Fostering Tomorrow's Human Rights Champions at American University
The Center serves as a human rights resource for the entire American University community, creating human rights community-building initiatives among main campus students and faculty designed to engage and inspire students to incorporate knowledge of and respect for human rights in their future careers.
The Human Rights Film Series, first organized in 2000 and co-sponsored with the Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSi) based at the School of Communication, showcases the power of film to educate and advocate about human rights. Each fall, AU screens four exceptional documentary films that exhibit excellence in filmmaking and explore a broad spectrum of human rights issues. Following each screening, the audience has the opportunity to engage filmmakers, human rights advocates, and AU faculty experts in discussion about the film and its issues.
The Center works with students and faculty across AU’s six colleges to create and implement human rights programming that cuts across disciplines, leveraging the university’s rich academic resources and the vitality of the university’s activist student body to create spaces for discussion of contemporary human rights issues. Among other events, the Center spearheaded AU’s first campus-wide conference on the Obama Administration and Human Rights, collaborating with more than 17 offices across the university to bring the event to fruition.
For nearly three decades, the Center has cultivated vibrant partnerships with colleagues across disciplines and departments, creating joint endeavors, such as a human rights defender speaker series with the Kay Spiritual Life Center; panel discussions around gender and justice issues in the Americas with the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies; mapping human rights opportunities at AU in conjunction with the Office of the Provost; and coordinating the Scholar Rescue Fund with faculty from the School of International Service.