The Chicago Committee is part of the Human Rights Watch Council, a global network of individuals and committees across 33 cities internationally. Council members are ambassadors for Human Rights Watch in their communities, providing us with a strong presence in key cities and countries.

As the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch, we play a central role in raising awareness in Chicago of local and global human rights issues, generating financial support for the organization's mission, and mobilizing the public to defend basic freedoms for all. Together, we play a key role in defending human rights by ensuring that human rights issues remain high on the public agenda in our city. 



  • May 23, 2024

    We are delighted to announce The 20th Anniversary Salon Series of Human Rights Watch’s Chicago Committee, bringing you discussions of the most pressing topics from the headlines through a human rights lens. Each conversation will feature a Human Rights Watch expert from the incredible staff, sometimes in conversation with another local expert in the field.

    This series replaces our gala this year as a way for us to gather and reaffirm our commitment to Human Rights Watch and to each other. Your investment in Human Rights Watch comes with this opportunity to meet some of the most inspiring people working in the human rights movement today. We welcome your thoughts on topics to pursue in the future as we all seek to question, learn and become better informed ambassadors of the human rights movement in our community.

    Wednesday, January 24 at 6:00PM
    HRW Washington Director Sarah Yager
    Hosted by Shalini Sharma and Pradip Patiath at their Lincoln Park Home

    As the horrors continue in Israel/Palestine, it’s clear the United States government plays an important role in how the war unfolds and what happens next. Sarah Yager brings us up to date on the current state of affairs, and what HRW’s asks are for the US Government to promote rights-respecting policies.

    Women’s & Girls' Reproductive Health in the US
    Thursday, March 7th at 6:00PM
    HRW Executive Director, Children’s Rights Division Zama Neff featuring Cristina Villareal of Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Bryan Howard of Project 50
    Hosted by Urban Innovations and the Conant Family in River North

    Join us to celebrate International Women's Day in a discussion of the state of Women's Reproductive Health in the US. The coming election will be consequential for reproductive rights in the United States, and we would like to go into it informed and prepared to act!

    HRW's Zama Neff will discuss our work looking at the effect on girls from restricting their access to reproductive health.

    Planned Parenthood of Illinois' Cristina Villareal will discuss the issues at stake in Illinois, one of the most liberal states in the country.

    Project 50's Bryan Howard will tell us about strategic investing in community organizations in red states.

    HRW & the Human Rights Movement in a changing world
    Thursday, May 16th at 6:00PM
    Chief of Staff and Advisor to the Executive Director Param-Preet Singh
    Hosted by Chicago Co-Chair Mitchell Cobey and Janet Reali at their Gold Coast Home

    The world is on fire. Authoritarian and populist governments are on the rise globally. A warming planet presents an existential global threat to the foundations of our livelihood. Armed conflict and crises linked to economic inequality and discrimination continue to impact the human rights of millions worldwide. To remain effective in a changing world, Human Rights Watch must adapt.

    Join us as Param-Preet Singh, HRW Chief of Staff and Advisor to the Executive Director, expands on the key pillars of HRW’s new global strategy and answers the questions: Why now? Why HRW?

  • October 11, 2023

    Monday, November 6 | 7:00pm
    First United Methodist Church of Chicago
    77 West Washington Street

    In the past weeks, as the violence in Israel/Palestine has escalated so terribly, we have grieved losses so huge that they can be difficult to grasp. With this in mind, we hope you can join author Nathan Thrall discussing his book and the situation in Israel/Palestine with HRW Israel Palestine Director Omar Shakir in a conversation moderated by Dr. Barbara Ransby, Director of the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois Chicago. Rabbi Brant Rosen will offer welcome remarks.

    Immersive and gripping, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama is an indelibly human portrait of the struggle over Israel/Palestine that offers a new understanding of the tragic history and reality of one of the most contested places on earth.

    Co-sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, the Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle EastHuman Rights WatchJewish Voices for Peace Chicago, the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Tzedek Chicago.

    RSVP Required

  • May 8, 2023

    Join us for an in-person gallery talk on the intersection of art, activism, and actualizing a more just world, featuring Human Rights Watch US Program Director Tanya Greene.

    Renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Forgotten Dreams (2023) features all thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written across the faces of a bank of twenty-one aluminum doors. Plensa describes the Declaration as “the most beautiful poem in the world” as it embodies our dreams to be better as human beings, and to strive for perfection even though it is inevitably impossible to attain—a beacon with the potential to lead us toward a more enlightened path.

    Co-hosted by GRAY Chicago.

    Tuesday, May 30
    5:00pm Doors
    5:30pm Program

    GRAY Chicago
    2044 W Carroll Ave

    RSVP required. 

  • March 3, 2023

    Thursday, April 13 - Sunday, April 16
    Booth 421 | Festival Hall
    Navy Pier | 600 East Grand Avenue

    Human Rights Watch returns to EXPO CHICAGO for an eighth year with photographs by world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and monument, an installation by Denver-based artist Regan Rosburg.

    For admission and hours, click here.

  • November 18, 2022

    This International Human Rights Day, we are delighted to invite you to celebrate the launch of Invitation to Tea: Tea Project Archive & Recipe Book, featuring a conversation with activists and artists Aliya Hussain, Michael Rakowitz, and Mohamedou Ould Slahi, alongside editors Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes.

    The book features a forward by Human Rights Watch US Program Deputy Director Laura Pitter and recipes contributed by Human Rights Watch partners and community members the world over. Profits for the book go toward the Fund for Guantanamo Survivors.

    Co-hosted by Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

    Saturday, December 10 | 11:00am
    Weinberg/Newton Gallery
    688 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60642

    Register in-person or online here.
    Order your copy of the book here.

  • November 1, 2022

    The Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Celebration is an opportunity to come together, hear about Human Rights Watch's work, and add your voice to the millions of others standing up for human rights in these difficult times.

    Join us on Tuesday, November 15 and become part of our global community dedicated to protecting human rights and celebrating those who speak out where there is silence. This year, we are delighted to honor we will honor the leadership of Judy Gaynor and Susan Manilow who took the first steps to launch the Chicago Committee in 2004.

    Programming includes keynote speech from Acting Executive Director Tirana Hassan and additional speeches from Afghanistan researcher Fereshta Abbasi, Health and LGBTQ senior researcher Kyle Knight, and Chicago-based intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis.

    Tuesday, November 15
    6:00pm Reception
    7:00pm Program & Dinner

    Morgan MFG
    401 North Morgan Street

    Donate or register here.

  • December 9, 2020

    December 9, 2020 | 5:30 PM CST

    Join us December 9, the eve of Human Rights Day, as we celebrate our Future We Build Together Global Challenge. This year has test us all, but we have come together in solidarity with one another and will celebrate our collective work to advance human rights and dignity for all.

    Thank you for standing with us in 2020 and beyond.

    The global virtual event will begin at 5:30 PM CST. Executive Director Kenneth Roth and Chief Programs Officer Tirana Hassan will address why this moment is unlike any other for the human rights movement.

    The program will also include a special surprise musical performance to celebrate our Future We Build Together Global Challenge.

    Donate >>>



  • November 17, 2020

    Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and columnist with The Washington Post, joined Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth in conversation moderated by Chicago Committee Co-Chair Shalini Sharma to discuss human rights lessons learned during the pandemic, the outlook and future for the human rights movement, and opportunities to make progress with the incoming Biden Administration.

  • May 11, 2020

    The Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch hosted its first online screening and Q&A on May 8, 2020, with ANOTE'S ARK. The film by Matthieu Rytz profiles the impact of climate change on the island nation of Kiribati, which is danger of disappearing underwater as a result of rising sea levels. The Q&A featured Matthieu Rytz and Human Rights Watch Senior Environment and Human Rights Researcher Felix Horne.


  • January 30, 2020

    Join Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher with the Children's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, and Terry Cosgrove, President and CEO of PersonalPAC, for a briefing and discussion on the state of abortion laws in the United States and Illinois.

    Hosted by Jerry Newton, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, and Human Rights Watch.

    Thursday, February 13 | 5:00pm
    Weinberg/Newton Gallery
    688 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60642

  • September 25, 2019

    Join Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and the Illinois Justice Project for a Panel Discussion at Weinberg/Newton Gallery Wednesday, October 2nd to expose and elucidate algorithm based pre-trial risk assessment tools and their role in national and regional bond reform debate.

    John Raphling, Senior Researcher on Criminal Justice, Human Rights Watch
    Sharlyn Grace, Executive Director, Chicago Community Bond Fund
    Sharone Mitchell Jr., Deputy Director, Illinois Justice Project
    Antonio Gutierrez, Organized Communities Against Deportations

    Moderated by
    Laura S. Washington, Moderator, In These Times Contributing Editor, Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for ABC 7-Chicago

  • September 19, 2019

    Human Rights Watch returns to EXPO CHICAGO in partnership with Weinberg/Newton Gallery to present A Flight into the Abyss, an interdisciplinary site-specific installation by Chicago-based artist Maryam Taghavi.


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