We seek to engage honestly with the ways racism shapes and reshapes the law — so that human rights law may be an avenue for overcoming racial inequality and further promoting human dignity. 

Indigenous Land Defenders of Brazil: In Memoriam (2019-2022)

Our November 2023 report looks at the deaths of thirteen Indigenous leaders along with emerging regions of risk in Brazil, and is unique in the way that it maps the threat Indigenous land defenders face as they stand up to extractivists.

Promise Institute Assistant Director and head of our Digital Investigations Lab, Prof. Jess Peake noted “The report is a powerful advocacy tool which highlights a small fraction of the deaths of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, many of which remain otherwise invisible to outside communities.”

Learn More about the Defenders and our Report

Race & Human Rights Reimagined Initiative

Bringing together our expertise in human rights, Critical Race Theory and Third World Approaches to International Law, we strive to uncover how race and empire operate within the international human rights system. 

We’re also exploring the potential of law to dismantle national and trans-national structures of racial and colonial subordination.

Explore Our Initiative & Racial Justice Toolkits

Supporting Indigenous Land Defenders

The violence against Indigenous land defenders is as pervasive as it is shocking. Through our Reimagining Rights in the Americas Project, we are helping a number of Central American communities protect their environment.

How We’re Advocating for Justice with Indigenous Communities

Human Rights in the Courts

The Human Rights Litigation Clinic is the engine driving our domestic human rights litigation. From fighting corporate sanctioning of torture and slavery in the Global South, and tech collaboration with repressive regimes, to the racially entangled issues of homelessness and for-profit-detention, the Clinic’s cases each work to expand domestic understanding and protection of human rights.

Clinic Details

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Racism

Professor E. Tendayi Achiume is a core Promise faculty member and former faculty director, who stewarded our International Human Rights Clinic for many years.

Additionally, she is the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xeonophobia and related intolerance.

Critical Perspectives on Race and Human Rights

Our 2019 Symposium situated human rights law between global racial justice conversations including Critical Race Theory and Third World Approaches to International Law.