Los Angeles

On December 9, we joined our global community in celebrating our collective achievements. Watch the 30-minute recording with performances by Yo-Yo Ma, John Lithgow, Richard Bona and Madame Gandhi, reports from the field with our researchers, and keynotes by Ken Roth and Tirana Hassan.

Event Recording


  • From October 2-4, join us for a special screening of Coded Bias, a film by Shalini Kantayya. On October 4, at 4pm PDT Shalini Kantayya will join HRW's senior researcher Amos Toh in a conversation moderated by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble from UCLA.

    Get your tickets and sponsor the event at https://HRW.org/LAFilmClub

    "'Coded Bias' is an eye-opening and important film that calls attention to a movement of resistance led by badass female data scientists and grassroots organizations examining an important civil liberties matters." - The Film Stage

  • The Los Angeles Film Club hosted its first virtual film club at the end of May with a special screening of Slay the Dragon. The panel included film subject Katie Fahey, Executive Director of The People, Jamal Watkins, Vice President of Civic Engagement at NAACP and Dreisen Heath, Advocacy Officer at HRW, and was moderated by Gerry Johnson, Senior Editor at Human Rights Watch. 

    More than 500 people watched the movie over the weekend, and we had 175+ people participate in the panel discussion.

  • On June 2, the Film Club hosted its biggest event so far with about 350 people attending our screening of BELLINGCAT: TRUTH IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD at Universal Studios. The movie was followed by an inspiring conversation with Christiaan Tribert, Fred Abrahams and Emma Daly, and guests took part in a private studio tour on the Universal lot, paying special tribute to Sid Sheinberg. Pictures are available here.

  • (Los Angeles, March 8, 2019) – Human Rights Watch mourns the death of our friend, supporter, and board member Sid Sheinberg, a legendary Hollywood executive who died at home on March 7 aged 84. Sheinberg and his wife Lorraine worked tirelessly for decades to support human rights and were instrumental in helping Human Rights Watch to establish work on the rights of women and LGBT people.

    Sheinberg, who joined the international board of Human Rights Watch in 1995 and acted as vice-chair for 13 years, was best known professionally for launching Steven Spielberg’s career – together they gave us JawsET and Schindler’s List.

    “Behind his sometimes gruff demeanor, Sid was an incredibly warm, empathetic and perceptive man,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “He used his intelligence, his compassion, and his extraordinary network of contacts to help build Human Rights Watch into an international organization.”

    With his wife Lorraine, a noted women’s rights activist who starred in Jaws, Sheinberg helped to build up Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division, now a thriving team working on women’s rights issues around the world. Sheinberg also helped to establish the Los Angeles committee, which builds support in Southern California for the organization and for human rights. His strong and consistent leadership helped to create a global network, with committees supporting Human Rights Watch in 22 cities worldwide today.

    “When Sid Sheinberg accepted our invitation to join the board of Human Rights Watch, he committed completely and forever – Sid had human rights in his DNA,” said Jane Olson, former chair of the Human Rights Watch board. “Trained as a lawyer, Sid sought justice in all matters, but he insisted on due process and fairness for everyone. His integrity and generosity became legend in the entertainment industry. Through his outreach and advocacy, Human Rights Watch was the beneficiary of that reputation.”

    In “City of Dreams,” his book on Universal, Bernard F Dick wrote that: “Sheinberg saw in Spielberg what he himself could never reveal publicly (and certainly not on the fifteenth floor of the Black Tower): a compassion for the stigmatized and misunderstood.” At Human Rights Watch, we saw Sheinberg’s compassion for the stigmatized in action – for example, in fundraising fiercely for the creation of an LGBT program.

    Sheinberg was widely recognized as an outspoken LGBT ally – in 1992, for example, as President and COO of MCA Inc, which included Universal, he made it the first company in Hollywood to recognize same-sex partners for benefits, and supported HIV-awareness campaigns in the early days of the AIDS crisis. The program he helped establish at Human Rights Watch now covers LGBT rights issues around the world.

    As well as being extraordinarily generous donors, the Sheinbergs were deeply committed in word and in action to the work of Human Rights Watch, participating in advocacy activities and missions around the world. Sheinberg’s presence on the board, as our longest-standing member, showed us how a clear voice from an influential perch can greatly advance social justice.

    He also believed strongly in investing in the next generation and pushed Human Rights Watch to think about educating students on human rights and recruiting young people to the cause. In Los Angeles he supported the Student Task Force, which empowers high-school students to become human rights activists by building campaigns and advocating around key issues.

    We will miss Sheinberg’s deep commitment to human rights, his sharp mind and his friendship – and his deep legacy propels us forward. We extend our gratitude to Sid and Lorraine Sheinberg for their lifelong support of human rights and we send our condolences to Lorraine, their sons Jon and Bill, and the entire Sheinberg family on the loss of a great man.

  • On January 29, the Film Club hosted a special screening of TransMilitary followed by a panel with film subject and activist Laila Ireland, Dr. Maurice Garcia, and Kyle Knight, moderated by Martine McDonald. The event took place at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. Pictures from the evening are available on our Facebook page.

  • On November 13, 2018, Human Rights Watch Los Angeles hosted their annual dinner at the Beverly Hilton. Close to 700 people celebrated human rights achievements of the past year and gave the Promise Award to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Mariska Hargitay for highlighting issues around violence against women and children, and advancing the national conversation around these topics in myriad positive ways. Academy-Award winner Allison Janney kindly joined as a special guest. The audience also enjoyed a performance by the City Angels Chorale. 

    The evening raised $1.7 million to support the important work of Human Rights Watch; we are grateful to all our supporters for their invaluable support.

    Pictures of the evening can be found on this online gallery.

  • On Wednesday, September 26, join Human Rights Watch for the Los Angeles Premiere of Naila and the Uprising at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The movie chronicles the remarkable real-life journey of Naila Ayesh, a key figure in the First Intifada, which forced the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Using evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, this film tells the story the mainstream media missed: of a courageous clandestine women’s movement at the head of Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, bringing out of anonymity the courageous women activists whose contributions and sacrifices changed history, but whose stories have remained untold until now.

  • On Tuesday, May 1st, Human Rights Watch hosted a Film Club screening of ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER at the United Talent Agency screening room in Beverly Hills. The movie was followed by a panel discussion with Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, and HRW's Deputy Director of the Women's Rights Division Janet Walsh, moderated by The Wrap's Sharon Waxman. Pictures from the evening are available here.

  • On Sunday, January 28th, our Film Club hosted a special screening of THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP, a powerful documentary looking at the killing of Dontre Hamilton by a police officer in Milwaukee, and the unrest and reactions that came after. The movie was followed by a conversation with director Erik Ljung, Dontre's brother Nate Hamilton, and US Program senior researcher John Raphling.

  • On November 14, 2017, the Los Angeles Committee hosted its most successful Voices for Justice Annual Dinner so far, with a record-breaking $1.8 million raised to support the vital work of Human Rights Watch. Attendees heard reports from the field by our researchers working on the Rohingya crisis, the dire consequences of Duterte's death squads in the Philippines, juvenile justice reform in California and immigration in the US. In addition, the LA Committee honored Chris Cornell and his song for THE PROMISE movie, with our inaugural The Promise Award. OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Drew Brown performed the song in an emotional sequence. Finally Grace Parra reminded everyone that #ImmigrantsAreUS.

    Pictures of the evening are available at the following link.

  • Human Rights Watch is excited to co-present a Special Screening of TICKLING GIANTS on Thursday, October 12th at 7:30pm at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. A discussion with Director Sara Taksler and Comedian Bassen Youssef will follow the movie. Tickets are available here.

    Dubbed, “The Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Bassem Youssef hosts the most popular television programme in the Middle East. In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Youssef left his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian, and his show ‘Al-Bernameg’ (The Show) now brings in 30 million viewers per episode. In a country where freedom of speech is becoming increasingly restricted with each regime change, Youssef and his courageous staff of young writers develop creative methods to non-violently challenge abuses of power. Enduring physical threats, protests, and legal action, the team test how far they can take the joke. 

  • Join us for our fall Film Club Screening of JOSHUA, followed by a conversation with the movie's Director, Joe Piscatella, and Producer, Andrew Duncan, along with Minky Worden, Human Rights Watch's Director of Global Initiatives, moderated by Pam Bruns, Executive Director of the Student Task Force. Doors open at 4pm at New Roads School in Santa Monica.

    Rallying thousands of students to skip school and occupy the streets of Hong Kong, teenager Joshua Wong becomes one of the autonomous territory’s most notorious dissidents, successfully disrupting government plans to devolve power back to China. This inspiring documentary spends years tracking the movement from grassroots disruption to national politics. Following tear gas attacks, multiple arrests and an exhausting 79-day campaign to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district, Joshua moves on to the next phase of the movement—facing down the superpower from inside the government itself.

    Tickets are available here.

  • On June 2, 2017, Human Rights Watch Los Angeles and the International Criminal Court Alliance hosted a Conversation on Women's Rights in Iran with Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of HRW's Middle East and North Africa Division, moderated by Asli Bali, Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. The panelists discussed the recent presidential election in Iran, the role of women in the Iranian political scene, as well as Human Rights Watch's recent report of women in the workplace in Iran.

    A recording of the conversation is available on the HRW SoCal Facebook Page and an attendee's written recap can be read here. Pictures can be seen here.