Domestic Human Rights Movement

Beginning in 2005, The Overbrook Foundation assumed a leading role in developing the domestic human rights movement. It joined as a founding partner the U.S. Human Rights Fund to respond to the burgeoning interest among social justice organizations in using universal human rights standards and strategies to advance their social justice advocacy. By invoking universal claims to dignity, equality and opportunity that go beyond civil rights protections contained in statutory law or the Bill of Rights, human rights empower vulnerable communities in the U.S. to define and lead their own campaigns against injustice.

Below is a list of the Foundation’s 2014 grantees working to build a domestic human rights movement.

American Civil Liberties Union
Human Rights Program $60,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)

The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Human Rights Program contributes to the overall development of the U.S. domestic human rights movement through capacity-building, and through cross-cutting strategies that build coalitions and raise awareness to domestic human rights issues. ACLU uses human rights instruments and mechanisms, including the human rights legal framework, to effect long-term change and to showcase U.S. abuses of human rights standards, including international and regional advocacy to press for U.S. government accountability.

New York Civil Liberties Union
General Operating Support - $35,000 (second payment of a two-year grant)

Founded in 1951 as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, it’s a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with eight offices and nearly 50,000 members across the state. Through a combined program of public education, advocacy and litigation, the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation promotes the obligations of the government to act in accordance with the principles of human dignity that are at the core of a free and democratic society. As members of vulnerable populations are most often harmed by discriminatory government policies and practices, the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation focuses its attention on injustices and inequalities in the areas of Race and Poverty, Reproductive Rights, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights, Liberty and Security, and Immigrants’ Rights.

Public Interest Projects
The Sunrise Initiative for Human Rights in the U.S. - $150,000

The Sunrise Initiative for Human Rights in the U.S. (Sunrise), launched in 2013, is a new funding collaborative that seeks to build on the rich history of U.S. engagement with human rights to respond to some of the most serious human rights crises in this country’s history. It advances human rights in the U.S. through strategic investments in two key areas, governance and policy. Sunrise supports work to develop more effective mechanisms for holding the U.S. government accountable to its human rights obligations, and to increase the capacity of groups and communities to employ these mechanisms. Policy investments will focus on work to ensure that the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement policy and practice meet human rights standards.

Urban Justice Center
Human Rights Project  - $30,000

The Urban Justice Center serves New York City’s most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. The Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center (HRP) promotes domestic compliance with universally accepted human rights standards. HRP works to educate local legislators, media, and the public about the government’s role in advancing or restricting human rights; equip advocates with human rights tools, models and networks; and inspire positive action and collaboration.

US Human Rights Network
General Operating Support - $40,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen and grow a human rights movement and culture in the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. USHRN works to secure dignity and justice for all. Since its founding in 2003, USHRN has been instrumental in providing a unifying human rights framework and platform for shaping activism, connecting struggles, and building the collective power and voice of the grassroots to advance human rights at home.

Grantees By Year:  2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011