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Leadership for Human Rights

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineJonathan Sozek
11841

Course Description

Human rights violations are rampant and can be found across the world: from the killings of unarmed black men in the United States, to the suppression of LGBTQ+ people in Russia, to the detainment of Turkic Muslims in China. As we learn about such violations in our own communities and beyond, we face the question: how can we identify and effectively oppose them? Students learn about the theory and practice of human rights, engage with multiple case studies of the violation and effective defense of human rights, and develop an Action Plan to address a violation of human rights in their own community. Students are actively encouraged to take up the task of defending human rights locally, nationally, and globally, and they are given the tools to do so.

In addition to our primary text, Jack Donnelly’s Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice (2003), students engage with news articles, videos, first-person testimonies, and primary source documents (e.g., the Universal Declaration, UN Documents, reports from human rights organizations). They also regularly design questions for discussion in our online forums and deliver a presentation on one of our readings through a recorded video, to be watched and commented on by their fellow students.

The central project of the course is the development of an Action Plan. In this plan, students identify a real-life human rights issue in their own community and use what they are learning in the course to determine concrete steps they can take to address it. The Action Plan will be developed in stages between the second and fourth week of the course. At the end, in addition to producing a 3-5 page document, each student will record and share with the class a five minute presentation of their plan.

The central project of the course is the development of an Action Plan. In this plan, students identify a real-life human rights issue in their own community and use what they are learning in the course to determine concrete steps they can take to address it. The Action Plan will be developed in stages between the second and fourth week of the course. At the end, in addition to producing a 3-5 page document, each student will record and share with the class a five minute presentation of their plan.

The learning goals of this course are: to form a solid introductory understanding of human rights theory and relevant international law; to develop a familiarity with a range of specific, prominent recent and current cases of the violation and effective protection of human rights; to be able to clearly identify human rights violations and determine specific steps to redress these violations.

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This course is part of the Leadership Institute Online, a four-week academic program that helps students cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with effective and socially responsible leadership. This unique program consists of two core elements: academic content based on the course of one's choosing and leadership content common to all courses, including the development of an Action Plan.

Enrollment in this program requires participation in one-hour synchronous or "live" sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30am Eastern Standard Time (EST) - 12:30pm (EST). Other than participation in these two weekly synchronous or "live" sessions, participation in the course may be completed daily, at any time.

Additional programmatic information may be found here.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course, although students with an interest in the social sciences, modern history, or pre-law will find this course particularly interesting, as will students interested in development, humanitarian aid, migration, public policy, and the causes and consequences of war.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPS0975

Program Information

Leadership Institute

Brown's Pre-College Program focused on developing socially responsible leaders and creating positive change. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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