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Lehman College

Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies



  • Annual Spring Conference: Post-Colonial Truth Telling
  • May 13, 10am-2pm
    • East Dining Hall, Music Building
    • Co-sponsored by: the Leonard Lief
    • Library, Lehman College
    • The Division of Humanities and Arts, CCNY
    • The Center for Worker Education, CCNY
    • The Department of Anthropology, Lehman College

Film Series

  • All films will be screened in Leonard Lief Library's Fine Arts Classroom 226A. Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American- February 25, 11:00am-1:00pm
  • The Mexican Suitcase- March 12, 12:30-2:30pm
  • Virunga- May 6, 11:00am-1:00pm

Co-sponsored by the Leonard Lief Library

Insurgent Ethnography: Crafting Stories that Stick

  • Monday, May 4, 11am-12:15 pm Carman Hall 229


  • The Deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown- March 4, 2:30pm-5:00pm, East Dining Hall Music Building
  • Co-sponsored by the Department of Philosphy and the Department of Anthropology

Challenging Impunity in Domestic Courts: Human Rights Prosecution in Latin America- Wednesday, March 3, 7pm

At Washington College, Maryland.

Kentucky Cantata talkback by Dr. Sanford on January 31 at Here Arts Center. Dr. Sanford will give a talkback immediately following the show, which begins at 7pm.



Fall 2013 Speakers Series

Human Rights Events at Lehman

Spring 2013 Human Rights Film Series

  • Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo & the Search for Identity

Wednesday April 10, 11:00am-2:00pm

This film tells the story of Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, an Argentinian human rights organization of grandmothers committed to finding their lost grandchildren, who they believe were stolen by their country’s military government some 30 years ago.*Winner of the International Indie Award of Excellence. Film screening to be followed by Skype Discussion with filmmaker C.A.Tuggle

  • The Echo of Pain of the Many

Wednesday: April 24, 11:00am-2:00pm

A documentary that follows the profound story of Ana Lucia Cuevas' search for her brother Carlos Cuevas, who was disappeared by Guatemalan security forces in 1984. Film screening to be followed by Skype Discussion with filmmaker Ana Lucia Cuevas

  • Worse than War– The Film with Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

Thursday, May 9: 11:00am-2:00pm

"A Fiery Scholar on the Trail of Genocide and Its Causes… Reaching beyond glib explanations of why so many died" — New York Times. Worse than War is first major documentary to explore the phenomenon of genocide and how we can stop it. Writer and filmmaker Daniel Jonah Goldhagen joins us to discuss the film.

Film Series Co-Sponsors: Herbert H. Lehman Center for Student Leadership Development, Leonard Lief Library, Anthropology, and Latin American, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies. All film screenings at the Leonard Lief Library, Fine Arts Room 226 (2nd floor), Lehman College. Free and Open to the Public.


Making Public, Forming Publics: Liberal Intellectuals Debate the Armenian Genocide in Contemporary Turkey:

Monday, December 10, 2012, 6.30-8 pm

(The Graduate Center)


Special Panel Discussion on Guatemala: Can there be Peace with Justice after Genocide?

The Guatemalan Army and National Police killed eight unarmed Maya peasants when they opened fire on a peaceful protest organized by 48 Maya K’iche’ communities in Totonicapan on October 4, 2012.  More than 35 protesters were wounded and the violent attack on the right to peaceful assembly sent a wave of fear through Guatemala which has yet to come to terms with the 200,000 killed during the genocide in the early 1980s.  Can there be peace after genocide?  Is it possible to bring perpetrators to justice?  This inter-disciplinary panel will explore political participation and rule of law in Guatemala’s fledgling democracy.     

  • Dr. Timothy Smith, Princeton Latin American Studies. Truth-Voting against the Past: Electoral Participation and Political Subjectivity in (Post)War Guatemala
  • Alexander Aisenstadt, Yale Law School. From Law Books to the History Books: The Role of International and National Courts in Enforcing Human Rights in Guatemala.
  • Moderated by Dr. Victoria Sanford, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies

Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Leonard Lief Library, 2nd Floor - Atrium

Sexual violence and the transmission of trauma in South Sudan, Central America and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Sexual violence is a weapon of war, and it is also a domain of sexual behavior that is poorly understood in the context of uniformed populations. While much attention has been given to the consequences and aftermath of sexual violence, there remains a gap in scholarship that elucidates the systematic production of sexual violence and tangible actions that can be taken. In this presentation, Dr. Mike Anastario from the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University explores the role that trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder play in the perpetration of sexual coercion in military populations, and he discusses implications for change that can occur through mechanisms of data collection, surveillance, and forensic documentation.

Tuesday, October 9, 11:00 am -1:00 pm

Leonard Lief Library, Atrium – 2nd Floor 

Annual Open Forum for the Lehman Community

  • October 2, 2012 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Leonard Lief Library, Atrium 2nd Floor
  • Free and Open to Lehman Students, Faculty and Staff

Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies Spring 2012 Conference- Nueva Visión: Latino Politics and the Rights of Migrants in the Americas

Check out the flier for more details [PDF]

Thursday, May 10, 2012, 2:00pm - 8:00pm

Music Building, East Dining Room

Co-sponsors: Department of Political Science at Lehman College and CUNY Latino Initiative

Breaking The Cycle of Violence Addressing The Needs of Central American Immigrants In Mexico

The National Human Rights Committee of Mexico (CNDH) estimates that over 11,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico in a six-month period in 2010. Padre Alejandro Solalinde Guerra decided to create a shelter called “Hermanos en el Camino” which provides migrants a brief and safe rest during their journey. As a result of his work, he has faced death threats and other challenges.

Thursday, February 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.
Music Building, East Dining Room


GRANITO: How to Nail a Dictator

Screening and Q&A with Editor Peter Kinoy
[When the Mountains Tremble and GRANITO]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Leonard Lief Library, Fine Arts Classroom 226A

Co-sponsored by: Academic Affairs, the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies and Leonard Lief Library

New Pathways to Justice: An International Conference to Stop Violence Against Women in Central America

Join us for an international conference addressing the following themes:

  • Violence Against Women and Impunity in Central America
  • Crime Scene Investigation: US Forensic Investigators and High-Impact Feminicide Cases in Guatemala
  • Building Rule of Law One Case at a Time by Promoting Women’s Rights
  • Strategies for Strengthening Regional Cooperation
  • stay for our conference reception featuring photography and poetry

The conference will offer participants new ways of understanding contemporary violence in Central America and identify ways to stop violence against women, as well as enhance women's participation in strengthening the rule of law, access to justice, and the consolidation of democracy.

Dr.   Victoria Sanford, Executive  Director, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies
Dr. Victoria Sanford, Executive Director, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies

Conference webcast *live* at

For full conference details, click here [PDF]

Thursday, April 7, 2011
CONFERENCE: 9:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., East Dining Room
RECEPTION: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Leonard Lief Library

Conference co-sponsors: The Asociación Colectivo de Investigaciones Sociales y Laborales; the Center for Law and Global Affairs at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University; the program in Criminal Forensic Studies at the College of Professional Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University; MADRE; the CUNY School of Law International Women’s Rights Clinic; Rutgers University’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights; the City College of New York’s MA Program in Latin American Studies; and the Lehman College Leonard Lief Library. This conference is made possible by a grant from the Open Society Institute’s International Women’s Program as well as support from the Lehman College Office of the Provost and Dean of Natural and Social Sciences. 

free and open to the public

A Human Rights Framework for Understanding the Immigration Debate

This one-day conference on immigration reform and immigrants' rights hopes to draw national attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants. The conference will offer participants new ways of understanding the immigration debate within a larger political historical context.

  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Linda Green (University of Arizona) on the landscape of immigration in Arizona and what it means for the rest of the country
  • Panel:
    • Dr. Alfonso Gonzalez (Lehman College) on Latino Politics and the Struggle for Human Rights in the 21st Century
    • Dr. Liliana Yanez (CUNY Law School)
    • Dr. Miguel Perez (Lehman College) on the “Anchor Baby” debate
  • Screening of Short Documentary: "Undocumented College Students and the Dream Act" — directed by Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo (CUNY Graduate Center)
  • Reception and Reading: Dr. Irina Carlota Silber (CCNY M.A. Program in the Study of the Americas) reading from her new book: "Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador"

Thursday, February 24, 2011, 11:00am
Music Building, East Dining Hall
Free and open to the public