Human Rights Advocacy Program students participate in a community roundtable event.
Human Rights Advocacy Program students participate in a community roundtable event.

The Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law has been recognized for its outstanding model of community engagement. 

The program has been named an exemplary designee by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The program will be recognized at the consortium’s National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.

“We are truly honored to be named an exemplary designee and to share this recognition with other outstanding universities,” said Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes, co-director of the program. “Community-engaged scholarship is an integral part of the Human Rights Advocacy Program’s model, and we cannot succeed without the full and active participation of our community partners.”

Established in 2014 by Trucios-Haynes and Professor Jamie Abrams, the Human Rights Advocacy Program works to advance the human rights of immigrants, refugees and noncitizens through scholarship and community engagement. The program is made up of co-directors and law faculty Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes and Professor JoAnne Sweeny and student fellows.

The program undertook an assessment to identify holistically the legal needs and address hurdles to ensuring immigrants’ human rights, including legal, social, educational and housing issues. With community partners, the program identified key challenges in language access and educational access.

The program researched each issue and published reports to educate about these issues and identify compliance gaps in language and educational access. The program is in the process of producing training videos to improve compliance in these areas and provide a useful resource for the local immigrant, refugee and noncitizen community.

The research agenda was developed working collaboratively with broad constituents of the community and ongoing communications.

Henry Cunningham of UofL’s Office of Community Engagement worked closely with the program in 2016 and early 2017 on the award application.

“Dr. Cunningham’s support of HRAP was instrumental in the selection of the program as the sole submission of the University of Louisville for this prestigious award,” says Trucios-Haynes.

Programs at Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Minnesota and the University of South Carolina were also named exemplary designees. Four other universities — East Carolina University, the University of New Hampshire, Oklahoma State University, and Purdue University — have been named finalists for the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be awarded in November.

More information about the Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program is available online