Student Leadership Initiative hosts Human Rights Program kickoff

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The Student Leadership Initiative (SLI) Board is hosting a kickoff for the Embrey Human Rights Program on Sept. 14. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the flagpole in front of Dallas Hall lawn.

The event aimed to raise awareness for the Human Rights Program and other human rights-oriented groups on campus. The event will also feature a dunk tank, Jimmy John’s, Steel City Pops, music and husky puppies.

“The Student Leadership Initiative is the liaison between the Embrey Human Rights Program and other human rights organizations on campus,” said junior Karly Zrake, a student in the program majoring in Human Rights. The SLI board comprises students from all majors, not just those studying in the human rights field.

This kickoff is the first event this year hosted by SLI.

Started in 2006, the Embrey Human Rights Program defined its mission to “educate students and other members of the global community to understand, promote, and defend human rights as responsible citizens of the world.”

“There is no such thing as a lesser person,” is the program’s motto.

The Embrey Human Rights Program, directed by Dr. Rick Halperin, offers a major and minor in Human Rights and facilitates human rights trips and outreach initiatives around the DFW area.

Zrake notes the major’s interdisciplinary qualities. “It covers courses across so many different curricula,” she said.

The Embrey program hosts four trips annually. The trips are unlike study abroad but are “educational trips,” as Zrake called them. This year, the program will offer a trip to Poland in December, Germany over spring break, Cuba in late May and a U.S. tour to death row facilities in the south in August.

Research grants are awarded to students in the program. The Community Outreach Initiative provides $2,000 to fund a student’s action in the human rights area.

“The program is really like a family and a support system,” said Zrake.

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