Human Rights Conference

The UNIS Human Rights club successfully hosted its 22nd Annual Conference at UNIS and UNHQ (UN Headquarters) on January 23 and 24, 2020. The topic was 'Beyond Housing: Education, Gentrification, Climate Change.'

On Thursday, January 23rd, the conference opened with a welcome message from student organizers and our Executive Director, Dr. Dan Brenner. The audience comprised of T1 students and a variety of students from NYC schools and the Carol Baur school from Mexico. We were pleased to have Ms. Carmelyn Malalis, NYC Commissioner for Human Rights present to students as the Keynote speaker who gave an overview of the many functions of their office along with specific information relevant to this year's topic. The segment concluded with a cultural dance showcase performed by the visiting students from Mexico (see the video in photos section below). The rest of that afternoon, students attended workshops- some student-led and others from outside experts. Here is the program for specific details.
Day two of the conference began with a powerful message from Ms. Dorie Hagler, a photojournalist, and US Census Bureau official. It was refreshing listening to her because of how she engaged the audience both as a private citizen/ journalist, as-well-as her role working for the Federal government. Later in the afternoon, student organizers hosted a panel discussion with four guests, who shared their personal stories related to homelessness. Each speaker was captivating and inspirational. They challenged students to raise their voices to address youth-based issues and concerns. Towards the end of the program, all attending students interacted with one another to collaborate and work on producing a variety of PSA poster messages they created in small mixed groups. The conference culminated with (some) students taking a tour of the UN.
The success of the conference is credited to UNIS student organizers and thanks to guest speakers and panelists for their contributions. We would also like to thank Mr. Baha, Ms. Polatbora, and Ms. Bertrand for guiding us through this experience. Finally, we are grateful to the office of the SRSG for UNIS for their invaluable and continued support.

Click to see photos from the conference.