their best, Forché’s poems have the immediacy of war correspondence, postcards from the volcano of twentieth-century barbarism.” In 2013 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, joining the ranks of such acclaimed authors as Robert Frost and e.e. cummings.  She is also working on a memoir, In Another Country, in Another Time, about her years in El Salvador just before the country became fully engulfed in its 12-year civil war.  “I spent some significant time in El Salvador in the late 1970s and finally left in March 1980, one week before the Archbishop [Óscar Romero] was assassinated,” she says.

At the time, Forché was a Guggenheim Fellow translating the works of Central American poet Claribel Alegría. While the latter poet was in exile in Spain for her political writings, Alegría’s relatives invited Forché to El Salvador.

“I became involved in documenting human rights conditions,” she recalls. “It was a period in which the death squads were very active. So there were many harrowing experiences.”

She is Lannan Professor of Poetry, Professor of English, and the Director of the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.