Harvard list of 2015 Honorees includes many women human rights defenders

June 7, 2015

The 2nd Annual Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit showcases the contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy. The honorees—each of whom were nominated by Harvard Law School  students, faculty or staff—are too many to mention but my selection of the ones who most represent the momentum of human rights defenders is as follows:

CTRL/Click on an honoree’s name to view a fuller biography.

Michelle Alexander

Civil rights advocate; Professor of Law at Ohio State University; Author of The New Jim Crow; Recipient of the NAACP Image Award for best nonfiction; Former director of the Racial Justice Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Sujatha Baliga

Director, Restorative Justice Project and Associate Director of the National Council of Crime & Delinquency; Recipient of the Soros Justice Fellowship (2008); Faculty member of the 2013 NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Annual Capital Punishment Training Conference.

Fatou Bensouda

Gambian lawyer, civil servant, and international criminal law prosecutor; Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since June 2012; Former Legal Advisor and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Recipient of the ICJ International Jurists Award (2009); Named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People (2012).

Ann Burroughs

Board Chair of Amnesty International USA; Partner at Social Sector Partners; Human rights activist.

Ellen Cosgrove

Dean of Students at Harvard Law School; Advocate for students within the Law School and the University; Former Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Law School; Trustee of Mount Holyoke College; Trustee of the Practicing Law Institute; Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers; Recipient of the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Recognition Award (2006 and 2009).

Noura Erakat

Human rights attorney and activist; Assistant Professor at George Mason University; Co-editor of Jadaliyya; Founding board member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.

Dolores Huerta

Labor leader and civil rights activist; Early member of the National Farmworkers Association; Recipient of the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mari Matsuda ’83

Lawyer, activist and law professor at the University of Hawaii; First Asian American woman to become a tenured law professor in the U.S.; Former judicial training consultant in Micronesia and South Africa; leading voice on critical race theory, reparations and affirmative action.

Layli Miller-Muro

Attorney, women’s rights activist and human rights advocate; Founder and Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center; Former attorney at Arnold & Porter LLP; Former attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice; Recipient of the Diane Von Furstenburg Award (2012); Named one of Newsweek‘s ‘150 most Fearless Women in the World’ (2012).

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera2011 Laureate Kasha

Ugandan LGBT rights activist; Founder of Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG); Recipient of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (2011) and the Nuremburg International Human rights Award (2013).

Faustina Pereira

Lawyer, human rights activist and author; Director of Human Rights and Legal Aid Services, BRAC; Named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2006).

Nawal El Saadawi

Egyptian feminist, writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist; Founder and President of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association; Co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights; Former Author of the Supreme Council for Arts and Social Sciences, Cairo; Former Secretary General of the Medical Association, Cairo, Egypt; Recipient of the Council of Europe North-South Prize (2004) and the Inana International Prize (2005).

Linda Sarsour

Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York; National Advocacy Director for the National Network for Arab American Communities; Community activist and lead organizer for The Campaign to Take on Hate.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Criminologist and specialist in human rights and women’s rights; Recipient of the Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize (2008); Director of Gender Studies at Mada al-Carmel.

Urvashi Vaid

Indian-American LGBT rights activist; Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School; Founder of LPAC, the first lesbian political action committee; Former Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Former staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union; Founder of The Vaid Group.

Wendy Young

President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND); Recipient of the Child Advocacy National Certification of Recognition from the American Bar Association (2001) and the Human Rights Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (1999).

for the full list see: 2015 Honorees | Women Inspiring Change.

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