The Race & Human Rights Reimagined Initiative is a resource for students, practitioners, and scholars interested in thinking critically about race and human rights.

By 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. With this initiative, we hope to generate impactful new thinking about human rights, racial justice and equality. 

For more information, reach out to S. Priya Morley,

Race and Human Rights Resources

In her prior capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, E. Tendayi Achiume generated a number of thematic reports on global racial justice issues and the role of the international human rights framework in addressing them. Please find UN Reports, Executive Summaries and links to webinars below.

Race, Extractivism & Human Rights

Executive Summary UN Report Event Recording

Racial Discrimination & Emerging Digital Technologies

Executive Summary UN Report

Race, Migration & Ethno-Nationalist Ideologies

Executive Summary UN Report

Populism & Racial Equality

Executive Summary UN Report

Reparations for Colonialism & Slavery

Executive Summary UN Report

Ecological Crisis, Climate Justice & Racial Justice

Executive Summary UN Report Event Recording

Racial Justice, Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Executive Summary UN Report

Setting Institutional Priorities on Climate Reparations & Racial Justice: Learning from Social Movements

The Promise Institute wishes to acknowledge this Convening was made possible by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Conference Grant, and that the opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.  

Downloadable PDF Available Here

A Race, Empire and International Legal Approach

Under the leadership of Profs. Aslı Ü. Bâli and E. Tendayi Achiume, we hosted a series of landmark convenings bringing together Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). 

These convenings asked human rights scholars to consider two themes:

  • What might a joint TWAIL-CRT approach to international law look like?
  • How might a human rights framework promote racial justice and equality?

The ensuing report pulls together the convenings’ major takeaways and is essential reference for anyone interested in thinking critically about race and human rights. Please find our report and our Critical Perspectives on Race & Human Rights Primer below.

Additionally, S. Priya Morley sat down with Profs. Bâli and Achiume to discuss what a joint CRT-TWAIL approach to international law looks like and how the human rights framework can promote racial justice and equality. UCLA Law Magazine later highlighted the personal significance of this work for all involved.

Watch the Conversation on Trans-National Re-Imaginings

Trans-National Re-Imaginings: Race, Empire and Human Rights

Downloadable PDF Available Here

Primer: Critical Perspectives on Race & Human Rights

Downloadable PDF Available Here

Environmental Racism & Climate (In)Justice: Launch of UNSR on Racism Achiume’s Final Thematic Report

Co-Sponsored by NYU’s Global Justice Clinic; Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law; Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy & Land Use Law and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

Watch the Event Recording

TWAIL-CRT Scholarship

A Curated Collection of Articles

Connecting Race and Empire: What Critical Race Theory Offers Outside the U.S. Legal Context

S. Priya Morley

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Journal of International Foreign Affairs, Volume 24, Number 1, Spring 2020

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American Journal of International Law (AJIL Unbound), Volume 117, 2023. Symposium on Race, Racism, and International Law

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UCLA Law Review, Volume 67, Issue 6 April 2021, pp. 1386 – 1895:

Race and Empire: Legal Theory Within, Through and Across National Borders

E. Tendayi Achiume and Aslı Bâli

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A Prolegomenon to the Study of Racial Ideology in the Era of International Human Rights

Justin Desautels-Stein

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Critical Race Theory Meets Third World Approaches to International Law

E. Tendayi Achiume and Devon W. Carbado

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Slavery is Not a Metaphor: U.S. Prison Labor and Racial Subordination Through the Lens of the ILO’s Abolition of Forced Labor Convention

Adelle Blackett and Alice Duquesnoy

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Deploying Race, Employing Force: ‘African Mercenaries’ and the 2011 NATO Intervention in Libya

Katherine Fallah and Ntina Tzouvala

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Writing Race and Identity in a Global Context: What CRT and TWAIL Can Learn from Each Other

James Thuo Gathii

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“Unwhitening the World”: Rethinking Race and International Law

Christopher Gevers

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Genres of Universalism: Reading Race Into International Law, with Help from Sylvia Wynter

Darryl Li

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Unsettling the Border

Sherally Munshi

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An Un-American Story of the American Empire: Small Places, From the Mississippi to the Indian Ocean

Vasuki Nesiah

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Keynote Speech: UCLA Law Review Symposium 2020: Law and Empire in the American Century

Aziz Rana

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Emergency and Migration, Race and the Nation

John Reynolds

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The Destabilizing Effect of Terrorism in the International Human Rights Regime

Wadie E. Said

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Racial Valuation of Diseases

Matiangai Sirleaf

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Race as a Technology of Global Economic Governance

Chantal Thomas

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Critical Perspectives on Race and Human Rights