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Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies

Past Events


Journalism in the Age of Disaster, Puerto Rico: La Tormenta, The Truth and Making Sense, One Year After Hurricane Maria.

Thursday October 11, 2018

12:45 to 2:30
Music Building, Recital Hall, Room 306.
Panel Discussion

This panel discussion will assess how news media performed and failed to perform its roles as watchdog, truth-teller and sense-maker during Hurricane Maria and in the year since. Panelists will consider the role journalism can or could play in this and other disasters - both environmental and man-made.

Confirmed speakers: David Gonzalez, New York Times; Ed Morales, author LatinX: The New Force in American Politics and Culture; Alana Casanova-Burgess, producer WNYC On the Media;

Ana Teresa Toro, columnist El Nueva Dia; CUNY Service Corps members who responded to storm; Welcome by Lehman College President José Luis Cruz.

Co-sponsored by Journalism and Media Studies; Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies; Arts & Humanities; the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies; and, the Leonard Leif Library.

“Accompaniment and solidarity in context of war: Experiences from Ixcan, Guatemala”

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

Atrium, Leonard Lief Library, Lehman College
A Very Special Event with Ricardo Falla Sánchez

Ricardo Falla Sánchez is a Guatemalan Jesuit anthropologist who completed his PhD at the University of Texas in Austin after having studied theology in Innsbruck Austria with Karl Rahner, among others. He has dedicated his life to documenting the lives and cultures of the Quiché [K'iche'] Maya in Guatemala and other indigenous peoples in Central America. His writings have document multiple Mayan communities including their revitalization through, among other initiatives, their engagement with Catholic Action, attempts to destroy their communities through the brutal massacres of the 1980s, and their struggles for justice and human rights .He is perhaps most widely know n for his 1992 publication Masacres de la Selva – a volume that appeared in English, Massacres of the Jungle, in 1994. He has recently published three books on Maya youth, two focused on those from the Ixcán area of Guatemala: Alicia: Explorando la identidad de una joven maya [Exploring identity: The story of a Maya youth] (2005) and Juventud de una comunidad maya: Ixcán, Guatemala [Youth from a Maya Community, Ixcán, Guatemala] (2006) and a third volume, Migración transnacional retornada: Juventud indígena de Zacualpa, Guatemala [Transnational migration and return: Indigenous youth of Zacualpa, Guatemala] (2007) which focuses on youth who have immigrated to the United States and voluntarily returned to Guatemala. He is currently publishing the fifth volume of what will be seven volumes including much of his heretofore unpublished work, Al atardecer de la vida [At the sunset of life].

This special event is co-sponsored by the Lehman College Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies, the Leonard Lief Library, the Graduate Center Mesoamerican Studies Student Group, The GC Doctoral Students Council and the Graduate Center.

International Conference

Atrocity Prevention in the Americas: Gender Violence, Citizen Security and the Role of the Police

Thursday, November 29

9:30 am to 3:30 pm
East Dining Hall, Music Building, Lehman College

The Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies (CFHRPS) at Lehman College and the Auschwitz Institute are co-hosting an international conference on gender violence, citizen security and the role of the police in preventing atrocities in the Americas. The conference will cover topics ranging from efforts to reign in police violence in the US, to international efforts to combat organized crime and gender violence in Central America, to the transitional role of police in Colombia following the recent peace accords between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas, from efforts to find the missing in Mexico to new LGBQ –sensitive police programs in Brazil, among others.

Confirmed Speakers: Marlon Weichert (Brazil); Maria Marvis Jiron (Nicaragua); General Pamela Olivares (Chile); Coronel Luis Ernesto Garcia Hernandez (Colombia); Ximena Antillon (Mexico). US Speakers: Dr. Jim Waller; Dr. Max Pensky; Tatiana Devia; Dr, Kimberly Theidon; Dr. Jon Carter; Ana Maria Mendez and others TBA.

International Human Rights Day 70th Anniversary Celebration

Students, Staff and Faculty are invited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was drafted at Lehman College! More details to follow…

Tuesday, December 11

9:30 am
Location Faculty Dining Room, Music Building

*All events take place at Lehman College unless otherwise noted.

Events hosted at Lehman are free and open to the public, and refreshments are served.

7th Annual Human Rights Conference

7th Annual Human Rights Conference. Click on the image below to view the flyer. 7th Annual Human Rights Conference: Freedom of Expression & Citizenship in 2017. To download the flyer, visit 7th Annual Human Rights Conference.

Center for Human Rights  and Peace StudiesThe Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in March, 2012 to celebrate the opening of its new office. Lehman College President Ricardo Fernandez, Center Executive Director Victoria Sanford, faculty members and students attended the reception.  Please visit us at our current address:

Lehman College
Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies
Carman Hall, Room 247

Intersectionality and Women's Leadership: Garifuna Women's Responses to Challenges on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua

6th Annual Human Rights Conference: Archives, Witnessing & Testimony: TRUTH BATTLES

Refugee Lives at Risk/Citizen Rights Denied: A Panel and Discussion Sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and 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