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Leadership Institute

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Human Rights: Leadership and Action

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 20, 2015 - July 31, 20152M-F 8:30A-3:05PWaitlistedDavid Blanding10291

Course Description

The abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria, the oppression of gays and lesbians in Russia, and the deaths of thousands of Ebola victims in West Africa have rightfully drawn the condemnation of human rights advocates. The recent killings of unarmed black men in the United States remind us that human rights violations are not just a problem over there; violations of human rights may arise anywhere at any time.

The ubiquity of the threat to human rights poses important practical challenges. Whom should we protect, when should we act, and where we should act? Theoretical challenges abound as well. For example: Does having the power to protect human rights mean that we are obligated to protect human rights? How do we protect human rights while respecting the sovereignty of foreign countries and their citizens? Do human rights apply to groups or individuals? How do we respect religious differences while preserving equality and liberty? These are just some of the questions that theorists and advocates of human rights must wrestle with regularly.

This course will equip you with the basic historical, legal, and theoretical knowledge to begin to answer these challenging questions for yourself, and ultimately to take up the cause of protecting human rights in your community. By the end of this course, you will develop an Action Plan that applies key insights from this course to a real-world human rights issue within your community.