Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture

Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture

The annual Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture celebrates the memory of the late Valerie Gordon ’93, a fierce advocate for human rights in the US and internationally. The lecture features outstanding lawyers, judges, scholars and advocates who share their experiences in advancing human rights.

Recent Events

2021 Valerie Gordon Lecture
Friday, April 9, 2021 | 12:10 - 1:40 PM

Human Rights and Racial Justice
Featuring
Justin Hansford
Professor of Law; Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Howard University

BLSA Human Rights Essay Contest

Each year, in conjunction with the Valerie Gordon Lecture, the law school's chapter of the Black Law Students Association sponsors a human rights essay contest for first-year law students. The essay topic is announced annually by BLSA, and “The Spirit of Valerie Gordon Award” is presented at the Gordon Lecture each spring.

Valerie Gordon Book Award

Princess Diaz ’23, is the winner of the 2021 Valerie Gordon essay contest.
Bianca Pickering ’22 was the winner of the 2020 Valerie Gordon essay contest.

Co-Sponsored by Northeastern Law's
Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

Friday, April 9, 2021 | 12:10 - 1:40 PM

Danae Rosario ’22
Chair of the Black Law Students Association
Welcoming Remarks
Dean James Hackney
Presentation of 2020 Spirit of Valerie Gordon Student Essay Award
Jasmine Brown ’21, recipient of the 2019 Award, presented the 2020 Award to Bianca Pickering ’22.
Presentation of 2021 Spirit of Valerie Gordon Student Essay Award
Bianca Pickering ’22, recipient of the 2020 Award, presented the 2021 Award to Princess Diaz ’23, who read an excerpt of her winning essay.
Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Elizabeth Ennen ’08, Director, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
Keynote Speaker: Justin Hansford
Professor of Law Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center Howard University
Questions and Comments from the Audience
BLSA Presentation of Gift to Keynote Speaker
Timothy Kobba ’22
Secretary of the Black Law Students Association
Closing Comments Member of the Gordon Family
  • 2020

    (Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
    Professor Tiffany Joseph (Northeastern University, Associate Professor of Sociology and International Affairs) was scheduled to deliver the 2020 Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture on “Displacement, Citizenship and Human Rights Challenges for the 21st Century.” PHRGE hopes to re-schedule this lecture in the future.

    2020 Valerie Gordon Book Award
    Bianca Pickering ’22 was the winner of the 2020 Valerie Gordon essay contest.

    2019

    Alfred Brownell, Associate Research Professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, Northeastern University School of Law; Beau Biden Inaugural Chair, Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF)
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019: “Resilience, Resistance and the Law: Innovative Strategies for Stopping Discriminatory Land Grabs.”
    >> View photos

    Valerie Gordon Book Award
    Jasmine Brown ’21 was the winner of the 2019 Valerie Gordon essay contest.

    2018

    Valerie Gordon Book Award
    Hakeem M. Muhammad '20 was the winner of the 2018 Valerie Gordon essay contest. His winning essay was entitled, “Angela Davis: A South African Moment for Palestine.”

    2017

    Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery, Alabama
    September 5, 2017: "Young People Changing the World: Four Powerful Steps"
    >> View photos

    Valerie Gordon Essay Contest
    Siri Nelson '19 was the winner of the 2017 Valerie Gordon essay contest for her essay entitled, "Black Lives Matter in Every Town: An Argument for Scaling Up Existing Reconciliatory Practices in the United States."

    2016

    Morten Kjaerum, Director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Sweden
    April 13, 2016: "Racism and Inclusion: Where is Europe Headed?"
    >> View photos

    2015

    Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director and Director, Center for Advocacy, ACLU
    March 18, 2015: "Guantánamo and the Legacy of Torture"
    >> View photos

    2014

    Penelope Andrews, Dean and President, Albany Law School
    >> View photos

    2013

    Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
    >> View photos

    2012

    Terry McGovern, Senior Program Officer, Gender, Rights and Equality Unit, Ford Foundation
    >> View photos

    2011

    Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Associate Professor of Law and Development and Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    >> View photos

    2010

    The Honorable Manuel Cepeda, Former President and Magistrate (retired), Constitutional Court of Colombia
    >> View photos

    2009

    Hauwa Ibrahim, Nigerian Human Rights Lawyer

    2008

    Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on Minority Issues, United Nations

     2007

    Harold Koh, Dean and and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

    2006

    Carol Anderson, Associate Professor of History, University of Missouri-Columbia

    2005

    Jaribu Hill , Executive Director and Founder, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights

    2004

    Gerard Quinn, Professor of Law, National University of Ireland (Galway)

    2003

    Abdullahi An-Na’im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

    2002

    Charles Ogletree Jr, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

    2001

    Makau Mutua, Professor of Law, SUNY-Buffalo School of Law

    2000

    Adrien Wing, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law

    1999

    Loretta Ross, Executive Director, Center for Human Rights Education

    1998

    The Honorable Albert Louis Sachs, Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa