Alliance of Historical Dialogue and Accountability

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University is now accepting applications to for its residence Fellowship for Historical Dialogue and Accountability. Practitioners of historical dialogue and accountability from conflict, post-conflict and post-dictatorial societies will have the opportunity to engage in training, networking, project work, academic and applied study. The comprehensive program provides Fellows with the opportunity to hone practical skills in fundraising, advocacy and leadership, to develop a deeper understanding of dealing with the past, and to foster mutually beneficial relationships with their peers and with international and non-profit organizations in New York City and Washington, DC. During the Fellowship participants will design a project that addresses a long standing sectarian conflict, history of repression or past gross human rights violations in their society, country or region that they will then implement upon their return to their home communities.

Through workshops, seminars, site visits, participation in University classes and other activities, fellows share their experiences, reflect critically on their strategies, and explore historical dialogue practices from both methodological and applied perspectives. The fellowship seeks to inspire peer-learning among fellows from geographically diverse backgrounds, and to encourage the exchange of ideas and practices among fellows from a variety of disciplines who work within the expanding field of historical dialogue.
As a developing field and as a tool in conflict resolution, historical dialogue processes are still being defined; as such, fellows should consider themselves builders of the field, exploring the relationship between theory and practice, forging alliances with practitioners and advocates, and exploring how these connections are still being defined and implemented. To this end, fellows are expected to design a project that addresses a long standing sectarian conflict, history of repression or past gross human rights violations in their society, country or region throughout the semester. The project can be something that’s entirely new and in the planning phase, or that has existed for some time but is in need of revision. The project should be something the Fellow and his or her supporting organization has the capacity to implement within one year of the Fellowship. Fellows will work on designing and planning the project during their fellowship with the input of other fellows and fellowship staff and consultants, leaving the fellowship with a detailed plan and funding proposal. The project can be (but is not limited to) an advocacy project; a plan for a memorial; a dialogue program bringing together diverse stakeholders; a school program; an oral history project; or other types of experiences and processes for promoting historical dialogue.

Program Focus

AHDA fellows explore both the boundaries of the emerging field of historical dialogue, and they learn to use historical dialogue as a tool of redress and conflict resolution in their particular contexts.

Strategy

To meet AHDA’s goals, Fellows are expected to participate fully in the offerings provided by AHDA, including:
  • Methodological and practical skills workshops on developing historical dialogue projects; fundraising; and interdisciplinary applications of historical dialogue.
  • Columbia University courses on human rights, public history, art, memory studies, transitional justice, oral history.
  • Meetings and networking opportunities with NGO staff, activists, representatives of international institutions, and academics.

Timing and Commitment

The AHDA will begin in late August and run until mid-December 2014. To be considered, participants must commit to full preparation for and participation in the Program.

About the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Since its establishment at Columbia University in 1978, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) has been committed to its core goals of providing human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in international capacity building to human rights leaders and organizations.
ISHR actively works to ensure that local peoples and human rights advocates are included in the political and economic policy decisions that affect their lives.
By convening faculty, students, and human rights leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds, ISHR creates an environment in which research, education, and international outreach contribute to the establishment of a more just and equitable world.
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