The Human Rights Program

The Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota educates students by connecting them with aca

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11/22/2023

The Human Rights Program (HRP) is pleased to announce the inaugural Hrant D**k Memorial Fellowship for Spring 2024 (January 16 - April 29). Hrant D**k was an Armenian Turkish journalist known for advocating for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human and minority rights in Turkey who was assassinated in 2007.

Open to undergraduate students with a commitment to human rights, the Hrant D**k Memorial Fellow will work with the Director of HRP to expand the program’s capacity to respond to mass atrocity crimes. The fellow will assist the Director in monitoring and responding to urgent and emergent human rights emergencies including the commission of mass atrocity crimes. The fellow will be tasked with monitoring Human Rights Organization reports and early warning systems, direct program attention to urgent crises, and collaborate with the Director to coordinate an appropriate response. The fellow will receive training, a regular scope of human rights monitoring work, a $600 stipend, and a small operating budget.

Undergraduate students who wish to apply for the position must complete the online application and submit a cover letter and resume (through the application link) to Carrie Walling, Director of the Human Rights Program by December 8.

For more information and to apply, visit z.umn.edu/hrantdinkfellowship

Photo curtesy of the Hrant D**k Vakfı / Hrant D**k Foundation / Հրանդ Տինք Հիմնարկ.

11/17/2023

The Human Rights Program is proud to witness our former students advance human rights through their work. Mohamed Mandour is a former MHR student who recently joined the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as a Middle East and North Africa researcher. Here, Mandour has worked most recently on detailing the risks that reporters face when reporting on the Israel-Gaza war. The work of CPJ is essential in upholding our universal human right to free speech, and shining a light on censorship and transnational repression. In this time of political and military violence around the world, we aim to emphasize the importance of our right to information and opinion protecting those who defend this right, including members of the media.

Read the story here: https://cpj.org/2023/11/attacks-arrests-threats-censorship-the-high-risks-of-reporting-the-israel-hamas-war/

11/16/2023

It's Give to the Max Day!

Join the Human Rights Program in supporting the next generation of human rights leaders. Partner with us as we mobilize knowledge to advance human rights in our local communities and around the world!

Visit z.umn.edu/hrpgtmd23 to make your donation and be a part of making human rights change!

11/16/2023

Come work with us!

https://hr.myu.umn.edu/.../HRS_HRAM_FL.HRS_CG_SEARCH_FL...&

The Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities invites applications for the position of Administrative Associate 2 (Job Code 8208A2). This position has the working title Assistant Director and functions as Program Coordinator. This is a 100%-time, 12-month, one year temporary position, subject to the University’s Civil Service Employment rules. This position may be extended contingent upon availability of funding and satisfactory performance.
With the Director charting the intellectual agenda of the Program, the Assistant Director ensures the implementation and success of programs and activities. The Assistant Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Program, including financial administration, communications, program and event management, and curricular support. The Human Rights program is affiliated with the Institute for Global Studies (IGS) and the West Bank Administrative Hub in the College of Liberal Arts. The Assistant Director contributes to the leadership and operations of IGS in areas of expertise and need. This position offers an opportunity to work with flexibility and allows for a partially remote work arrangement. Salary range is $50-65K, depending on qualifications and experience.
Priority application deadline is December 4, 2023. Apply online via the University of Minnesota Employment System; reference job opening ID 358550.

11/15/2023

Celebrate Give to the Max Day this Thursday, November 16th with the Human Rights Program!

The HRP knows how important it is for students at every level to gain hands-on experience in the field as they become strong researchers, practitioners, and advocates striving for influential change. Each year, we provides students with funding as they engaged in their internships and field placements in human rights organizations.

Be a partner with us as we mobilize knowledge to advance human rights in our local communities and around the world.

Donate to our Give to the Max Funding page at z.umn.edu/hrpgtmd23

02/17/2023

Natika Kantaria (MHR '24) recently published an article for Visible Magazine on the "Main Events Impacting Rights of Women in 2022." Over the course of the past year, numerous events took place throughout the world which severely affected how women exercise their rights. However, with the way the media portrayed these events, most of the public was receiving basic facts about the issues as opposed to their long-term effects on women, girls, and other vulnerable populations. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the protests in Iran, and the U.S. Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade all disrupted women's rights and continued to dehumanized women as rights bearers.

Read the full article and learn more about how we can better understand the intersectionality of these events, their long-term impacts, and lessons learned on Visible Magazine.

Congratulations, Natika!

02/15/2023

MHR Alum helps vacate an innocent man's murder conviction

Hayley Drozdowski-Poxleitner (MHR '19) works for the Great North Innocence Project, which works to represent people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. Recently, Hayley helped to vacate the conviction of Thomas Rhodes, who was falsely convicted of murder and spent 25 years in prison before being released. Minnesota's new Conviction Review Unit found several flaws in the medical evidence provided by the examiner at the time. The Great North Innocence Project took on Rhodes project more than a decade ago, but without the more recent assistance of the Conviction Review Unit, Hayley believes Rhodes would probably still be in prison.

Learn more about the original case, Rhodes journey to freedom, and Hayley's thoughts on the case.

02/13/2023

The HRP is profiling our amazing MHR students who spent this past summer in the field completing internships in various areas of human rights.

Guillermo Gorrin Castellano is a second year MHR student who spent the past summer interning for The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. During his internship, Guillermo worked on promoting equal opportunities and restorative justice for victims of human trafficking and gender violence in Latin America. He strengthened his professional skills and was able to better understand the inner workings of international development agencies though extensive research in support of the projects.

Learn more about Guillermo's internship experience and how it altered his perspective on international development work on our website.

02/08/2023

V.V. Ganeshananthan is an English professor and author who has writes about the Sri Lankan Civil War while documenting the human rights violations that occurred at this time. She recently published her second novel "Brotherless Night" which explores the life of a New York emergency room doctor who grew up during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Learn more about V.V. Ganeshananthan's new novel and the writing process on MPR's website.

02/06/2023

The Human Rights Initiative (HRI) is pleased to offer a new round of mini grants of up to $10,000 to support interdisciplinary projects aimed at advancing scholarly insights into human rights issues and to building capacity to defend human rights in challenging times. In addition to support for research and/or artistic production, the HRI Mini Grants also provide an opportunity to engage with the University of Minnesota Human Rights Lab. The Lab is an interdisciplinary space for faculty and researchers to investigate and model ways in which research can be used more effectively with communities, NGOs, policy makers, and non-academic institutions.

University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and Humphrey School of Public Affairs (HSPA) faculty and P&A staff are invited to submit proposals. In collaborative proposals, at least one Principal Investigator (PI) must be affiliated with CLA or HSPA.

Learn more about the Human Rights Initiative, details about engaging with the Human Rights Lab, and instructions for submitting a proposal on our website.

12/15/2022

Natika Kantaria (MHR '24) has recently published an op-ed in Open Global Rights on the "Recipe for better communication of the rights of women and girls." Women's rights are mostly centered around negative stories of how their rights have been violated, their security is impaired, and their liberty is constantly at risk. Rather than emphasizing women's vulnerability, Natika suggests that we must communicate hope and empowerment, showcasing positive examples of women's rights in order to successfully advocate for them. Providing examples of women who have done exactly this, as well as NGOs that have similar missions, Natika demonstrates the necessities of this new recipe of communication.

Congratulations, Natika!

12/10/2022

On December 10, we join the global human rights community in celebrating 74 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). On the eve of the declaration’s 75th anniversary, the United Nations has launched a year-long campaign to commemorate this important hallmark to be celebrated on December 10, 2023.

This day celebrates not only this milestone in the advancement of this year’s dignity, freedom, and justice for all themes; but also, the commitment and resilience of our students and local community in advocating for those whose voices are dampened by ongoing, systemic injustices.

This year, we join the United Nations in celebrating the women who shaped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 1946 Sub-commission on the Status of Women led by Eleanor Roosevelt played an essential role in the drafting of the declaration. Little is acknowledged by history on the role that women like Angela Jurdak (Lebanon), Fryderyka Kalinowski (Poland), Bodgil Begtrup (Denmark), Minerva Bernardino (Dominican Republic), and Hansa Mehta (India) played in bringing diverse perspectives to the Sub-commission on the Status of Women and the UDHR drafting committee.

Join us in celebrating this important step in advancing human rights scholarship, activism, and accessibility.

12/09/2022

The HRP is profiling our amazing MHR students who spent this past summer in the field completing internships in various areas of human rights.

Joy Musyimi is a second year MHR student who spent the this past summer working as a communications intern for ACLU-MN and a protection sector intern for Alight (formerly the American Refugee Committee). With a academic concentration in Conflict, International Security, and Migration, the internship with Alight directly aligned with Joy's career path, helped expand her knowledge, and ultimately solidified her choice in her studies and future career. Joy's background in documentary photography helped her expand her skills in communication and provide and interdisciplinary skills to her internship experience.

Learn more about Joy's internship experience and how confirmed her interest in Conflict, International Security, and Migration studies on our website.

12/01/2022

The HRP is delighted to have Guillermo Gorrin Castellano as our new Communications Coordinator! Guillermo is a second year MHR student with extensive prior fieldwork, research, and community engagement in immigration law and humanitarian work. As a student, Guillermo is also serving as the MHR representative before PASA, ICGC Faculty Advising Committee Student representative, and Human Rights Council representative.

We are excited to be working with Guillermo this year and can't wait to see how his knowledge and expertise can benefit our work here at the HRP!

Learn more about Guillermo and his past professional and academic experience on our website.

11/28/2022

The HRP is profiling our amazing MHR students who spent this past summer in the field completing internships in various areas of human rights.

Siyu Samantha Ng is a second year MHR student who spent this past summer interning for both the United States Institute of Peace's Burma Program, and the “Anti hate/Hate Crime Prevention” project for the Safe Communities Department through the Hennepin-University Partnership. During her internships, she did extensive research on the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and hate crime data from counties across Minnesota.

Learn more about Siyu's internship experience and how it strengthened her passion her human rights on our website.

11/21/2022

Celebrate this upcoming global day of giving by supporting the promotion of human rights!

The HRP supports aspiring human rights leaders in the classroom and in the field, and strengthens the production of knowledge around human rights through research and events with renowned human rights experts, professionals, and activists in the field.

Your donation to one of the funds on our website goes directly to the promotion of human rights through our students, scholars, and the greater community.

11/17/2022

Today is Give to the Max Day!

The HRP knows how important it is for students at every level to gain hands-on experience in the field as they become strong researchers, practitioners, and advocates striving for influential change. Transferring knowledge acquired in the classroom to action in the field is critical to our students' development as human rights professionals.

Each year, the HRP provides students with modest stipends as they engage in internships and field placements in human rights organizations. These opportunities change the lives of our students, helping them to understand the urgency of their academic and professional training.

Join the HRP as we support the next generation of human rights leaders! Be a partner with us as we mobilize knowledge to advance human rights in our local communities and around the world.

Donate to our Give to the Max Day Fundraising Page at z.umn.edu/GTMD22-hrp

11/14/2022

The HRP knows how important it is for students at every level to gain hands-on experience in the field as they become strong researchers, practitioners, and advocates striving for influential change. Transferring knowledge acquired in the classroom to action in the field is critical to our students' development as human rights professionals. Each year, the HRP provides stipends to our students as they engage in internships and field placements in human rights organizations.

Join the HRP as we support the next generation of human rights leaders! Be a partner with us as we mobilize knowledge to advance human rights in our local communities and around the world.

Donate to our Give to the Max Day Fundraising Page at z.umn.edu/GTMD22-hrp

11/10/2022

The HRP knows how important it is for students at every level to gain hands-on experience in the field as they become strong researchers, practitioners, and advocates striving for influential change. Transferring knowledge acquired in the classroom to action in the field is critical to our students' development as human rights professionals.

Each year, the HRP provides students with modest stipends as they engage in internships and field placements in human rights organizations. These opportunities change the lives of our students, helping them to understand the urgency of their academic and professional training.

Join the HRP as we support the next generation of human rights leaders! Be a partner with us as we mobilize knowledge to advance human rights in our local communities and around the world.

Donate to our Give to the Max Day fundraising page at z.umn.edu/GTMD22-hrp to help put our students in the field!

11/04/2022

On Monday October 3, 2022, the University of Minnesota welcomed Christian Courtis, Gender and Women’s Rights Adviser for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, to our campus to speak about how gender equality has found a permanent place in the UN since the creation of the Convention on the Status of Women in 1947. Along with his public talk on Monday, students had opportunities to engage with Courtis in seminars throughout the week.

The Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy and the Human Rights Program are grateful to have had such a renowned expert visit our campus and connect with students, faculty, and community members on the subject of gender [in]equality in the UN agenda.

Learn more about Courtis' visit and watch his full talk to UMN students on our website.

11/03/2022

Mohamed Mandour (MHR ‘23) is a scholar and Egyptian human rights defender who has researched and written in the human rights field since 2014. Mandour spoke to the HRP to discuss his scholarly work, his background as a human rights defender, and his experience in the MHR program. After leaving Egypt, Mandour enrolled in the MHR degree program in Fall 2021 and has worked for the HRP as a graduate research assistant and spearheaded a project addressing the ways authoritarian governments exploit an increasingly globalized system of higher education to exercise control outside their borders.

Learn more about Mandour's professional and academic experience and what he has learned since being a part of the HRP on our website.

10/10/2022

Join members of the OHCHR, Macquarie University, University of Leiden Grotius Centre, University for Peace, the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, and the Research Center for Sustainable Peace for an interactive webinar on "Economic, Social and Cultural Rights & Transitioning to a Sustainable Society." This event will take place on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, from 9am-10:30am CDT.

To register (mandatory to access the webinar) please go to the Grotius Centre, University of Leiden page, scroll down to Events, and you will find the link to register.
https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2022/10/hernan-santa-cruz-dialogue-series

10/10/2022

The Minnesota Human Rights Archive is a new and exciting initiative seeking to capture, preserve, and publicize Minnesota's rich and complicated history of human rights activism and scholarship. This emerging archive contains unique collections of primary sources unavailable anywhere else. This wealth of material covers pioneering human rights scholarship and activism at the University of Minnesota; the work of local-to-global NGOs and campaigns with roots in Minnesota; social justice struggles within the state; and Minnesota's persistent legacy of racial and economic inequality.

Much of this rich collection - including such diverse materials as personal papers, organizational records, artworks, and other audio-visual media - is already available for use in curriculum design, research, and community engagement.

We invite faculty, staff, students, and external partners to learn more about this dynamic resource, plans for its ongoing development, and how you can support these efforts.

10/06/2022

The HRI, a joint initiative of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs (HSPA) and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) seeks to support research that significantly impacts the grand challenges in human rights today.

The HRI calls on faculty, contract faculty or those with a P&A appointment in CLA and HSPA to submit, by November 1, 2022, one-year funding proposals for grants between $10,000 and $50,000 that promote the scholarly and artistic activities of the faculty and their graduate students and that foster academic excellence in the field of human rights at the global and local levels.

For complete details on criteria, eligibility, and application guidelines, as well as to learn about projects which have received funding in the past, please visit our website.

10/05/2022

At the beginning of June, we announced the recipients of the Don and Arvonne Fraser Fellowships. Now, we are following up with them to take a look at how their summer internships went and learn about their experiences working in the field of human rights.

Zeinab Mohamud (CLA '23) was the 2022 Arvonne Fraser Fellow and spent her summer as an intern with Global Rights for Women. Her work included curating social media content for the organization and conducting research for various projects, and overall, her commitment to fighting for women's health was strengthened.

Learn more about Zeinab's experience and advice for others seeking a career in the field of human rights.

10/05/2022

At the beginning of June, we announced the recipients of the Don and Arvonne Fraser Fellowships. Now, we are following up with them to take a look at how their summer internships went and learn about their experiences working in the field of human rights.

Kathleen Zhang was the 2022 Don Fraser Fellow and spent her summer as an intern with the Advocates for Human Rights. Her work included helping their International Justice Program in which she completed a project on El Salvador's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Learn more about Kathleen's experience and advice for others seeking a career in the field of human rights on our website.

10/03/2022
09/30/2022

What has been the contribution of the United Nations to gender equality? How has gender equality been included in the UN’s work? What are some of the themes and challenges of this work?

Please join us for a lecture by Christian Courtis, the Gender and Women’s Rights Adviser for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, followed by a Q&A moderated by Prof. Diana Quintero, UMN Visiting Human Rights Engaged Scholar.

09/19/2022

Congratulations to Hortense Minishi (MHR '23) for being chosen as one of the recipients of the Exceptional Women of Peace Award 2022 by Pathways to Peace. This award celebrates women using their voice and presence to create a positive change in building lasting peace.

Congratulations, Hortense!

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Du has a very important announcement! Apply to the Fraser fellowships today! Visit our website to learn more!
Why We Research Human Rights
The Minnesota Human Rights Model: University Engagement at The United Nations
Why We Study Human Rights

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