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Celebrating the Life

Human Rights at UT

Responsibility, or 'to serve as a catalyst for positive change in Texas and beyond,' comprises one of the University’s core values. As recommended by UT's citizen advisory group, the Commission of 125, the University of Texas should 'actively address pressing public problems of Texas, the nation, and the world.' Students, faculty and staff have demonstrated a strong commitment to these values and human rights issues through active involvement in campus, community, and transnational research and politics. The Human Rights Documentation Initiative strives to highlight and support these efforts that are occurring within the University of Texas Libraries, research centers, and student organizations. 

Contributing Libraries

  • The Benson Collection is the largest specialized research library in the U.S. for the study and preservation of documents regarding Latin America. Special emphasis has been placed on current information about Mexico, Brazil and the countries of the Río de la Plata. Additionally, the Mexican American Library Program, established within the Benson Collection in 1974, collects all relevant current and retrospective books, serials, audiovisuals and archival collections related to Mexican Americans and Latinos in the United States.

  • The Briscoe Center for American History is part of an initiative to collect and make available to the public information regarding the history of Americans from all different backgrounds. Materials include books, photographs, letters and maps, and even historical furniture. The Center holds human rights related materials on slavery in the U.S. and the history of the southern U.S. and civil rights and social justice.

  • The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to closing the leadership gap through a variety of initiatives that promote groundbreaking interdisciplinary research in the study of women and gender, support undergraduate women students in their pursuit of leadership, and assist women faculty so that they may succeed in their chosen fields and serve as mentors and role models for their students.

  • This educational clearing house and advocacy project creates and promotes online archives of information, art, narratives and maps that support the expansion of sustainable communities and anti-violence initiatives. This gathering site for research, information, dialogue and engagement promoting social, political and personal transformations seeks to confront violence with an online multi-lingual dialogue that crosses borders as well as cultural, ethnic/racial, economic and gendered boundaries to further social justice organizing.

  • The Ransom Center promotes research in the arts and humanities through the creation and preservation of archival collections and the sponsorship of fellowships, publications, exhibitions and performances. Collections at the Ransom Center are as much about arts and culture as they are about scholarship and research, which makes the center a unique resource on campus.

  • The Human Rights Documentation Initiative is a project of the University of Texas Libraries. It focuses primarily on digital collections acquired through preservation partnerships established with human rights organizations around the world.

  • The Perry-Castañeda Library is the primary library on the UT Austin campus and the fifth largest university library in the country. Its holdings are print, digital and audio-visual and it serves as a great starting place for young researchers.

  • The Rapoport Center houses a small and specialized collection of books, pamphlets, dissertations and other gray literature on Afro-descendant land rights in Brazil and Ecuador as well as other human rights topics in different geographic areas.

  • RADOC is the largest collection of its kind in the world and contains 10,000 books, monographs, bound articles, papers and letters, prints, transparencies, photographs, audio- and video-recorded material, framed and unframed prints and documents as well as many other non-media items. The Center regularly receives materials from various individuals and publishers, including Etudes Tsiganes, The Romany and Traveller Family History Society, Lacio Drom, The University of Hertfordshire Press and the Centre de Recherches Tsiganes.

  • The Tarlton Law Library is the 7th largest academic law library in the United States. Their Rare Books and Special Collections Department contains human rights related primary source materials.

Student Organizations and Campus Resources

Asterisks (*) denote organization is a member of the Rapoport Center's Human Rights Student Advisory Council.

  • To help revitalize and transform the current legal debate from a staunch conservative vision that lacks appropriate regard for the ways in which the law affects people's lives to a more respectful vision that values human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, and access to justice.

  • Mission: "To conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated." Focus on women’s rights, children’s rights, ending torture, abolition of the death penalty, refugee rights, prisoner of conscience rights, protection of human dignity.

  • A non-profit, voluntary organization dedicated to bring socio-economic change in India mainly using the medium of education.

  • Educate and organize against the death penalty in Texas and the U.S.

  • The Community Engagement Incubator connects faculty, staff, and students with partners in the Austin community to create projects and programs that will advance social change.

  • To educate and mobilize University students towards the relief of the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Africa and other areas of the world.

  • The Gender and Sexuality Center provides safe spaces for all members of the UT Austin community to explore, organize, and promote learning around issues of gender and sexuality. The center also facilitates a greater responsiveness to the needs of women and the LGBTQ communities through education, outreach and advocacy.

  • Offers healthcare students the opportunity to obtain first hand medical experience while providing free basic medical services to communities in Central America and Mexico.

  • To provide housing for low income families. Help fund these projects and accommodate subcommittees in family selection and building construction.”

  • The purpose of the SAC is to connect human rights-focused undergraduate organizations to provide a forum for ongoing dialogue about human rights and to promote communication and collaboration in undergraduate human rights activists on campus. The SAC will work in conjunction with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.

  • The Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialog's mission is to advance meaningful accountability, victim healing and community safety through the use of restorative justice solutions to repair the harm related to conflict, crime and victimization. Special focus on Texas.

  • The mission of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA) is to advance the knowledge base related to domestic violence and sexual assault in an effort to end violence. IDVSA accomplishes this by doing research on interpersonal violence and by providing training and technical assistance to the practitioner community and the community at large.

  • The Institute’s mission is to leverage human and fiscal resources to improve the effectiveness of policies, social and academic programs, and community-based initiatives for court-involved youth throughout the Americas.

  • We believe that ordinary people should democratically control society, and run it on the basis of meeting human needs rather than for the profits of a few. We're involved in today's struggles for justice - from the fight against the racist injustice system, to the movement against corporate domination, to the struggle for workers' rights at home and abroad, to opposition to US militarism.

  • To educate the world about North Korea, with a strong emphasis on political and religious persecution in the nation and human rights crisis. To empower citizens to take action and make a difference. To be vigilant in defense of North Korean refugees.

  • To advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of the Latino population in the U.S.

  • To attain political, social, and cultural awareness through the promotion of activism, protest, and organized resistance to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, capitalism, etc. To promote unity among Chicano/as as well as encourage and promote better relationships among students and people of all races. To connect the student back to his/her community and practice equality and social justice through consciousness and action

  • To provide a forum for members of the Graduate School of Business community to discuss issues of social sustainability and social responsibility as they pertain to business.

  • To raise awareness and education about the importance and powerful impact of sustainable business and corporate social responsibility.

  • To eradicate poverty by engaging students and empowering communities.

  • Oxfam-UT is dedicated to finding and promoting lasting solutions to global poverty, hunger, and social injustice. We educate the student body about issues such as fair trade and extractive sectors as well as get active in the community to create lasting change.

  • To promote education, discourse, activism, and awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom from oppression and occupation.

  • Street Law sends law students into local schools to teach practical lessons about law, democracy, and human rights.

  • Network of students and youth organizing with farm workers to eliminate sweatshop conditions and modern-day slavery in the fields. We work in alliance with the coalition of Immokalee Workers, a membership-led organization of mostly Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian low-wage workers based in Southwest Florida.

  • This is a student run organization, committed to helping survivors build strong futures through planning manageable budgets, finding and keeping employment, creating individual safety plans for home and work, and building a strong community of survivors.

  • This organization will focus on providing objective insight into human rights initiatives through explorations into violence, the criminal justice system, incarceration, and executions in Texas.

  • To raise awareness about women's issues occurring domestically and globally; to partner with other humanitarian organizations to work with women's issues in a variety of environments, to reach out to the community and make concrete and lasting change in women's lives.

  • We are a student-edited international legal periodical, publishing 3 issues per year, in areas of law pertaining to international business and human rights litigation, US litigation with international implications, as well as other areas of international significance.

  • The purpose of the Forum is to conduct research, collect data, and write articles on various civil liberties and civil rights issues. The results will be published 3 times a year by the Forum's members.

  • TJGL is a continuation of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law, an innovative, student-edited journal dedicated to publishing legal scholarship that explores the intersection of culture, race, and socio-economics with gender. We celebrate the advances made by advocates and seek to enhance the relationship between theoretical and practical perspectives by promoting discourse on gender and the law issues.

  • We educate, organize, and support law students to ensure that a new generation of advocates will be prepared to protect and expand reproductive rights as basic civil and human rights.

  • To encourage student participation and involvement in projects related to the design and education of healthcare needs in developing countries.

  • The Voices Against Violence is an educational program whose goal is to raise awareness regarding the issues of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.

  • The White Rose Society is a holocaust remembrance and genocide awareness group. We are actively fighting to end the current genocide in Darfur. We are UT's official STAND (students taking action now Darfur) group. Join now to take a stand and promote awareness and action over apathy towards genocide.