Human Rights Conference

Women's Rights as Human Rights

The Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga University School of Law, in partnership with Gonzaga Law in Florence, will present the fourth annual Human Rights Conference. This year’s theme, “Women’s Rights as Human Rights,” will bring together nationally and internationally renowned scholars to discuss how gender intersects with culture, violence, and technology. Renee Knake Jefferson, co-author of the book Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court and a Professor of Law at University of Houston, will be the keynote speaker of the annual conference.

Monday, November 9, 2020
Online & Virtual via Zoom
8 AM – 1:15 PM Pacific Time






8:00am to 8:15 am: Welcome
8:15am to 9:15am: Panel 1: Technology, Speech, and Misogyny
9:30am to 10:30am: Panel 2: Gender, Intersectionality, and Culture
10:45am to 11:45am: Panel 3: Gender, Conflict, and Violence
12:00 pm to 12:15pm: MYRA by Bryan Harnetiaux
12:15 pm to 1:15pm: Keynote from Renee Knake Jefferson

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Knake 

Renee Knake Jefferson is a law professor and an award-winning author whose work has been featured in BuzzFeed, CNN, National Public Radio, Slate, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. She holds the Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics at the University of Houston Law Center where she teaches ethics, constitutional law, and a writing seminar on gender, power, law, and leadership.

The Center for Law, Ethics & Commerce is co-sponsoring Jefferson's inclusion in this conference. 


Panel 1: Technology, Speech & Misogyny


Title: Mirjeta Beqiri, Ph.D.

Bio: Mirjeta holds a BBA in Statistics from the University of Tirana, Albania and an MBA, & Ph.D. in Operations Management from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Mirjeta teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of Data Analysis and Operations Management. Moreover, in 2017, along with the Gonzaga in Florence faculty, Tamara Evans, Mirjeta initiated and successfully developed and carried out the first faculty led study abroad program at the MBA level – Doing Business in Europe: Gonzaga in Belgium and Italy. In addition to teaching in the School of Business Administration, Mirjeta teaches Inferential Statistics in the DNP program in the School of Nursing and Human Physiology, as well as volunteers to teach in the Jesuit Worldwide Learning program. Prior to coming to the United States, Mirjeta worked as the Director of the Statistical Directory of the District Council of Shkoder, Albania, and as Assistant Professor and Department Chair at the Faculty of Economy, University “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Shkoder, Albania. Her research interests include perceived waiting times, service quality, outsourcing, business ethics, business education, and distance learning. She is a member of several professional organizations, such as Decision Sciences Institute, POMS, and EUROMA, and served as the member of “Ruane Award of Business Education Innovation” Selection Committee (2016, 2017), as well as the Co-Chair of the Instructional Award Innovation Competition, Decision Sciences Institute (2017).

For her outstanding performance Mirjeta has been awarded with “Best Paper Award” (2007), “Outstanding MBA Professor of the Year Award” (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), Gonzaga University’s “Faculty Exemplary Award” (2013), “Wilfrid and Patricia Loeken SBA Vision and Values Award” (2013), “Wilfrid and Patricia Loeken SBA Excellence” (2014), “Centioli Faculty Award” (2016), “Jepson Faculty Fellowship” (2007, 2009, 2015), and Barnes Research Award (2018). Additionally, Mirjeta has been awarded with the Gratitude of University of Shkodra (Albania) for “Distinguished contribution in the establishment, sustainment and advancement of the School of Economics”.

Mirjeta has also served as the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Programs Committee, and IT Committee in the School of Business. At the university level, Mirjeta has served as the Chair of the Academic Council Curriculum Committee; furthermore, she serves on the International Education Council, Community Engagement Advisory Board, Core Executive Committee, and Faculty Senate, to name a few. Recently, Mirjeta was appointed as the MBA Programs Director. In the Spokane community, Mirjeta serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest Board and supports other organizations as well.


Jillisa Bronfma 

Paper Title: Digital Age Samaritans: Young Women and Girls Offer a Critical Perspective on Privacy (and Everything Else)

Bio: Jill Bronfman, Privacy Counsel at Common Sense Media, works with a team of privacy professionals to create privacy evaluations for educational technology and for consumer products used in education. Previously, she taught privacy law and compliance at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and was the director of Hastings' Privacy and Technology Project. Her previous legal research in the field of technology and policy law includes law review articles and books about drones, internet of things, Chinese privacy, and cybersecurity. Prior to her academic career, she served as an Assistant General Counsel at Verizon and was a shareholder in a boutique telecommunications law firm in San Francisco.

Jill is also a published author of fiction, particularly science fiction short stories that lean into her privacy and technology interests, poetry about climate change, and essays covering a variety of travel adventures. Her work "Grand-daughter" about immigration was published in a book of poetry in English, Spanish, and French. She recently won second place in a poetry contest for "On Saturdays" which discussed her experience working at a legal clinic advising clients about the procedures for getting temporary restraining orders against domestic violence and abuse.


Kimberly Barker 

Title: Dr Kim Barker, Open University Law School, Open University (UK)

Paper Title: Women’s rights online: combatting misogyny in the digital age.

Bio: Dr Kim Barker a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University (UK). Dr Barker’s research focuses on internet regulation, social media abuse & intellectual property law. Her research explores the regulation & control of online multi-user platforms including online environments (particularly online games and social media sites); and the intersection between user responsibility, platform provider responsibility and legal regulations. Her research explores the issues of online misogyny, including online violence against women (OVAW), and assess the legal responses to such societal problems. She has presented nationally and internationally on these topics, has acted as academic expert at governmental levels within the UK, and is co-author of the leading volume addressing legal regulations of online misogyny. She was a finalist in the First 100 Inspirational Women Awards in 2020, one of the winners of the Research Leader Award at the University of Stirling in 2020, and tweets @BabyLegalEagle.


Olga Jurasz 

Title: Dr. Olga Jurasz, Senior Lecturer in Law, Open University (UK)

Paper Title: ‘Women’s rights online: combatting misogyny in the digital age’

Bio: Dr Olga Jurasz is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University Law School (UK) specializing in international law, human rights, and legal responses to violence against women (including online violence). Dr Jurasz's research explores a number of aspects of online, text-based abuse, including consideration of online misogyny as a hate crime as well as legal regulation of online abuse. Dr Jurasz and Dr Barker are authors of Online Misogyny as a Hate Crime: a Challenge for Legal Regulation (Routledge 2019) and ‘Online Misogyny: A Challenge for Global Feminism’ (2019) 72(2) Journal of International Affairs 95-113.


Scott Maravilla 

Title: Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law 

Paper Title: Misogyny Media as Hate Speech 

Bio: C. Scott Maravilla is an Administrative Judge and mediator with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. He has mediated over 150 cases in contract, workplace, and enforcement matters for the FAA and other federal agencies including The White House. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Judge Maravilla received his law degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in May, 2000. During the spring semester of his second year in law school, he held a full-time clerkship in The White House, Office of Counsel to the President. He also holds a Masters degree from King’s College, The University of London, and a Bachelors degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Judge Maravilla began his career as a judicial clerk to Judge Roger B. Andewelt at the United States Court of Federal Claims from 2000 to 2001, where he assisted with the adjudication of claims against the United States Government. He spent two years from 2001 to 2003 as an Associate with a large Wall Street law firm in New York. While in private practice, Mr. Maravilla was very active with the firm’s pro bono practice. He helped establish the firm’s 9/11 Pro Bono group, which included apprising the firm of all tax legislation enacted at both the federal and state level with regard to the victims of 9/11 and represented the family of a firefighter. Judge Maravilla also clerked for Justice Dale Wainwright of the Texas Supreme Court from 2003 to 2004. He joined the FAA in 2005 as an attorney in the Acquisition and Commercial Law Division.

Judge Maravilla is a prolific legal scholar and commentator. His work has appeared in, among others, Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property Law, and Florida Journal of International Law. His latest article, “Private Judges, Public Law: The Unconstitutionality of Arbitration under the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act" appears in The Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution. You can listen to him discuss it on the podcast A Hard Look, produced by the Administrative Law Review ( He also is a contributor to the book, Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement.


Panel 1 Description: 

Enhanced access and use of information communication technologies (ICTs) can promote women’s empowerment through various means, including: 1) economic growth; 2) heightened exposure to information;3) political participation, mobilization, and social inclusion; and 4) enriched expression of women’s voices and agency. At the same time, there are potential downsides for women in cyberspace. Not only is online misogyny pervasive, gender-based abuses can be committed, facilitated or aggravated by ICTs. The panelists will examine online violence against women as a hate crime (C. Scott Maravilla), the possible legal regulation of this form of abuse (Kim Barker and Olga Jurasz) and the flagrant and demeaning breaches of privacy that affect women and girls in the online environment (Jillisa Bonfman).

Panel 2: Gender, Intersectionality, and Culture

Danielle Wingfield-Smith 

Danielle Wingfield-Smith is a Visiting Assistant Professor with the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga University School of Law. Prior to joining the Gonzaga Law faculty, she held an appointment at the University of Virginia (UVA) as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar. While there, Professor Wingfield-Smith served as an Associate with both the Center for Race and Public Education in the South at the Curry School of Education and the Center for the Study of Race and Law at the UVA School of Law. She is the Associate Director of a national oral history project, Teachers in the Movement.

Professor Wingfield-Smith’s primary areas of scholarship are legal history (education, civil rights, leadership, social movements), race and the law, constitutional law, education law and policy, and family law. Her first project, titled Navigating the ‘Virginia Way’: Henry L. Marsh, III, Civil Rights, and Movement Leadership, examines civil rights history through the perspective of attorney Henry Marsh, III, who later became the first Black mayor of Richmond. The study is a historical and legal analysis of Henry Marsh's work to desegregate Virginia’s public schools. Professor Wingfield-Smith is the Co-Editor of The Memoirs of Hon. Henry L. Marsh, III: Civil Rights Champion, Public Servant, Lawyer. Her scholarship appears in the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review of Note, and the Journal of African American History.

Licensed in Virginia, Professor Wingfield-Smith practiced family and education law. Qualified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a Guardian Ad Litem for children, she represented the best interests of children in court proceedings. She serves as “Of Counsel” for the Child Advocate Law Firm in Charlottesville, Virginia. Born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, one of the birth places of the monumental Brown v. Board of Education case, Professor Wingfield-Smith is passionate about justice lawyering and Gonzaga Law’s mission of putting passion into practice.


Radwa Elsamna 

Title: Visiting Scholar, Boston University Law; Assistant Professor, Cairo University Law

Paper Title: Is Sustainable Development Working in the Middle East? The Case Study of Gender Equality.

Bio: Dr. Radwa Elsaman is professor of law at Cairo University Faculty of Law and a visiting scholar at Boston University’s School of Law. Dr. Elsaman received her LLM and PhD in law from the American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington DC. Her area of research and scholarship includes commercial and financial law, law and development, and gender equality. She has published many law review articles on these topics in a number of worldwide journals. Dr. Elsaman has also consulted with various international organizations, including the World Bank, USAID, GIZ, and the European Union’s Euromed Justice Project. Moreover, Dr. Elsaman has over ten years of experience in gender equality work in the Middle East. In 2014, she established Cairo University’s Anti-harassment Unit in Egypt -- a unit that issues and implements policies on violence against women within universities. Currently, she is working on establishing the first Gender Studies Academic Program in Egypt, as associated with Marburg University in Germany.


Wendy Green 

Title: Professor D. Wendy Greene. Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Paper Title: #FreeTheHair: Locking Black Women’s Hair to Intersectional and Transnational Social Justice Feminism

Bio: The daughter of American civil rights activists, Professor Doris “Wendy” Greene is a trailblazing U.S. anti-discrimination law scholar, teacher, and activist who has devoted her professional life’s work to advancing racial, color, and gender equity in workplaces and beyond. Professor Greene’s legal scholarship and public advocacy have generated civil rights protections for victims of discrimination throughout the United States. A visionary, she is the architect of two new legal constructs recognized within anti-discrimination law theory and praxis: “misperception discrimination” and “grooming codes discrimination.” Her internationally recognized publications in these areas have shaped the enforcement stance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), human rights agencies, administrative law judges, federal courts, and civil rights organizations. Notably, the definition of race she proposed in her groundbreaking 2008 article, Title VII: What’s Hair (and Other Race-Based Characteristics) Got to Do with It?, two U.S. federal appellate courts have endorsed as a legal authority on the social construction of race and as a practicable definition for federal constitutional decision-making respectively. More widely known, Professor Greene’s published definition of race is being adopted by legislators in history-making legislation known as the C.R.O.W.N. Acts (Creating a Respectful and Open World/Workplace for Natural Hair Acts): the first laws in the United States—in fact, in the world—to recognize race discrimination embodies discrimination African descendants encounter based upon their natural hairstyles like afros, twists, locs, and braids. Teen Vogue, Now This News, and BBC World News have celebrated Professor Greene for her pioneering role in securing legal redress for grooming codes discrimination in workplaces, public accommodations, housing, and schools. As one of the world’s leading legal experts on this global civil rights issue, she, too, is the Founder of the #FreeTheHair campaign and the author of a forthcoming book, #FreeTheHair: Locking Black Hair to Civil Rights Movements, under contract with the University of California Press. A member of the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law (Philadelphia, PA), Professor Greene is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (B.A. cum laude with Honors in English and a double-minor in African American Studies and Spanish); Tulane University School of Law (J.D.); and The George Washington University School of Law (LL.M.).


Elena Urso

Title: Elena Urso, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Legal Sciences, University of Florence, School of Law

Paper Title: Fragmentations, Intersections and Equality: The Challenges of an ‘Equal Dignity’

Bio: Elena Urso is Associate Professor of “Comparative Private Law” at the School of Law, University of Florence, where she teaches also “Comparative Legal Systems” in the advanced course (from 2013).

Previously, she was Full Time Lecturer (1998-2019) and Aggregate Professor of “Anglo-American Law” (2019-2020) at the Department of Legal Studies of the University of Florence and of “Comparative Legal Systems” too (2017-2019) at the School of Economics. She was also Aggregate Professor of “Child Law” and of “Regional Law-Social Services and Children’s Legal Protection” at the Faculty of Sciences of Education (2002-2005) and Contract Professor of “Private Comparative Law” in the first interdisciplinary course devoted to gender equality held at the University of Florence, organized by the Committee on Equal Opportunities and the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy (2006-2008). In 2019 she coordinated the section devoted to “Disability” in a postgraduate specialization course entitled “Equity and Diversity”, promoted by the Committee for Equal Opportunities and Workers’ Wellbeing of the University of Florence.
She was invited as Visiting Professor at the Levin College of Law, University of Florida (Gainesville, USA), in January 2015, where she participated in a "Foreign Enrichment Course" devoted to "Comparative Perspectives in Family Law", organized by Professor Nancy Dowd.

Professor Urso’s main fields of interests are legal comparison in the area of private law and her researches are devoted to gender equality and antidiscrimination law, civil remedies, child and family law, family mediation, ADR, tort law and legal education. She took part in several research projects, at a national and at an international level, while collaborating with experts of different jurisdictions. She participated in several cultural initiatives (i.e., conferences, congresses, seminars, workshops). She is President of the not for profit registered association called CONTACT aimed at developing and promoting interdisciplinary and comparative researches and activities in the area of child law with a view to strengthening the scope and effectiveness of preventive measures.

Professor Urso edited, coordinated and co-authored a Study about “International Adoption in the EU”, published by the Parliament of the European Union, in 2009. Her first monograph was devoted to “Adoption Law” (2001) and the second one to “Family Mediation” (2012). She is Director of a Series devoted to children's rights ("I minori e il nuovo diritto", published by Aracne, Rome) and of an Interdisciplinary Series (Perimetri multidisciplinari, published by Libellula University Press, Lecce).

After getting a Law Degree in Florence, with merits, and receiving a PhD in comparative Private Law, she was appointed as Lawyer and admitted to the Bar of Florence. Since 2010 she is in the list of “Lawyers – full time Professors” and she gives pro veritate advices in the exclusive interest of children and of other vulnerable subjects, on a not for profit basis only.


Panel 2 Description:

"Intersectionality" has emerged as a significant phenomenon in equality studies, and this panel will examine important ways in which sex and gender intersect with other equality values and priorities. For example, Professor Wendy Greene will explore the #FreeTheHair Movement, which locks Black women's hair to intersectional and transnational social justice feminism. Professor Elena Urso will discuss the concept of fragmentations and intersectionality in equal justice for women. And, Professor Radwa Elsaman will share perspectives on sustainable development in the Middle East as a case study for gender equality. These revealing intersections should shed richer light on the path to equal justice and human rights.

Panel 3: Gender, Conflict, and Violence

mary pat treuthart 

Dr. Sara P. Díaz teaches courses on gender, race, and sexuality in the US, feminism and science, and women and the environment. Her research focuses on the complex relationships between science, gender, race, and the politics of human difference. Dr. Díaz’ scholarship builds on U.S. third world feminist theories and employs feminist cultural studies methods to examine the intellectual survival strategies used by women of color scientists. Her other scholarly interests include gender, race and twentieth-century science; 20th Century US history, feminist research ethics; feminist epistemologies; feminist environmental justice; feminist pedagogy, and mixed race studies.


Atieno Mboya 

Title: Dr. Atieno Mboya Samandari, Postdoctoral Fellow, Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, Emory Law School.

Paper Title: The #MeToo Movement: Working, or Just Being a Woman in Kenya

Bio: Dr. Atieno Mboya Samandari teaches in the Vulnerability and Human Condition Program at Emory Law School. She holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Emory University and a Master of International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University. She has worked in several African countries on law and development, gender, and children's rights. She won an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, through which she researched the role of human rights awareness in promoting the transition to democracy in South Africa. She teaches Gender and the Law, International Environmental Law, Family Law, and Law, Sustainability & Development.



Title: Professor of Public International Law and European Union Law, Loyola University, Seville, Spain.

Paper Title: Revisiting the definition of rape in International Law

Bio: Isabel Maravall Buckwalter is a Professor of International Law at Loyola University in Seville, Spain. She holds a doctorate in Public International Law from the Law Faculty of the University of Valencia and the Università degli Studi di Palermo, an Mst in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and an LLB in Law and an LLB in Political Science from the University Autónoma of Madrid. She currently teaches graduate and postgraduate courses in Public International Law, International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law. Her research focuses on the intersection of International Human Rights Law with International/Transnational Criminal Law.


Martin Dimarco 

Title: MSc Martín Hernán Di Marco (CONICET/IIGG, Argentina)

Paper Title: Narratives of male perpetrator of femicide / narrative effect of public discourses of GBV

Bio: Martín Hernán Di Marco. PhD Student in Social Sciences (Buenos Aires University), MSc in Social Epidemiology (ISCo). BA and Teaching Degree in Sociology (UBA). He has teaching positions in graduate and postgraduate courses in Law School and Social Sciences School (UBA), Public Health Department (UNLaM) and Global Health (NYU, BA quarters). Has done academic visits to Cardiff University, Göttingen University and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, among other universities. He is currently conducting a qualitative biographical study focused on the life stories and life histories of young men who have committed homicide/femicide in the outskirts of Buenos Aires Capital City (one of the regions with the highest incidence of violent deaths in the country). The main focus of this study is understanding the connection between violence socialization, gender-masculinity, emotions and public discourses.


Panel 3 Description:

More than 35 years ago, the U.N. in its Declaration on Eliminating Violence Against Women recognized that diverse forms of gender-based violence is a deeply entrenched global problem, which deprives women of equality guarantees and human rights. But it still exists because violence against women remains acceptable on some level. The members of this panel will address different manifestations and perspectives on the topic of violence against women. These include an overview of the #MeToo Movement in Kenya (Atieno Mboya Samandari), a critique of the definition of rape in International Law (Isabel Maravall Buckwalter), and an examination of the narratives of male perpetrators of femicide in the vicinity of Buenos Aires (Martin Hernan Di Marco).