To RSVP for events, click the title of the event for the full event listing, then click "Register."

2018-19 Events

Immigrant rights and public benefits in Massachusetts

Immigrant rights and public benefits in Massachusetts

Join the Center for an interactive mini-workshop exploring what types of rights to necessities such as housing, food, healthcare and education are available to immigrants in Massachusetts.  To be explored is how access to these basic goods are affected by type of immigration status, and lack of immigration status.

The workshop will be particularly valuable to students in service programs, such as PULSE and 4Boston, working in social service agencies on the metro Boston area, as it will help to understand the realities their clients are living, but the workshop is open to all interested in learning more about these issues. No prior knowledge or experience is required.

RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/Jan30workshop or at the Register button on the right side of the event listing!

January 30

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Stokes Hall, North N428

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" presentation: "Holding Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Lessons from Corporate Campaigning"

"Rights in Conflict" presentation: "Holding Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Lessons from Corporate Campaigning"

With Irit Tamir, Director of Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department, and Professor of Law, BC Law School.

In this presentation Professor Tamir will discuss the strategies the organization uses to hold companies accountable for their responsibility to respect human rights. Seven years after the adoption of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Ms. Tamir will reflect on the gaps that still remain and the issues that are trending in this space.

Access the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights here.

Professor Tamir is a graduate of BC Law School with an LLM in International Law. She taught Business and Human Rights in the law school this past fall semester. 

A light lunch to be served.  RSVP required here or at the Register button to the right.

 

January 31

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Barat House

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Conflicting religious freedoms? Catholics and Muslims in secular Belgium"

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Conflicting religious freedoms? Catholics and Muslims in secular Belgium"

With Laurie Johnston, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Director of Fellowships and Scholarships, Emmanuel College; and Professor, International Studies, Boston College.

Particularly since the Brussels terrorist attacks in 2016, Belgium has been criticized for failing to successfully integrate its Muslim populations, which constitute about 6% of the country’s population. Given that nearly 70% of Belgium children attend Catholic schools, these institutions play an important role in inter-religious and intercultural relations. Respect for religious liberty in society depends not only upon the behavior of the state, but also upon how private institutions demonstrate it – particularly if those private institutions are serving a diverse population.

Drawing upon six months of interview research with the directors and faculty at Catholic schools throughout Belgium, this presentation will examine some of the ethical issues that arise at Catholic schools with significant Muslim student populations. For some schools, the presence of Muslims is seen as a threat to their Catholic identity. Other Catholic schools embrace the opportunity to serve populations that are marginalized by the broader society, even boasting that more than 90% of their students are Muslim.  Overall, the research shows that despite the declining number of practicing Catholics, Catholic institutions nevertheless have an important role to play in Belgian society, as they attempt to mediate between religiously observant Muslims and a society that is often hostile to religious practice of any kind. 

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Laurie Johnston, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of Fellowships and Scholarships at Emmanuel College. A social ethicist, she holds degrees from Boston College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Virginia. She has recently been a Fulbright Scholar at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College. She is editor of several books, including Can War be Just in the 21st  Century (Orbis Press 2015), and The Surprise of Reconciliation in the Catholic Tradition (Paulist Press, 2018).

Lunch to be served.  RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/johnston0214 or at the Register button above.

February 14

12:00 PM

Campion Hall, 139

Contact
Timothy Karcz

Human Rights in Action: Bringing Home a Wrongly Deported US Resident from Honduras

Human Rights in Action: Bringing Home a Wrongly Deported US Resident from Honduras

This event wil celebrate and recognize Nixon Peabody LLP and the Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (PDHRP) at Boston College, who last year won a major legal victory this week after an eight-year legal struggle to overturn the erroneous deportation of a legal permanent resident who had been deported more than a dozen years ago. 

The client, who will speak at the event, was arrested for simple drug possession under Louisiana state law in 2002.  He paid a fine and was put on probation and given a first offender pardon.  However, he was subsequently arrested in his home and put into removal proceedings by Immigration and Customes Enforcement (ICE). After being in a series of detention centers, he was deported to Honduras in 2005.

Researching online, the client read about a Supreme Court decision, Lopez v. Gonzales, which held that a simple drug possession conviction was not an “aggravated felony” under the immigration statutes. Sensing that this case might help him return to the US, he reached out to the PDHRP. 

The PDHRP took the case and subsequntly partnered with Nixon Peabody LLP, which donated countless hours of pro bono work on the case, much by Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, a Center certificate recipient and BC Law '07, Danielle McLaughlin, and Brianna Nassif BC Law ’17.

The event will recap the long legal process and strategy that unwound from there, eventually winning cancellation of removal for the client and securing his return to the US last year.  

Please join us for this special event to celebrate this victory for human rights.  A reception will follow the speaking part of the event.  RSVP here for the event, or at the Register button on the event's web page.

Read more about the case and how it was won in its press release here.

 

February 20

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM

East Wing, 115B

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation: "The Right of Privacy for Poor Mothers  v. The Right of Children to be Free of Abuse and Neglect"

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation: "The Right of Privacy for Poor Mothers v. The Right of Children to be Free of Abuse and Neglect"

With Khiara Bridges, Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Equity, Justice & Engagement, at Boston University School of Law

In this presentation, Khiara M. Bridges will discuss her new book,The Poverty of Privacy Rights. The book makes a simple argument: Poor mothers in America have been deprived of the right to privacy. The U.S. Constitution is supposed to bestow rights equally. Yet the poor are subject to invasions that suggest that they live in a world where the government has few, if any, limits on its power. Bridges investigates poor mothers’ experiences with the state—both when they receive public assistance and when they do not. The result of this investigation is an argument that turns popular thinking on its head. Bridges argues that poor mothers’ lack of privacy is not a function of their reliance on government assistance; nor is their lack of privacy a function of their bearing “weak versions” of the privacy rights everyone else enjoys. Rather, their lack of privacy is a function of their not bearing familial, informational, and reproductive privacy rights in the first place. Bridges's talk will focus on the ostensible clash between poor mothers' right to privacy and their children's right to be free from abuse and neglect.

 

A light lunch to be served.  RSVP here or at the "Register" button at the right of the page.

March 18

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

McElroy Commons, 237

Contact
Timothy Karcz

An International Holocaust Conference: Mein Kampf: Prelude to the Holocaust

An International Holocaust Conference: Mein Kampf: Prelude to the Holocaust

In 2016, the historians in Munich's Institute of Contemporary History published an annotated 2-volume edition of Hitler's blueprint for the new Germany, "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle," 1926). This international conference will host speakers from Germany, Israel and the US and will present their scholarly work to show how Hitler's original writing in "Mein Kampf" on nationalism, expansionism and anti-Semitism led to the tragedy of WWII and the Holocaust.

April 25 – April 26

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Corcoran Commons, The Heights Room

Contact
John Michalczyk (john.michalczyk@bc.edu)

An International Holocaust Conference: Mein Kampf: Prelude to the Holocaust

An International Holocaust Conference: Mein Kampf: Prelude to the Holocaust

In 2016, the historians in Munich's Institute of Contemporary History published an annotated 2-volume edition of Hitler's blueprint for the new Germany, "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle," 1926). This international conference will host speakers from Germany, Israel and the US and will present their scholarly work to show how Hitler's original writing in "Mein Kampf" on nationalism, expansionism and anti-Semitism led to the tragedy of WWII and the Holocaust.

April 25 – April 26

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Corcoran Commons, The Heights Room

Contact
John Michalczyk (john.michalczyk@bc.edu)

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon discussion series

The focus of this year’s Human Rights Luncheon Speaker series is “Rights in Conflict.”  By this framing, we aim to focus on two distinct but related ideas:  The first is that rights discourses, by their very nature, often conflict with each other.  This raises deep problems of interpretation, legitimacy, strategies and tactics for activists, etc.  Around the world, we see many recent poignant examples of such conflicts, including US Supreme Court litigation over religious-based refusals to provide cakes for gay weddings, debates over the lines where “free speech” may become sufficiently oppressive to violate rights to dignity or equal protection, tensions between the power (some say the “rights”) of nation-states to control their borders versus compelling human rights claims of refugees, those facing deportation, women’s rights claims for equity versus “traditional” or “cultural” but often exclusionary or patriarchal norms, etc. 

The other meaning of conflict refers to actual conflicts where rights claims face increasing pressure, again often due to claims of overriding security issues (e.g., President Trump’s promise to resurrect waterboarding; the threats to journalists in Mexico, and elsewhere), deep norms of cultural or religious cohesion (e.g., the Rohingya in Burma; US and Canada removals and forced assimilation of Native children), and transnational capital development (e.g., global North’s industries’ extractive mining and/or flooding of indigenous lands for hydroelectricity in the global South).

In sum, human rights claims have increasingly come into conflict in both senses, both in the US and around the world. Invited speakers will reflect on these fault lines and consider how societies and institutions balance such competing claims, both as to specific case studies and, as part of a year long extended conversation, more broadly.

Follow the links in the event calendar above for more details and to RSVP for lunch.