YALI Expert Exchange: Human Rights

July 6, 2018 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
206 Ingraham Hall
Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706

Join Mandela Washington Fellows and local leaders for weekly roundtable discussions on realities and solutions to global challenges.

Each Expert Exchange will be open to the public and include an audience Q&A. Two roundtables will take place typically on Tuesday mornings, with a break for refreshments and networking between each roundtable.

This week’s topic: Human Rights.

Roundtable 1 (9:00-10:30AM): Health as a Human Right

In human rights circles, conversations around rights are often divided into two categories: a right from infringement (civil and political rights) or a right to well-being (economic, social and cultural rights). Healthcare often falls into the latter, but is this appropriate? Should individuals have a right to healthcare or other indicators of wellbeing, including housing, food or water? If so, what does that look like in practice—socially, economically or politically?

Linda Vakunta (Moderator) – Program Director, Project 1808; Co-Host of Panafrica Radio Show on WORT 89.9 FM

Linda Vakunta reeived her PhD from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also the program director for Project 1808. A native of Cameroon, Linda has travelled to Sierra Leone numerous times to facilitate and implement Project1808 programs in country. Linda co-led the first UW-Madison Sierra Leone global health field course. Linda’s International community work has also taken her to Ghana as a business environment intern for USAID’s West Africa Trade Hub where she supported research work on the promotion of Sustainable Development through free movement of transport, goods and persons. She also co-hosts Panafrica Radio Show on WORT 89.9 FM Madison, Wisconsin, a weekly program on music, culture, history, and issues from Africa and Diaspora.

Araceli Alonso Associate Professor, Global Health Institute and Gender and Women’s Studies

Araceli Alonso is an associate faculty at UW-Madison in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the School of Medicine and Public Health, where she teaches classes on women’s health and women’s rights. Dr. Alonso is also the founder and director of Health by Motorbike (HbM), an NGO that provides medical services and health literacy to remote and isolated villages in Africa. For her work with women in rural Kenya, Dr. Alonso has been awarded the United Nations Public Service Award (United Nations, 2013) and the Jefferson Award for Public Service (American Institute for Public Service, 2013). In 2016, she became co-holder of the UNESCO chair at UW-Madison for Global Work on Gender, Well-Being and Peace.

Francis Ifeanyu Ayomoh Mandela Washington Fellow

Francis Ifeanyu Ayomoh (Nigeria) is a medical doctor who has worked for over five years in clinical practice. He has worked as a resident doctor in Internal Medicine with an interest in infectious diseases and worked closely with patients with diseases like HIV/AIDS, Lassa fever, Cholera, and Meningitis. However, his experiences in curative medicine motivated him to switch to preventive medicine, as he realized that it was cheaper and better to prevent diseases than to cure them. Having worked as a clinician for several years, he now understands the inadequacies within the Nigerian hospital environment and resolves to make things better. He currently works in the Federal Ministry of Health where he formulates and implements policies to improve Primary Healthcare in Nigeria, making hospitals more efficient and reducing the prevalence of diseases by creating nationwide awareness about hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices.

Iliassa Ayouba Mandela Washington Fellow

Iliassa Ayouba (Comoros) has worked as a nurse in the Comorian government health system, specifically in rural areas, for five years. He is the National Malaria Control Program supervisor in his community and is the president and founder of the first health care association in Comoros. He is the national vice president of the Insular Peace Network office. He has created an association to build confidence in the Comorian healthcare system and encourage those who need medical assistance to go to the hospital.

Daniel Hausman Professor, Philosophy

Professor Hausman’s research focuses on ethical, epistemological, and foundational issues at the boundaries between economics and philosophy, and on related questions concerning causation and health measurement. His main work on economic methodology is his The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics (Cambridge, 1992). Other books include Causal Asymmetries (Cambridge, 1998), Preference, Value, Choice and Welfare 2011, Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering (Oxford, 2015), and Economic AnalysisMoral Philosophy and Public Policy (with Michael S. McPherson, Cambridge, 2006; 3rd. edition, with Michael S. McPherson and Debra Satz forthcoming early in 2017). In 2009 Hausman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bertha Kanuth Mbuya Mandela Washington Fellow

Bertha Kanuth Mbuya (Tanzania)is an occupational therapist who works in various settings, including schools, refugee camps, and special needs schools to empower and advocate for human rights for the vulnerable and most marginalized individuals to engage fully in society for their health and wellbeing. She chose to join this profession to help individuals live meaningful lives. Her own experience with family members with disabilities drove her to study the profession that will challenge power relations, structure inequalities, and entrenched mindsets that facilitate occupational injustices for the most marginalized individuals in her society and Africa in general, with the goal of enhancing equality, promoting human rights, and facilitating equal participation.

Sweta Shrestha Fellowship Program Manager, Population Health Institute

Sweta earned her Masters in Public Health and Graduate Global Health Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health focusing on global health and bioethics. Sweta was previously the Assistant Director for Education for the UW-Madison Global Health Institute, where she served as an advisor and instructional specialist for both the graduate and undergraduate Certificates in Global Health and the associated field experiences. Her previous experiences also include community based family planning in Uganda and strengthening health care services in Nepal, Zambia, Ethiopia, and South Africa. She has lead global health field experiences in Nepal and Sri Lanka was engaged with a range of Global Health Institute initiatives including Quality Improvement Leadership Institute and the Human Rights Initiative within the Global Health Institute.

Roundtable 2 (11:00AM-12:30PM): Human Rights Monitoring: Strategies and Challenges

Defining human rights is difficult. But once this process is complete, how do governments or multilateral organizations monitor and enforce compliance? Participants will discuss the different ways which human rights laws and norms can be enforced as well as some of the challenges and successes they have experienced in their fields. 

Tinashe Hofisi (Moderator) – Doctoral Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School

Tinashe’s research interests include constitutional law, legal history, courts, human rights and law and development. His doctoral project examines institutional variation in constitutional adjudication in common-law Africa, focusing on the emergence of constitutional courts. Prior to his current role at UW-Madison, Tinashe worked as human rights lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for seven years. He graduated with an LLM from Loyola University, Chicago and is a Mandela Washington Fellow under the Young African Leaders Initiative. He is the holder a certificates in Constitution-building in Africa and Strategic Human Rights Litigation from the Central European University in Hungary.

Samba Baldeh President, Madison City Council; Alderman, District 17

Samba Baldeh is a Gambian-born politician and entrepreneur. He has been living in Madison for over 18 years and actively involved in the community. Samba is the District 17 representative on the Madison Common Council. First elected in 2015, he won re-election unopposed in the general election on April 4, 2017. Baldeh was elected council vice president, on April 18, 2017 and has since been elected as president of the Council. Samba studied Information Technology at Madison Area Technical College and has a master’s certificate in Information Technology, Project Management at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Baldeh also serves in various city committees such as; Digital Technology Committee, Board of Parks Commissioners, Community Development Blog Grant Committee and Sister City Collaboration Committee. Samba is also a member of the UW Community Advisory Council to the chancellor and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship Advisory Committee. Baldeh’s professional experience includes work in international youth development and as a partner in an IT consulting business

Baudouine Burhegeya Borah Mandela Washington Fellow

Baudouine Burhegeya Borah (Democratic Republic of the Congoworks as a security professional dealing with different scenarios and carrying out a wide range of tasks in the field of safety and security. Throughout her professional experience, she has had the opportunity to confront, support and develop a personal interest in the international humanitarian field. Her assets also lay in fluent language abilities (including English, French, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili) and a proven capacity to adapt to and work in hard contexts and multicultural environments.

Alexandra Huneeus Associate Professor, UW-Madison Law School

Alexandra Huneeus is a leading authority on human rights law in Latin America. She has written extensively about international human rights courts, with an emphasis on their relation to national courts, as well as to other international courts. Her work stands at the intersection of law, political science and sociology, and has been published in the American Journal of International Law, Law and Social Inquiry, Yale Journal of International Law, Cornell International Law Journal and by Cambridge University Press. In 2013, she was awarded the American Association for Law Schools Scholarly Papers Prize, as well as the American Society for Comparative Law Award for Younger Scholars (for two different articles). Currently, she holds an NSF grant to explore the impact of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on domestic prosecutions of state atrocity. She is Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, received her PhD, JD and BA from University of California, Berkeley, and was a post-doc at Stanford’s Center on Development, Democracy and the Rule of Law.

Sibonelo Benson Mchunu Mandela Washington Fellow

Sibonelo Benson Mchunu (South Africaworks as an Associate Compliance Officer at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), where his work is focused on the promotion and protection of the constitutional right of access to information. His work is split between the access to information and research units, where he focuses on drafting research reports and submissions on legislative developments that may affect the exercise of human rights to national parliament and international bodies such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). His interest is in the law and its impact on the most vulnerable, both socially and economically. Before the SAHRC, he was at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development as a graduate legal and policy researcher, making submissions at the provincial and national levels on the review and development of laws that impact the economy and job creation possibilities.

Everett Mitchell Dane County Circuit Court Judge

As a Dane County Circuit Court Judge, Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church and highly regarded social activist, Judge/Pastor Everett Mitchell balances justice like a three prong network. In the courtroom, where 75% of his cases are juvenile, he works to change the way the system deals with adjudicated youth who he views as children being punished for having been traumatized and broken. He insists they enter his courtroom unshackled, treated with dignity, and addressed with respect. Judge/Pastor Mitchell is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics that effect communities of Color, such as Madison’s high rate of disparities among People of Color, Wisconsin’s record for being the worst state to raise Children of Color, and its lead in the mass incarceration of Men of Color. In fact, Judge/Pastor Mitchell began his career in Madison as Associate Director of Madison area Urban Ministry (MUM). At MUM he worked on restorative justice policies that coordinated services for men and women recently released from Wisconsin Prisons. He went on to become a Dane County Assistant D.A. Between his tenure as Assistant District Attorney and Dane County Circuit Court Judge, Pastor Mitchell worked as Director of Community Relations for the University of Wisconsin Madison. Along with a skid-loader of prestigious awards throughout his lifetime, he graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Religion, was ordained at the age of 23, received both a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) in Christian Ethics and a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) in Social Ethics from Princeton Seminary and is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.