Noble Maseru, director of the Center for Health Equity and associate dean for diversity at Pitt Public Health joined a panel discussion entitled "Human Rights in Pittsburgh and the World: Assessing Human Rights Impacts, Limitations, and Prospects at the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)". Noting the concurrent 1948 founding of Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health, Maseru challenged the audience of students and community members to understand health equity as a human right. The broad goal of health equity is for people to work together to establish the conditions for everyone to be healthy, specifically by rectifying underlying inequities among populations in factors such as transportation, housing, living conditions, gender equity, and living wages. Maseru included local Pittsburgh examples including life expectancy and infant mortality rates in different neighborhoods, including Homewood and the Hill District, the first areas selected by the University for community engagement centers.
Panelists each offered a different perspective on key obstacles and opportunities for achieving dignity and justice for all people, including health equity, local enforcement of human rights protections, food equity, as well as oversights and omissions in the UDHR itself. The panel looked at how cities around the country—including Pittsburgh—are working to “bring human rights home” with projects like Cities for CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), sanctuary cities, and human rights cities.