Genesis at the Crossroads, a Chicago-based organization that uses the arts in peacebuilding, joined the U.S. Institute of Peace on April 22, 2015 to host an interactive panel discussion on building peace and human rights—and the role that the arts and artists can play.

Using arts to promote human rights
Pictured from left to right, Maria Stefan, Wendy Sternberg, Nigel Osborne, Lynette Jackson

Genesis at the Crossroads uses education and the arts — including innovative performances of music, dance and other genres — to creatively promote human rights, inter-ethnic dialogue and the building of peace. On April 22, USIP held a conversation with academic, artistic and human-rights specialists about this intersection of human rights and the humanities. As part of a “new conversation for human rights in peacebuilding,” panelists discussed how to mesh human rights concerns with the reconstruction of societies and governments following war or other violent conflict. Continue the conversation on Twitter with #ArtsForRights.

Speakers

  • Maria Stephan
    Senior Policy Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Wendy Sternberg
    Founder and Executive Director of Genesis at the Crossroads 
  • Nigel Osborne
    Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on Culture and University of Edinburgh Emeritus Professor of Music who works with traumatized children the world over.​
  • Dr. Lynette Jackson
    Professor of African-American and Gender and Women's Studies at University of Illinois, Chicago, and a human rights activist who works on issues relating to urban America as well as on gender issues and sexual rights.
  • David Tolbert
    President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Former UN Assistant Secretary-General, who served as the Special Expert to the UN Secretary General on the Khmer Rouge Trials; Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
  • Alexandra Salomon, Moderator
    Producer at Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ.

logos

Related Publications

A Year After Elections, Iraq May Finally Be Set to Form a Government

A Year After Elections, Iraq May Finally Be Set to Form a Government

Thursday, October 20, 2022

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Iraq hit two anniversaries this month. Three years ago in October, Iraqis rose up to protest the failure of the Iraqi government and political class in delivering basic services, providing jobs, fighting corruption and more. One of the outcomes of those protests was early elections, which were held on October 10, 2021, but have yet to yield a government. The last year witnessed crippling political gridlock, as the winner of the 2021 national parliamentary elections, Moqtada al-Sadr, eventually withdrew from the political process after failing to form a government.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

The Latest @ USIP: Iraq’s Immense Climate Challenges

The Latest @ USIP: Iraq’s Immense Climate Challenges

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

By: Zena Ali Ahmed

Iraq is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Amid a protracted political crisis, sweltering temperatures, water scarcity and other climate-related challenges threaten the country’s stability and add to Iraqis’ grievances. Zena Ali Ahmad, the United Nations Development Program’s resident representative in Iraq, analyzes how climate change impacts Iraq and its stability and discusses solutions to address these impacts.

Type: Blog

Environment

Sarhang Hamasaeed on Iraq’s Deepening Political Stalemate

Sarhang Hamasaeed on Iraq’s Deepening Political Stalemate

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

After recent episodes of violence, Iraq’s political stalemate continues. “Bottom line … this is a fight over power” and differing views on foreign influence, says USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed. “The Iraqi people are actually fighting for democracy. It is just the political class … that makes that a longer fight.”

Type: Podcast

What’s Behind Moqtada al-Sadr’s Bid to Shake up Iraq’s Politics?

What’s Behind Moqtada al-Sadr’s Bid to Shake up Iraq’s Politics?

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Over the weekend, followers of the powerful Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed and occupied Iraq’s parliament in protest over a rival bloc attempting to form a government. The move comes less than two months after al-Sadr’s bloc in parliament resigned after its failure to form a majoritarian government following its victory in the October 2021 elections. Nearly 10 months after those elections, there is still no new government and the stability of the country is at stake as this showdown between al-Sadr’s supporters and his political rivals continues to play out.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications