Arts, Human Rights, and Social Change

Friday, October 2, 2020 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Dates for live sessions: October 2, 9 & 16 from 12:30pm - 3:30 pm ET

Fellowships available by application. See more information below.

Through an exploration of visual art that has been used in prominent human rights campaigns, from protest art to large-scale public installations, this interactive workshop will explore the intersection of the arts and human rights and how it is used to catalyze social change in communities across the globe, and inspire human rights movements. Throughout this training, participants will become familiar with artists, movements and/or institutions, practitioners and organizations working at this intersection. Lastly, through collaborative activities and class discussions, participants will examine the use of visual arts, as a tool for understanding how societies process, critically reflect upon, and advocate for human rights issues directly impacting them.

After the successful completion of the course, the participants shall be able to:

- Understand and identify the cultural, political, and social context/purposes of the visual arts as it relates to human rights and human rights education and practices.

-Analyze the effects of “cultural organizing” and the use of visual arts for human rights practitioners and scholars to affect social change.

-Dissect the connections between human rights education, social movements, and visual arts practices, as a way to more critically examine and influence human rights.

-Familiarize themselves with artists, movements and/or institutions through the engagement with and research of selected practitioners and organizations.

-Understand the use of the visual arts, as a tool for understanding how societies process and critically reflect upon human rights issues directly impacting them.

-Utilize case studies and other interactive learning activities to examine the role of visual arts in advancing a human rights goal or catalyzing social change.

-Develop a collaborative art project around a human rights issue of their interest or area of their work.


Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario is the Founder and Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE). As a committed human rights and peace-building activist, artist, educator, and advocate for youth, Marissa launched ARTE in 2013 to help young people amplify their voices and organize for human rights change in their communities through the visual arts. Marissa has written several publications focusing on the intersection of human rights, art education, and youth development, including the Huffington Post, Education Week, and Radical Teacher. Currently, Marissa serves as a CUNY University Faculty Senate Member and an Adjunct Lecturer at the City College of New York in the Art Education and Education Departments. Marissa holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations, from the University of Southern California, an M.P.A. from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Certificate opportunity:

This Training Workshop is part of ISHR’s Human Rights Training Series.  A certificate of participation will be granted to those who complete all sessions of the training. Individuals who complete three workshops in the Human Rights Training Series will receive an ISHR Human Rights Training Series certificate of completion.

Regular rate: $350

Register by September 25th for an Early Bird rate of $300.  Use discount code: EARLYBIRD

A limited number of reduced rates are available for those with financial need. 

Columbia University students are eligible for a 40% discount on the regular rate if enrolled by the Early Bird deadline. Please email for more information.

Upon registration or application for financial need, please complete this survey: