US 'Listening Sessions' Berkeley and San Francisco

United States Government To Conduct Consultations or “Listening Sessions”

On US International Human Rights Obligations
The Bancroft Hotel
2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Thursday, March 25, 2010, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Mclaren Conference Center, University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

Friday, March 26, 2010, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
The United Nations Human Rights Council will examine the United States’ compliance with its legally-binding obligations under its signed and ratified Human Rights treaties as well as the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The process of this examination is called, “Universal Periodic Review” or “UPR”, in which the human rights compliance of every UN member state is reviewed every four years. This November will be the United States’ first review since the process’ creation
As part of the UPR process, the U.S. government is required to conduct consultations with stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, civil society and those facing rights violations, to provide input regarding human rights in the United States. The government selected several cities in the US, including San Francisco and Berkeley, in which to conduct listening sessions or consultations.
The Bay Area consultations will be held on March 25-26th, 2010.
A half day consultation will be held in Berkeley on Thursday, March 25, 2010 from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM and will focus on Health, Education, and State Accountability followed by an open comment period.
On Friday, March 26, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, the Mclaren Conference Center at the University of San Francisco will host a discussion on the human rights challenges faced in San Francisco and surrounding communities. Representatives of the U.S. Department of State and other federal agencies will be in attendance to inform their report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The meetings will be recorded, and a written report of the meeting will be prepared and posted on the U.S. Department of State’s website. This summary may be used as part of the U.S. government’s submission to the Human Rights Council. Organizations are also welcome to submit a 5-page report directly to the UN before April 19th.
In addition, participating organizations are providing a training on the UPR to be held on Wednesday, March 24th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Mission Cultural Center, Studio D, 2868 Mission St. San Francisco.
Your input is vital to this process. Accordingly, we have reserved time for public comment and participation on the agenda. To ensure there is time for input from the widest community, comments need to be a maximum of two minutes in length for each topic. Please reference the human rights obligation being violated and provide a recommendation for how the government can improve this situation. We welcome your contribution and encourage you to join us to ensure that the U.S. government representatives attending this meeting receive accurate information on the human rights challenges faced by our communities.
If you are interested in participating, please register on this site. If you know of others who would like to attend, please forward them this invitation and ask them to register as well.
The email you received with this link included a hotel listing for the University of San Francisco area and instructions on travel to the campus. The Mclaren Center at the University of San Francisco is wheelchair accessible. If you require a disability accommodation such as a Sign Language interpreter or print materials in alternative formats, or have any questions about accommodations, please contact Katelyn Keil. Her telephone number is 510-644-2555 (v/TDD) and her email is Please contact Katie by March 12, 2010 if you require an accommodation.

Friday, March 26th, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
-Program Subject To Change-
8:30-9:00 - Registration
9:00-9:30 - Welcome, Introductions, and Overview of UPR Consultation Process
9:30-10:30 - Panel 1 - Race Discrimination
Moderator: Alberto Sadamando (International Indian Treaty Council)
Linda Burnham (Women of Color Resource Center)
Arnoldo Garcia (National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)
Lakota Harden (Bay Native Circle)
10:30-11:30 - Panel 2 – LGBT rights issues
Moderator: Shannon Minter (National Center for Lesbian Rights) - Hate crimes, employment discrimination, immigration discrimination, and need for health benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees
Sylvia Guerrero - Increasing hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Shirley Tan -Lack of recognition of LGBT families in immigration law
Cecilia Chung - Employment discrimination in the U.S. and lack of protections
Henry Pacheco - Workplace discrimination in the federal government
11:30-12:30 - Panel 3 - Criminal justice; Death Penalty; Prison Conditions
Moderator: Professor Connie de la Vega (University of San Francisco School of Law)
Michelle Leighton (Center for Law and Global Justice) –Juvenile Life Sentences Without Possibility of Parole
Alison Parker (Human Rights Watch) –Racial discrimination in anti-drug laws
Don Specter (Prison Law Office) – Prison overcrowding in California
12:30-1:30 Lunch (on your own)
1:30-2:30 - Panel 4 - Disability Rights
Moderator: Professor Connie de la Vega (University of San Francisco School of Law)
Kim Swain (Disability Rights California) - Progress/challenges concerning deinstitutionalization and prevention of institutionalization of people with disabilities in the SF and Northern California areas
Mary Lou Breslin (Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)) - Healthcare access for people with disabilities
Claudia Center (Disability Rights Programs of the Legal Aid Society) - Employment with a focus on people with pscyhosocial disabilities
2:30-3:30 - Panel 5 - Environmental Justice
Moderator: Morning Star Gali (International Indian Treaty Council)
Rev. Henry Clark (West County Toxics Coalition) - Shell Refinery
Jim Brown (Pomo Nation) - Mercury poisoning in California waters
or Sherri Norris (California Indian Environmental Alliance) - Mercury poisoning in California waters
3:30-4:30 - Open discussion on topics not covered above
4:30-5:00 - Closing remarks and Adjournment
Organizations participating in the planning and coordinating of the San Francisco Session include: Asian Pacific Environmental Network:
Center for Law and Global and Justice:
Council for Global Equality:
Disability Rights Education Defense Fund:
Human Rights Advocates:
International Indian Treaty Council,
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute:
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights,
West County Toxics Coalition:
Women of Color Resource Center:
University of San Francisco Law School:
US Human Rights Network:

Thursday, March 25th, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
-Program Subject To Change-
8:30-9:00 - Registration

9:00-9:30 - Welcome, Introductions, and Overview of UPR Consultation Process
9:30-10:45 - Panel 1 - Health and Education: no one left out?

-- Panelists
Justice Now: Incarcerated women -
National Lawyers Guild: Accountability of Government Officials -
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute: Berkeley Resolution -
WILD for Human Rights/Initiative of the Miller Center, UC Berkely: San Francisco incorporation of CEDAW -

-- Participant/Open Comments on State Accountability
-- Dialogue with Government Officials
11:45-12:15 - Participant/Open Comments on topics not covered above
12:15-12:30 - Closing remarks and Adjournment
Organizations participating in the Oakland/Berkeley Session
Alliance for Justice
Amnesty International USA (WRO)
Asian Law Caucus (TBC)
Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights
Boalt Alliance to Abolish Torture
Center for Justice and Accountability
Community Water Center (pending)
Ella Baker Center - Books Not Bars Campaign
Institute for Redress & Recovery at Santa Clara University
Justice Now
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
National Lawyers Guild, Committee Against Torture
National Lawyers Guild, Boalt Hall Chapter
Public Advocates
Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project
UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic
WILD for Human Rights, Initiative of the Miller Center for Global Challenges and the Law, UC Berkeley
Participating organizations will provide a training for all interested parties on Wednesday, March 24th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Mission Cultural Center, Studio D, 2868 Mission St. San Francisco.
The training will provide an indepth explanation of the UPR process, a review of US international treaty obligations, guidelines on how best to make use of the UPR process and a conversation about continuing involvement in the UPR process.
Please Register if you would like to attend.
For more information on the Universal Periodic Review process itself, please visit the following websites:
United Nations UPR:
US Department of State UP:
US Human Rights Network UPR web site:
IITC Web Page: [click right column “Human Rights ‘Listening’ Sessions…” and, “New IITC Fact Sheet…”.

Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center “UPR toolkit”:


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