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Champions for Human Rights

Refugees escaping by boat with storm clouds overhead
The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law will serve as a nexus for education, advocacy, and other pursuits.

The best in learning, discovery, service to community, and promoting understanding — UCLA promises and delivers all of this. And now the university is home to the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law.

A $20 million commitment, including proceeds from The Promise — a feature film released in April about the Armenian genocide — launched the new institute. Dr. Eric Esrailian, MPH ’06, lead producer of The Promise and a faculty member at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, spearheaded the effort to establish this nexus for education, advocacy, and other pursuits in the crucial field of human rights.

Engaging in the Cause

Many UCLA experts in several entities across campus already are doing exceptional work in human rights, from studying implications for global public health to creating art that encourages compassion for refugees. The Promise Institute will provide an infrastructure and resources they can leverage to serve as world leaders in this arena. The institute will offer new curriculum and clinical programs in human rights law and policy; publish groundbreaking research in the field; bring experienced leaders to UCLA Law to serve as faculty members; support student fellowships and scholarships; and host symposia, guest lectures, and other events.

A Promise for the Future

“Human rights tragedies are unfolding today. The Promise Institute is so named because UCLA and UCLA School of Law are making the promise to refugees and people suffering from injustice that we will create the tools and train the people to address these crises,” says Esrailian.

Already a vital center for international work on topics ranging from political asylum to gender violence, UCLA has upheld its commitment to human rights. The timely gift to establish the Promise Institute will strengthen the university’s role as a leader in the pursuit of justice.

Published June 2017

Headshot of Dr. Eric Esrailian

Dr. Eric Esrailian

Speaker at a podium presents to a lecture hall with “Contemporary Challenges in Human Rights” on the screen behind him.

“Contemporary Challenges in Human Rights” lecture

Four panelists sit on stage in front of a screenshot from The Promise film.

Panelist discussion on the film

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