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University of Dayton Human Rights Center welcomes African lawyer, social justice advocate Satang Nabaneh as director of programs

By Dave Larsen

Satang Nabaneh, a lawyer and social justice advocate with broad experience in the law and practice of human rights, joined the University of Dayton Human Rights Center last month as its new director of programs.

Nabaneh most recently served as academic coordinator for the master’s and doctorate degrees in sexual and reproductive rights in the Africa program at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

She holds doctor and master of laws degrees from the University of Pretoria. She also holds a bachelor of laws degree from the University of the Gambia, West Africa.

In her new role, Nabaneh will provide leadership on the University of Dayton Human Rights Center’s offerings of human rights-related experiences for graduate and undergraduate students, in and out of the classroom. She will administer existing Human Rights Center (HRC) programs, and develop and cultivate educational, research and experiential learning opportunities for students locally, nationally and internationally. Nabaneh also will lead projects related to business, science, technology and human rights, the United Nations Global Compact and Universitywide engagement related to the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

"Satang's experiences and perspectives fit perfectly with our center's mission and niche," said Shelley Inglis, HRC executive director and research professor of law. "She brings practical knowledge on how advocacy works and a wealth of expertise in international and African human rights mechanisms, women's rights and democratic development on the continent."

At the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights, Nabaneh developed curriculum for the master’s degree program, provided project management, oversaw program funding, and managed relationships with partner organizations, institutions, development partners, donors and academia. She also promoted human rights in Africa through research, teaching and publications.

Nabaneh founded a girls’ empowerment advocacy organization, Think Young Women, in The Gambia. She also has experience in high-level advocacy forums at the United Nations, including the Commission on the Status of Women. Her academic work has been published in peer-reviewed journals that include Health and Human Rights Journal, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, African Disability Rights Yearbook, and Constitutions of the World.

“As a lawyer, I have always believed that human rights law has great potential for the protection of the most vulnerable people in society and for bringing about social change,” Nabaneh said. “I look forward to contributing to HRC's focus on the social practice of human rights and the nexus between education, research and advocacy.”

Tony Talbott, Abolition Ohio director and HRC director of advocacy, led the competitive international search. The search committee also included Inglis; Sangita Gosalia, Center for International Programs director of campus engagement; Sam Ortiz, Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center associate director for campus and community engagement; and Joel Pruce, associate professor of political science.

For more information, visit the Human Rights Center website.

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