2019 Seminars

Check out our 2019 seminars below.

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Professional Development Seminars


The Cristosal Model: Applying a human rights approach to social justice (Feb. 17-23)

Dates: February 17-23, 2019
Cost: $995
Registration Deadline: November 11, 2018
Level 1 Seminar
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When confronted with poverty, violence and injustice, we all want to do something, but how can we be sure what we’re doing is really making a difference? How can we ensure that our good intentions result in sustainable, positive changes? By applying the human rights approach, we can develop responses to injustice that do just that. Using this approach, Cristosal has evolved from a small ministry of the Anglican Church in El Salvador into a human rights organization on the cutting edge of innovative programming. Join us in El Salvador, and study Cristosal’s history and work as examples of ways to use human rights principles in a variety of contexts. Together, we’ll learn to transform our work with human rights principles and develop tools to support human rights in our local communities and around the world.

What to expect:

  • Engage directly with Cristosal’s work in Central America
  • Deepen our understanding of how structures rooted in discrimination perpetuate injustice and violence
  • Study various examples of application of human rights principles in action
  • Develop tools to advocate for human rights locally and globally
  • Apply a human rights approach to responding to a variety of social justice issues

Human Rights and Resistance: Organizing for change (Mar. 10-17)

Dates: March 10-17, 2019
Cost: $995
Registration Deadline: December 10, 2018
Level 1 Seminar
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Poverty, war, police brutality, xenophobia and the rise of authoritarianism are challenging our most basic human rights around the world. What many believed would be a time of growing respect for human dignity has become a struggle to defend the fundamental human rights established in the latter half of the 20th century. As communities organize to resist these challenges, focusing and strengthening our skills and knowledge of human rights is a critical tool for change.

Join us in El Salvador to discuss human rights theory and its practical application in response to issues like discrimination, violence and migration through community organizing. Together, we can develop new strategies to organize and defend human rights at home and abroad.

What to expect:

  • Examine the historic roots of injustice in North and Central American, and how communities and organizations are responding to injustice today
  • Deepen our understanding of the human rights framework as a way of understanding injustice
  • Study various examples of community organizing around human rights issues
  • Develop tools to organize and advocate for human rights locally and globally
  • Apply a human rights approach to responding to a variety of social justice issues

The Central American Refugee Crisis: A faithful response (Mar. 22-29)

Dates: March 22-29, 2019
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: December 22, 2018
Level 2 Seminar
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In 2016 alone, an estimated 244,200 people were internally displaced in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. As people of faith, we are called to advocate for justice for all, especially the most vulnerable. This seminar provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of human rights, apply this understanding to the Central American refugee crisis, and develop concrete tools to respond.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of a human rights framework to understand the rights of migrants and refugees
  • Study international policy on forced migration in Central America and the world
  • Analyze the root causes of forced migration and internal displacement in Central America
  • Discuss responses to this crisis and potential approaches to prevention
  • Develop strategies to respond to the refugee crisis and support the rights of migrant populations

Community-based Peacebuilding: Addressing violence with a rights-based approach (Jun. 3-10)

Dates: June 3-10, 2019
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: March 3, 2019
Level 2 Seminar
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Polarizing issues like hate crimes, gun violence and police brutality dominate public discourse and all too often, our lives. As we address violence as communities, we must uncover complicated relationships of cause and effect to respond effectively.

Join us in El Salvador to analyze various causes and expressions of violence in different cultural contexts, and how local communities, faith groups and government institutions are addressing this violence. See how our interconnectedness in an increasingly globalized world has contributed to this violence, but also how our connections can be leveraged as a tool for peacebuilding. Using the human rights approach, we can develop new strategies for preventing violences both in our local communities and abroad. Together, we can build a more peaceful world.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of the human rights framework
  • Study theories of violence and violence prevention
  • Analyze the causes and effects of various expressions of violence in different cultural contexts
  • Discuss different strategies for violence prevention and peacebuilding and their practical application
  • Apply a human rights approach to addressing violence locally and globally

Making the Case for Asylum: Understanding Guatemalan country conditions and the international human rights law framework (Oct. 20-27)

Dates: October 20-27, 2019
Cost: $1,200
Early Bird Cost: $995
Registration Deadline: August 21, 2019
Early Bird Deadline: July 22, 2019
Specialized Seminar: Participants should be lawyers or other professionals working in asylum, especially with children.
*CLE Credits pending

Come to Guatemala City to study country conditions and engage directly with the Guatemalan reality, improving your ability to support Guatemalan clients. Reflect on the Central American context and the asylum system as a whole from a new perspective, and contribute to developing long-term solutions to the difficulties asylum-seekers face. This seminar will emphasize understanding U.S. asylum from an international humanitarian protection framework. The second offering of this seminar will focus more specifically on the experience of child migrants.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of country conditions in Guatemala and the unique struggles of Guatemala refugees
  • Develop tools to better advocate on behalf of Salvadoran asylum-seekers in the U.S.
  • Analyze the shortcomings of the asylum system with an international human rights perspective
  • Apply human rights principles to work with migrants as you build your case
  • Develop goals for continued learning and collaboration with other participants and facilitators

LGBTI+ People, Hate Crimes and Other Violence: Working together to defend basic rights (November)

Dates: TBD November
Cost: $995
Registration Deadline: TBD August
Level 2 Seminar

“I was terrified of going to hell for what I feel... [my father] threatened to throw me out of the house, it was hard.”

People who identify with a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity in El Salvador face enormous obstacles in society and suffer violations of their human rights due to homophobia and machismo in civil society. This sexism justifies much of the violence towards LGBTI+ people as “corrective,” claiming that by eradicating LGBTI+ traits from someone, they can become “normal.” Because much of the violence is considered “corrective,” it goes unaddressed. In recent years, the Salvadoran state has responded to pressure from human rights activists, recognizing some of the discrimination and rights violations these populations experience. However, new laws and policies responding to these issues are not well enforced, nor do they address all the forms of violence these populations face. Join LGBTI+ activists from North and Central America to discuss the discrimination the LGBTI+ population faces in different cultural contexts and how we can respond to hate crimes, violence, and discrimination in local communities and around the world.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of a human rights framework as a way to understand the situation of LGBTI+ populations
  • Study the relationship between different forms of violence, including direct violence, corrective violence, institutionalized discrimination, and prejudicial attitudes
  • Discuss the intersection of LGBTI+ identities with other marginalized groups (e.g. migrants, the poor, etc.)
  • Examine how different communities and organizations are responding to discrimination and violence
  • Develop strategies and skills in organizing for change

State Violence and Police Brutality: Applying international human rights standards to local challenges

Dates: TBD
Cost: TBD
Registration Deadline: TBD
Level 2 Seminar

Who do you turn to for justice when law enforcement is the perpetrator?

This seminar will bring activists from North and Central America together to strategize on how marginalized communities can learn from each other on fighting back against state-sponsored violence. Using a human rights framework, we will learn from each other of how the securitization of state-citizen relations which disproportionately affects the poor and people of color. The experience will include visits to Salvadoran communities organizing to respond to state violence, time at historic sites in El Salvador commemorating the struggle for human rights, and the opportunity to exchange ideas for action with other human rights activists who participate in the seminar.

What to expect:

  • Use a human rights framework to understand the state’s obligation to protect and guarantee internationally recognized fundamental human rights.
  • Examine the history of mass incarceration, police militarization, and immigration policy, and how this history laid the groundwork for present-day human rights abuses
  • Study different forms of state violence including institutionalized discrimination and police abuse
  • Analyze the unique challenges of specific populations in situations of vulnerability
  • Develop strategies to strengthen solidarity and respond to police brutality and oppression in local and global contexts

Learn More

Let us know what interests you, and get more information about a specific seminar or the program as a whole!

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