The briefing is organized in partnership with Education Outreach Section (comprising of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and the Remember Slavery Programme) in observance of the International Day of Living Together in Peace (16 May)
Date: 18 May 2020
Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT
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Chief, Civil Society, Advocacy and Special Events, United Nations Department of Global Communications
Information Officer, The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, Education Outreach Section, Department of Global Communications (DGC)
Setting the Stage
Student, Rutgers University; Intern, Civil Society and Advocacy Section, Department of Global Communication (DGC)
Director, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York Office
Executive Director, The National Council of Negro Women
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago
Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
Executive Director, International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI)
President and CEO, CGFNS International, Inc.
Nico Gennaro Sciasci
Programme Manager, International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM)
Crisis Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW)
As Chief of the Civil Society and Advocacy Section in the UN Department of Global Communications, Mr. Brez oversees relations with non-governmental organizations, the Messengers of Peace Programme, the Creative Community Outreach Initiative and Special Events. His work is international humanitarian aid and development assistance has spanned more than a decade and covered a range of issues including children’s and women’s rights, refugee assistance, child soldiers, health, education, sustainable agriculture and food security, environmental sustainability, anticorruption and climate change.
Tracey Petersen manages the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme in the Education Outreach Section of the Department for Global Communications. The Programme is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to mobilize civil society globally for Holocaust remembrance and education in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide. Prior to joining the United Nations, Tracey was the Education Director of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, South Africa and led the development and implementation of teacher training and public engagement projects tailored to engage with citizens in the context of a country still emerging from a deeply damaged past. She has taught in both secondary and tertiary levels. She holds a PhD in history from the University of the Western Cape, and an MPhil in education from the University of Cape Town and is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminars.
Yizhong Yang is a second year Master student in Political Science Department at Rutgers University. His focus is United Nations and Global Policy Studies. He received his B.A. in Diplomacy, from School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University in Changchun, China. Yizhong has served as a public information intern at the UN Environment Programme, New York Office, where his priorities have been to manage social media platforms, produce briefings and reports, attend Second Committee meetings to monitor and report on SDGs related issues. His interests are Climate Change, Poverty Elimination, and International Security. Currently, Yizhong is interning at the United Nations in New York with the Civil Society Unit in the Department of Global Communications and will graduate in May 2020.
Craig Mokhiber is an international lawyer and specialist in human rights law, policy, and methodology who has spent four decades in the international human rights movement, including more than twenty-seven years at the United Nations. He is currently Director of the New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has held senior UN positions in Geneva, New York and in the field, and has undertaken human rights missions to dozens of countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America. He has served as the UN’s Senior Human Rights Advisor in Palestine, and in Afghanistan, led the team of human rights specialists attached to the High Level Mission on Darfur, headed the Rule of Law and Democracy Unit, and served as Chief of the Economic and Social Issues Section, and Chief of the Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch at OHCHR Headquarters. He was for five years the Chairman of the UN Task Force for Action Two (a global initiative to advance national human rights protection systems), and later Chaired the UN Democracy Fund consultative group, the UN Working Group on Leadership, and the UN-HLCP Consultative group on Inequalities. He has also led several initiatives aimed at integrating human rights into the work of the UN itself. Craig Mokhiber has lectured and taught human rights, has authored several publications on human rights themes, and has served on the Secretariats of the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), the Commission on Human Rights (1995), the Working Group on the Right to Development (2001), and the World Summit (2005). He represented the UN human rights office in the LDC-IV Conference in Istanbul in 2011, in the UN working group on the human rights of older persons in 2012, in the Rio+20 negotiations in 2012, in the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015, the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, in the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, and in negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration in 2017-18. While on leave from the UN in 1999, he led a global study on human rights and rule of law reforms, on behalf of the International Council on Human Rights Policy. Before joining the UN, he worked as an NGO activist, a human rights advocate, and a lawyer in private practice.
Janice L. Mathis, Esq. was appointed Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women in 2016. NCNW was founded in 1935 by Dr, Mary McLeod Bethune and is an affiliation of thirty-two national women’s organizations, two hundred campus and community-based sections, with total membership of more reaching more than two million women and men. NCNW Affiliates include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eastern Stars, Women’s Missionary Society of the AME Church and other influential groups.
Prior to joining NCNW, Janice was General Counsel and Vice President of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund, where she spearheaded civil rights and diversity initiatives with many Fortune 500 firms. She is a former member of both the Georgia Power Company Diversity Advisory Council and the Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity Council. In 2015, Janice led a successful effort to include diverse contractors in $3 billion dollars’ worth of state-funded transportation contracts in Georgia.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and is included in several editions of the Most Influential Blacks in Atlanta; in 2009 she was named one of 25 Most Influential Women in Atlanta by Rolling Out magazine and received the Fannie Lou Hamer award from UFCW. In 2008, the Georgia Informer named her one of the 50 most influential women in Georgia. The Gate City Bar presented her its R.E. Thomas Civil Rights Award in 2009.
Andrea “Chuey” Chu is the Chicago and Midwest Regional Organizer at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, where she coordinates the A Just Chi program and supports organizations across the Midwest on building power in Asian American communities.
Chuey was previously a Midwest regional organizer with Food & Water Action fighting for clean air and water. She founded Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Chrysanthemum: Voices of the Taiwanese Diaspora, an anthology of stories, essays, poetry, and art by creators of Taiwanese heritage. She is a lover of breakfast, Iron Goddess tea, and a good science fiction novel.
Simona Cruciani serves as a Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG) where she runs the Global Program with Religious Leaders on Preventing Incitement to Violence that could Lead to Atrocity Crimes and she is focal point for the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on hate Speech. Before joining the OSAPG, Simona served in United Nations field operations, respectively from 2004 to 2006 in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Burundi as an Electoral and Civil Affairs Officer, and from 2006 to 2008 at the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan as a Civil Affairs Officer.
Simona’s focus has primarily been on preventing and responding to atrocity crimes as well as supporting human security, democratization and human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. Simona owns master’s degrees in Contemporary History, International Affairs and Public Health.
Jadayah Spencer is the Executive Director of the International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI), a non-profit dedicated to expanding the horizons of youth of African descent through international study and travel. A proud IYLI alumna, Jadayah joined IYLI in 2010 and participated in the 2011 program in Tanzania. She subsequently became a volunteer, board member, and a group leader (Brazil 2013), before serving as Executive Director in 2015. Jadayah has served as a first-ever co-chair of the United Nations Youth Representative Steering Committee— advising the UN Department of Global Communications on youth engagement strategy among civil society— and has served her city with the New York City Young Women’s Advisory Council providing policy recommendations (funded by $20 million from the City of New York) to improve the quality-of-life of the city’s most vulnerable populations.
Jadayah is a born-and-raised Brooklynite, has been recognized as one of 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in the NYC Non-Profit Sector by New York Nonprofit Media, and has received several fellowships. She graduated as a Dean's Scholar from New York University, where she studied anthropology, with minor concentrations in Social Entrepreneurship and Mandarin Chinese. She has been to 5 continents, and her goal is to achieve fluency in 17 languages.
Dr. Franklin A. Shaffer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CGFNS International, Inc., an internationally recognized authority on credentials evaluation and verification pertaining to the education, registration, and licensure of nurses and healthcare professionals worldwide. Dr. Shaffer earned his doctorate in nursing administration and education at Columbia University and has 50 years of progressive and varied nursing experience which includes administration, education, clinical practice, and research. He is a frequent speaker and consultant at meetings and conferences around the world and is an NGO representative at the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), and International Council of Nurses (ICN).
Dr. Shaffer serves as the Secretariat of the International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM), a strategic partnership between ICN and CGFNS International. ICNM occupies a key role in establishing effective global and national migration policy and practice that facilitates safe, quality, and accessible patient care and positive practice environments for nurse migrants. He is the former Deputy Director of the National League for Nursing, the accreditation organization for nursing education. Dr. Shaffer made the business case for The Joint Commission (TJC) to develop a certification for the healthcare staffing industry, an initiative that has since grown to include over 400 healthcare staffing firms.
Throughout his career, Dr. Shaffer has authored eight books and over 200 publications. He also serves on several leading professional journals and editorial boards, and most recently was selected as Chair of the International Advisory Board of the American Journal of Nursing. Recently, he was appointed Visiting Scholar at Tor Vergata University in Rome, Italy and the University of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Tirana, Albania, and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Dr. Shaffer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Mr. Sciasci is the Programme Manager at the International Centre on Nurse Migration, a partnership knowledge resource created by CGFNS International, Inc. and the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Nico manages all aspects of the Centre’s activities which include creating research publications on trends, issues, and challenges facing global nurse migration, as well as, graphic design, website administrator and content lead.
Prior to becoming the Programme Manager, Nico was the Programme Coordinator and former Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of CGFNS International, Inc. and held positions in international non-profit and local governmental organisations. Nico is currently enrolled at the Università degli Studi di Palermo’s bachelor degree programme in Nursing and has previously earned a Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations with a concentration in Global Health and Development from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Akshaya Kumar is the Director of Crisis Advocacy at Human Rights Watch. She oversees the organization’s advocacy response to emergencies and develops innovative strategies to respond to evolving crises. Kumar joined HRW as Deputy United Nations Director in 2015 and represented the organization at UN headquarters in New York for four years. She previously worked at the Enough Project where she helped launch The Sentry, an initiative that seeks to freeze war criminals out of the international financial system. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Akshaya holds a JD from Columbia University and an LLM in human rights, conflict and justice from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She speaks Tamil, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic and English.