Promoting Dignity, Equality and Opportunity for All People
Resource type: Grantee Story
In October 2008, days before the U.S. presidential election, the American Constitution Society released “Human Rights at Home: A Domestic Policy Blueprint for the New Administration.” The Blueprint addresses “the gap between the promise and practice” of human rights in the United States and proposes mechanisms to integrate human rights principles into domestic policy, such as the establishment of a national Civil and Human Rights Commission.
The Blueprint grew out of a collaborative process involving multiple constituencies, from the Beltway to academics to grassroots activists. The U.S. Human Rights Fund (USHRF), a donor collaborative in which Atlantic participates, supported the initiative. USHRF promotes greater adherence to human rights within the U.S., and enables a wide range of advocates, groups and communities to pursue these rights and freedoms.
The USHRF has helped build the capacity of social justice groups, like the Border Network for Human Rights, to use a human rights framework in their advocacy and organising efforts across the country. “A human rights frame often invokes a higher standard of rights, and encourages vulnerable people to lead and define their own struggles,” says Sue Simon, Program Manager of USHRF.
USHRF makes grants in four priority areas: human rights training and education, networking and collaboration, communications and messaging, and strategic thinking and advocacy.
“The Fund’s grantees are an amazing group of social justice advocates pursuing many issues, including worker rights, racial profiling, immigration reform, economic recovery and juvenile life without parole. They share a belief that by holding the U.S. accountable to basic international human rights norms, dignity, equality and opportunity for all people can be promoted,” Ms. Simon says. “By emphasising the participation of those most affected by human rights violations, crafting diverse advocacy strategies and linking their efforts globally, our partners are advancing real social and political change.”
Human rights activists tour the Mexican border in El Paso. Through USHRF, a donor collaborative fund, Atlantic supports the Border Network for Human Rights and a wide range of other groups working to increase the knowledge, use and application of human rights.