Miami Salon Series: Us Kids Film Screening & Live Panel
WHAT: Us Kids Film Screening & Live Panel Discussion on Celebrating Youth Changing the Course of History: A Quest for Moral Leadership
WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2021
WHERE: Virtual panel / discussion
The second installment of HRW Miami’s Salon Series was hosted on February 11th, 2021 and featured a panel discussion following the exclusive film screening of Us Kids, an award-winning documentary by Kim A. Snyder that chronicles the March For Our Lives movement sparked by student activists and survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018. The virtual event, hosted by HRW Miami Committee member Shelley Frost Rubin, featured speakers including Parkland shooting survivor and youth activist Samantha Fuentes, mother of Parkland shooting victim Annika Dworet, and Us Kids filmmaker Kim A. Snyder.
The event included an original poetry reading by Samantha Fuentes and discussion about the power of youth activists’ quest for moral leadership in the US and abroad.
International Human Rights Day 2020
WHAT: A celebration of human rights on the eve of Human Rights Day
WHEN: Wednesday, December 9, 2020
WHERE: Virtual gathering
On December 9th, 2020, the eve of International Human Rights Day, the Miami Committee of Human Rights Watch joined in a virtual gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of an extraordinarily consequential year for human rights. Human Rights Day is an internationally recognized time to bring attention to the rights we all share—to live, love, think, speak, work and worship, regardless of how we look, where we were born, or what we believe. Each year on December 10th, countries across the globe light up their monuments and landmarks in observance of how far we’ve come and as a reminder for how much we have left to achieve.
For over 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to protecting human rights. We catalyze momentum for change by conducting rigorous fact finding, proposing effective policy solutions, and broadcasting our message to the world – all in collaboration with our partners and those impacted by abuse. Our supporters make it possible to act as an effective leader in confronting some of the greatest challenges of our time and defend the rights and dignity of people worldwide.
Miami Salon Series: Protecting Voters’ Rights in Florida
WHAT: Panel discussion on protecting voters' rights in the 2020 Presidential Election
WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2020
WHERE: Virtual panel / discussion
During a time of social distancing, Human Rights Watch Miami has created a Salon Series to encourage an interactive dialogue inspired by the original salons in 18th century France. Like those salons, our goal is to host events that will ignite learning, debate, and inclusivity, and help to engage the community around important issues of the day.
Just under a month before Election Day 2020, on October 15th HRW Miami hosted its first event in the newly introduced Salon Series: Protecting Voters’ Rights in Florida. With Florida being a key swing state in a highly contested election, HRW Miami partnered with Engage Miami and LatinoJustice PRLDEF to inform listeners of the challenges faced in protecting the right to vote in Florida and share solutions that our organizations are advocating for.
The panel featured HRW’s US Program Executive Director Nicole Austin-Hillery, Organizing Director of Engage Miami Gilbert Placeres, and President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF Juan Cartagena.
Town Hall with Ken Roth
WHAT: A conversation with HRW's Executive Director, Ken Roth
WHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 2020
WHERE: Virtual gathering / discussion
On Wednesday, June 10th, the Miami Committee of Human Rights Watch hosted a virtual gathering with Executive Director Ken Roth to discuss new challenges and human rights implications of the Coronavirus pandemic and the innovative ways in which Human Rights Watch is uniquely poised to tackle them. Topics of discussion included the inequitable impact of Covid-19 on women and incarcerated people in the US, the devastating repercussions of the pandemic on worker's rights, and the global trend of governments withholding emergency-level assistance and information on public health and safety.
This meeting provided Committee members with the designated opportunity to directly ask questions of Human Rights Watch's lead protagonist on advancing the organization's ability to implement rights-respecting change around the world.
4th Annual Voices for Justice Dinner
WHAT: 4th Annual Miami Voices for Justice Dinner
WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
WHERE: New World Center
On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, before the world shut down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch Miami hosted its fourth annual Voices for Justice Dinner at the New World Center on Miami Beach, co-Chaired by Maria C. Bechily, Joy Stampler-Fishman, William Kleh, and Shelley Frost Rubin.
The Dinner program focused on a central theme, "Crossing Borders." Over 240 guests gathered to hear a powerful keynote address by Human Rights Watch international Board Chair, Amy Rao, and inspiring, hope-filled stories about people on the move from Human Rights Watch's LGBT Rights Researcher Kyle Knight, US Program and Immigration Researcher Grace Meng, and Rohingya writer and activist Irman Mohammad. A special musical performance was led by New World Symphony fellow, Andrea Beyer.
Each year the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Dinners celebrate human rights defenders from around the world who put their lives at risk to protect the rights and dignity of others. These dinners gather over 6,800 supporters in more than 20 cities worldwide.
The event was a great success, raising nearly $500,000 for the organization's continued efforts to protect and defend the rights of the world's most vulnerable populations.
A Film Screening & Panel Discussion of Policing and Human Rights
WHAT: Film Screening & Panel Discussion
WHEN: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
WHERE: Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts
Human Rights Watch partnered with the Green Family Foundation to host this screening of the powerful documentary film CHARM CITY, which delivers a candid portrait of citizens, police, community advocates, and government officials on the front lines during three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore. The film speaks to a nationwide crisis, exposing layers of disconnect and distrust between communities and law enforcement.
After the screening, Human Rights Watch Criminal Justice Researcher John Raphling participated in a Q&A with filmmaker Marilyn Ness and Branden Jones from the Circle of Brotherhood. CHARM CITY and the panel discussion illustrated how the US has increasingly relied on law enforcement to solve public health issues like poverty, mental health crises, and gun violence. Over a hundred participants joined us in considering actions undertaken by national and local groups working towards exposing abuses and achieving justice.
Ending Human Rights Abuses in the Garment Industry
WHAT: Cocktail Reception and Discussion
WHEN: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
WHERE: Istituto Marangoni Miami
Human Rights Watch Miami Committee members Adrienne bon Haes and Soledad Picon co-hosted an event that invited members of South Florida’s garment industry to discuss abuses in the garment industry. HRW senior counsel for the Women’s Rights division detailed her work on transparency and labor abuses in the garment industry, focusing on its effect on workers in India, Bangladesh and throughout Southeast Asia. The talk focused on harassment in the workplace, low wages, physical dangers, and more.
Adrienne bon Haes, the evening’s moderator, is well-known in the Miami community as an artist, designer, and textile collector. When discussing the importance of events like these, she remarked, “we want to make sure when our concerned community is talking about sustainability, they are also including ethics in that dialogue. We don’t want the well-being of workers to be left out of this equation.”
Protecting Women’s Rights in the US and Globally
WHAT: Private Breakfast Briefing
WHEN: Friday, July 12th
WHERE: United Way of Miami Dade
Human Rights Watch Miami committee members Soledad Picón and Adrienne bon Haes hosted a private breakfast briefing with Amanda Klasing, the acting co-director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, to discuss the current state of women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. Amanda shared an off-the-record briefing on her recent work, as well as discussed strategies for defending women’s rights globally. Her work has focused on sexual and domestic violence, reproductive rights and women's health, indigenous rights, and economic and social rights.
This is a particularly challenging time for women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. Amanda shared her expert knowledge acquired through years of investigative work on issues as diverse as child marriage, access to healthcare and cervical cancer screenings, and harassment and violence in the workplace. Human Rights Watch’s campaign to end child marriage has had tangible impact, especially on local legislation and implementation. Amanda also detailed the successes and challenges in working with the International Labor Organization to adopt the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment.
U.S. Immigration – Child Detention in Homestead, FL
WHAT: Lunch Briefing
WHEN: Thursday, March 28, 2019
HOST: Susan Werth, Miami Committee
On March 28th, Human Rights Watch’s Senior Immigration Researcher Clara Long, shared her experience monitoring the conditions of unaccompanied immigrant children held in the Homestead Immigration Detention Center.
Homestead houses over 2,500 teenaged migrants who are surrounded by tall fences, under constant watch by guards, and not permitted to leave. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) claims that Homestead is an "emergency influx shelter" and therefore, falls outside the jurisdiction of the Flores Agreement. This loophole leaves vulnerable young people unprotected from the harms of indefinite, inhumane detention.
Clara’s trip to the Homestead Detention Center is part of a series of visits and dispatches to the US border in recent months by Human Rights Watch. A future report, and her broader investigative work, will be the foundation for our advocacy work to pass rights respecting immigration policies in the U.S.
Miami 2019 Voices for Justice Dinner
WHAT: Voices for Justice Annual Miami Dinner
WHEN: Thursday, March 14th, 2019
WHERE: New World Symphony
Human Rights Watch Miami hosted its third Voices for Justice Annual Dinner at the New World Symphony two weeks ago. Each year the Voices for Justice Annual Dinners celebrate human rights defenders from around the world who put their lives at risk to protect the rights and dignity of others. The dinners gather over 6,800 supporters in more than 20 cities worldwide.
In Miami, this year’s dinner was our most successful yet—raising just over half a million dollars for Human Rights Watch.
The dinner program consisted of four speakers all known for their commitment to defending human rights in times of crisis. This year’s Defenders of the Truth, Managing Director Nic Dawes, Senior Iraq Researcher Belkis Wille, Emergencies Researcher Johnathan Pedneault, and Brazil Director Maria Laura Canineu, shared their stories about making meaningful change in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Inspirational musical performances by the New World Symphony Fellows and Guitar over Guns musicians were provided throughout the dinner.
We are deeply grateful for our donors’ invaluable support, whose generosity will enable our researchers and advocates to continue their meticulous investigations and to expose the world’s most pressing human rights violations. A special thank you to our Dinner Co-Chairs, Joy Fishman, William Kleh, and Shelley Frost Rubin who helped make this evening such a success.
A Reception & Discussion on Art and Human Rights
WHAT: Cocktail Reception and Discussion
WHEN: Thursday, December 6th, 2018
WHERE: Setai Hotel
Human Rights Watch Board Member Paul Gray and Dedrea Gray of the Richard Gray Gallery, in collaboration with the Miami Circle of Friends generously hosted a reception discussing the connection between arts, free expression and human rights. For Human Rights Watch Deputy Program Director Tom Porteous, this topic has resonance. Tom eloquently described how viewing a Francisco Goya painting of the Spanish Civil War that portrayed war as a devastating crisis rather than a heroic endeavor, led him on a path of journalism, diplomacy and advocacy.
For over 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been a fierce defender of civil society and the most vulnerable people worldwide, including journalists, authors and artists. This reception, hosted during Art Basel Miami, brought together the global arts community who share these values and have a critical role to play in facing these challenges.
Miami Dade College to Illuminate Freedom Tower Blue on Human Rights Day
WHAT: Freedom Tower Goes Blue for Human Rights Day
WHEN: Monday, December 10th, at sunset
WHERE: Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami Dade College (MDC) illuminated its historic Freedom Tower bright blue at sunset, Monday, Dec. 10, in support of Human Rights Day 2018. This year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, MDC joined other iconic buildings around the world in a display of support for human rights under the guidance of MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. Dr. Padrón, a Cuban immigrant, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016 and is a member of the Miami Circle of Friends of Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. The Universal Declaration delineated, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The declaration has since been translated into over 500 languages. This year, in partnership with Human Rights Watch, over 25 landmarks shone blue in solidarity with the human rights movement and the values we work to defend.
Living at Risk: Transgender Women, HIV, and Human Rights in South Florida
WHAT: Human Rights Watch Report Launch Press Conference
WHEN: Tuesday, November 20th, 2018
WHERE: The Betsy Hotel
Human Rights Watch Health and Human Rights Researcher Megan McLemore presented her latest report “Living at Risk” at a press conference sponsored and hosted by The Betsy Hotel in South Beach. This report, that reveals systematic failures to provide HIV care to the trans community, was launched on Trans Day of Remembrance to highlight the severity of this ongoing crisis.
Florida has the third-highest HIV rate in the United States, led by Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. HIV among transgender women is at crisis levels, but the state is failing to provide basic services to many trans women in south Florida, endangering their lives and the health of the community. Florida and federal HIV officials talk a lot about the importance of reaching “high risk” groups like transgender women. Human Rights Watch spent more than a year investigating whether the reality on the ground is matching the rhetoric – it isn’t.
Just before the launch of the report, Florida Department of Health reviewed the findings and approved its accuracy, expressing support for working with us to implement some of the recommendations. We are excited for Megan to carry on this meaningful work in the new year and advocate for access to health care without discrimination for those facing the greatest barriers to care.