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January 28, 2011

Q & A with Jim Cavallaro, Executive Director of the Human Rights Program

Posted by Cara Solomon

This week marked the start of the spring semester and the third snowstorm of the year.  Right in the thick of it, we welcomed 40 students into the International Human Rights Clinic.  We also started this blog, which will focus mainly on the projects and people associated with the Clinic.

It seemed like a good time to check in with Jim Cavallaro, Executive Director of the Human Rights Program (HRP).  And so we did.

Jim Cavallaro interviews prisoners in Panama
Jim interviews prisoners last semester as part of an ongoing clinical project in Panama

HRP: What attracted you to HRP?

Cavallaro: When I came in 2002, I had already spent nearly two decades working as a human rights lawyer in Latin America—in Chile during the last years of the Pinochet dictatorship, and then for nearly a decade in Brazil, working on criminal justice issues, transitional justice, racial discrimination, violence against women and indigenous issues. I had a lot of real world experience, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to step back and reflect, or to put what I had learned to use as a teacher. HRP gave me the opportunity to continue my work as an activist—my first passion—but also to work closely with students, and to reflect on human rights and the human rights movement.

It’s proven to be the perfect fit for me.  I love the students’ energy and their sense that anything is possible.  To be honest, their commitment and drive has been the engine behind the remarkable growth of the clinic and the program this past decade.

When I came here, we had a handful of students working on one or two projects. Now we have 40 students working on twenty projects on every major continent- and that’s just this semester.

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January 25, 2011

Upcoming Event on South Sudan


“The World’s Newest Nation: What Follows South Sudan’s Independence?”

 
February 3, 2011
5:30- 7:00 pm
Pound Hall 203

Rebecca Hamilton Headshot

Join us Thursday for a talk with Rebecca Hamilton, JD ’08, human rights lawyer, journalist and author of “Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide.”  A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard’s JFK School of Government, Hamilton is a fellow at the New America Foundation and a Special Correspondent on Sudan for The Washington Post.

The Human Rights Program is co-sponsoring this event with HLS Student Advocates and the Harvard African Law Association.

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