Human Rights Week FAQs



What is SHRCC?

SHRCC stands for the Student Human Rights Collaboration Committee.  SHRCC is a new initiative, started this year, to bring together representatives from all of the AU Schools and Colleges to help coordinate and promote collaborative efforts to raise the profile of human rights activities at American University.  SHRCC is working to become a central clearinghouse for human rights information, a conduit for publicizing human rights activity and a planning board for centralized campus-wide activities.   SHRCC is an initiative of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law.  To learn more about SHRCC and meet the current SHRCC reps, click here.

What is Human Rights Week 2014?

Human Rights Week 2014 is a new campus-wide initiative which seeks to create a collaborative space to raise the profile of and focus attention on human rights issues, activities and advocacy across the entire AU campus. 

When is Human Rights Week 2014?

Human Rights Week 2014 will take place February 10-14, 2014.

Where did the idea for Human Rights Week 2014 come from?

Since 2007, the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law has been working across the AU campus to promote collaboration and coordination of human rights activities among the faculty, students, staff and alumni of the institution.  This has resulted in a number of ongoing events: the Annual Human Rights Film Series (, major conferences, co-sponsored visiting scholars, and the creation of a coordinated work-in-progress website, Human Rights @ AU ( 

The idea for Human Rights Week 2014 emerged from discussions with EPGA program co-director SIS Prof. Jeff Bachman about efforts EPGA had made in the past through the initiative of Prof. Julie Mertus to hold a week of coordinated human rights programming.   With the creation of SHRCC and a growing interest in coordinated campus-wide programming, we decided to create this week-long program, holding events on main campus and WCL, with the active support of the Deans of all of the AU schools and colleges, the EPGA program, the Kay Spiritual Life Center and the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law.

 What are the themes for Human Rights Week 2014?

The themes for Human Rights Week 2014 are:

  • Monday, Feb 10: Right to Education
  • Tuesday, Feb 11: Criminal Justice
  • Wednesday, Feb 12: Human Rights and the Environment
  • Thursday, Feb 13: Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Friday, Feb 14: LGBTQ Rights

Why are there themes for each day of Human Rights Week 2014 and how were they determined?

The themes for the week were chosen keeping in mind topics and issue areas that already have resonance and student interest on campus.  The specific topics were finalized after trying to ensure that there were a range of issues represented, different types of rights explored and a diversity of topics of wide interest.  

Do you have any tips about planning an event to propose for Human Rights Week 2014?

Think creatively and think specifically!  Event organizers are encouraged to think broadly about the theme of the day and also to pay specific attention to creating events that include gender perspectives and discussion of cross-cutting or intersectional issues.  Please be specific about your event goals in your proposal and tell us why your event fits into the theme and how it will contribute to Human Rights Week 2014

Also, be creative!  Proposed events do not only need to be panel discussions or speakers.  They can be a film screening, a musical performance, an art exhibit or some other form of creative expression!

If I submit an Event Proposal is my event guaranteed to be part of Human Rights Week 2014?

We appreciate all applications but we are limited in the number of events that can be held during Human Rights Week 2014.  By submitting an Event Proposal, you are not guaranteed that your event will be selected to participate in Human Rights Week 2014.

What do we “get” for having our event be part of Human Rights Week 2014?

By being part of Human Rights Week 2014, your event will be part of the first campus-wide student-driven coordinated human rights event at American University.  SHRCC will work with event organizers to create coordinated publicity materials (including a Human Rights Week 2014 poster as well as event-specific publicity), to reserve appropriate space for the event, and to order light refreshments (pending availability of funds).  In addition, event organizers can request a letter of support from the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law if they seek external funding from the Student Activities Board or Student Bar Association. 

What are the responsibilities of the Event Organizers during Human Rights Week 2014?

Event organizers will be responsible for confirming speakers, securing films (and screening rights), organizing musicians or exhibitions, as well as confirming specific logistics for events (beyond the room reservations).  Event organizers will be asked to communicate regularly with SHRCC and the Center about the status of the event and provide all requested information in a timely manner.  Event organizers may be asked to attend several short meetings prior to Human Rights Week 2014 (to ensure the best collaboration and coordination) and you will be asked to help promote the week’s events and bring all your friends to Human Rights Week 2014 events!

If my event is selected, will we get funding to support our event?

Unfortunately, programmatic funding is not available to support Human Rights Week 2014 events (i.e., there is no funding available to pay speakers or support travel), however we encourage student organizations to seek external funding through the AU Student Activities Board or the WCL Student Bar Association and the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law will be happy to provide a letter of support to organizers of Human Rights Week 2014 events to support their applications to the SAB or SBA.  In addition, we hope to have funds available to provide modest refreshments at Human Rights Week 2014 events.

Who will decide which events are included in Human Rights Week 2014?

All Event Proposals will be reviewed by SHRCC and a committee of AU faculty and staff engaged in organizing Human Rights Week 2014.

What criteria will be used to choose events to participate in Human Rights Week 2014?

  • Events should clearly fit within one of the themes of Human Rights Week 2014
  • Events should focus on the human rights issues of the thematic area
  • Proposals should be well thought out and specific in outlining the event’s goals, proposed speakers, and topics
  • Preference will be given to events which include a gender perspective and/or events which discuss cross-cutting or intersectional issues.
  • Preference will be given to collaborative events which include co-sponsorship with more than one organization or have a group of organizers
  • Events will be selected for inclusion in Human Rights Week 2014 with attention paid to selecting a diversity of events representing a variety of perspectives, issue areas and event formats.  The organizers reserve the right to reject any event proposals at their discretion.