Embrey Human Rights Program

Get To Know Us

The Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP) is an interdisciplinary endeavor dedicated to providing opportunities for promoting, defending, and extending human rights in the DFW area and in the world. EHRP is located in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The program is directed by Dr. Rick Halperin, a life-long human rights activist and educator, and is staffed by a team of experienced human rights professionals.

To learn about how the EHRP mission is being put into action, you are invited to review our 2014-2019 Strategic Plan and 2014-2015 Annual Report.

Program Offerings

EHRP specializes in three areas of human rights work. 

First, the program offers opportunities for learning about human rights, primarily though an undergraduate major and minor. SMU is one of only seven institutions in the United States to offer a bachelor's degree in this field. Students can choose from over one hundred distinct courses offered from a range of academic disciplines. Faculty members who are interested in contributing new offerings from the perspective of their own discipline and interest are invited to apply for a course development grant.

Second, EHRP facilitates several human rights trips throughout the world each year. These trips are open to everyone - students, faculty, staff, community members, etc. - and focus on both issues of both historical and contemporary importance. Past groups have journeyed to Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, China, France, Hungary, the Mexican Borderlands, Rwanda, South Africa, and many other places. These trips allow participants to bear witness to human rights violations in the places they occur, interact with people who have been touched by atrocity and who are working to bring change, and to reflect on their own struggles and vocations. Partial scholarships are available for students with financial need.

Third, the program offers leadership to a variety of outreach and action efforts every semester. Conferences, film screenings, grassroots trainings, lectures, legislative lobbying, protest events, rallies, and social action campaigns - these examples represent just some of the happenings organized by EHRP. Likewise, a new generation of changemakers is supported through the Student Leadership Initiative, a student organization that promotes human rights activities on and off campus. One of the most important values of EHRP is collaboration with other individuals and organizations, both inside and outside of SMU. Anyone interested in partnering with EHRP for an initiative is welcome to submit a Sponsorship Request.

As the premier human rights organization in higher education, EHRP seeks to help individuals near and far advance their dreams - dreams of justice, of dignity, of making their lives matter, of never again having to feel desperate and afraid. While the program is proud of its achievements to date, it knows there is much more to be done. We invite you to join our efforts to create a world that reflects our program motto:

There is no such thing as a lesser person.

Our Mission

The mission of the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University is to educate students and other members of the global community to understand, promote, and defend human rights as responsible citizens of the world.