The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) invites applications for its 2019 Innovation Fellowship on the topic “The Right to Safety in the Northern Triangle of Central America.” UUSC’s Central American Migrant Justice Initiative supports efforts to promote the right to safety in Central America by resisting state-sanctioned violence, in addition to advancing the right to safety on the migrant trail and human rights in the U.S. immigration system. This entails supporting grassroots organizations working for systemic change and “connecting groups across the migrant trail from El Salvador to Mexico to the United States to create a strong movement centered on the rights of people, not borders.”
The UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship is a one-year $25,000 grant, awarded to a non-profit, non-governmental organization, designed to bring about systemic change by creating, nurturing, or spreading an innovation in human rights. For this year’s theme, UUSC invites applications from organizations working on projects that seek to promote the right to safety in the Northern Triangle of Central America. These projects should focus on addressing the root causes of forced displacement.
These innovations may be legal strategies, methods of mobilization, methods of community outreach, technological or financial products or apps, path-breaking applied research, advances in corporate accountability, or other new approaches. The successful proposal will be rights-based, align with UUSC’s values and approach, positively impact and engage at-risk communities, and provide a new, different, and timely solution.
Past winners of Human Rights Innovation Fellowship
The focus of the 2018 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was “Resisting Criminalization” and the winner was Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), in support of its efforts to dismantle the City of Chicago’s gang database. The city’s gang database, which includes some 128,000 names not counting juveniles, has been compiled over the years by Chicago police officers. Rights advocates say it’s inaccurate, out of date and racially skewed, disproportionately including Blacks and Latinos. OCAD’s gang database initiative is part of the group’s wider commitment to creating sanctuary in Chicago, a self-proclaimed Sanctuary City — by working at local levels with individuals and families through grassroots organizing and legal and policy action, to develop community environments where they can thrive without fear.
The Lowlander Center
The focus of the 2017 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was climate-forced resettlement, and the winner was The Lowlander Center, a non-profit organization based in the bayous of Louisiana dedicated to finding community-based solutions for “living with an ever-changing coastline and land loss to climate change while visioning a future that builds capacity and resilience for place and people.” The fellowship was awarded to implement an adaptation tool developed for communities faced with the difficult decision to relocate in the face of climate-induced land erosion and other environmental challenges. Read more about this project.
National Domestic Workers Alliance
The focus of the 2016 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was economic justice, and the winner was National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), in support of the launch of its “National Home Care Workers Hotline,” which serves as a resource for workers who assist the elderly and persons with disabilities and illness. The hotline provides “know your rights” information along with up-to-date tools and resources for workers education and training for self-advocacy. Read more about this project and the work NDWA is doing.
Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research
The focus of the 2015 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was the human right to water, and the winner was Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR). The grant funded a vital water access survey in Mumbai’s Mandala slum, coordinated by PUKAR’s Youth Fellowship Program. This independent youth-driven research collective focuses on issues of urbanization anchored in community-based participatory research. (In Hindi one meaning of pukaris “a clarion call.”) The PUKAR collective encourages disenfranchised youth in Mumbai to learn through training and experience about how to conduct valid social science research, followed by support in how to use that knowledge to produce meaningful environmental change in their community. Read more about the work PUKAR is doing through the innovation fellowship!
El Comité de Servicio Unitario Universalista (UUSC) invita a presentar solicitudes para su Beca de Innovación 2019 sobre el tema “El derecho a la seguridad en el Triángulo Norte de América Central”. La Iniciativa de Justicia Migrante Centroamericana de UUSC apoya los esfuerzos para promover el derecho a la seguridad en Centroamérica a través de la resistencia a la violencia del estado, además de promover el derecho a la seguridad en la ruta migratoria y los derechos humanos en el sistema de inmigración de los Estados Unidos. Esto implica apoyar a las organizaciones de base que trabajan para un cambio sistémico y “conectar grupos a través de la ruta migratoria desde El Salvador hasta México y los Estados Unidos para crear un movimiento fuerte centrado en los derechos de las personas, no en las fronteras.”
La beca de Innovación de UUSC es una subvención de 25,000 USD por un año, otorgada a una organización no gubernamental sin ánimo de lucro, diseñada para generar un cambio sistémico creando, nutriendo o diseminando una innovación en derechos humanos. Para el tema de este año, UUSC invita a las organizaciones que trabajan en proyectos que buscan promover el derecho a la seguridad en el Triángulo Norte de América Central. Estos proyectos deberían enfocarse en abordar las causas fundamentales del desplazamiento forzado.
Estas innovaciones pueden ser estrategias legales, métodos de movilización, métodos de extensión a la comunidad, productos o aplicaciones tecnológicos o financieros, investigación aplicada pionera, avances en la responsabilidad corporativa u otros enfoques nuevos. La propuesta ganadora estará basada en los derechos, se alineará con los valores y el enfoque de UUSC, impactará positivamente y involucrará a las comunidades en riesgo, y proporcionará una solución nueva, diferente y oportuna.