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Judith Blau The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Judith Blau is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and served for ten years as chair of the Social and Economic Justice Undergraduate Minor. Her field is Human Rights, which is a normative approach to human societies, collective goods, political institutions, economy, and democracy. Drawing from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties and conventions, Human Rights axiomatically asserts the inalienable and equal rights of all humans. One challenge everywhere is to ensure equal rights to those who are denied them owing to, for example, poverty or disability. Another challenge is to combat discrimination (racism, sexism, homophobia) that stands in the way of people achieving equality. Another is to ensure diversity of culture and of cultural expressions.

Judith Blau is the director of the Human Rights Center of Chapel Hill & Carrboro. She is also the president of the US chapter of Sociologists without Borders (SSF), which is affiliated with Sociologists without Borders International/ Sociólogos sin Fronteras. Blau was the co-editor of the journal, Societies without Borders: Human Rights & the Social Sciences and serves on the Science & Human Rights Coalition of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is one of the co-founders of the SSF Think-Tank, a state-of-the-art space for democratic, global discussions and debate. Blau has co-authored four books on human rights. Besides writing for an academic audience, she also writes for the Huffington Post, Counter Punch and Commondreams.