The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


Working Groups

The Rapoport Center sponsors collaborative working groups initiated by our affiliated faculty that research various human rights topics. These groups are comprised of faculty and students from diverse disciplines across campus. Affiliated faculty may join an existing working group or propose their own using the Call for Working Group Proposals.

The goals of the working group program include: identifying and generating sustained attention to critical issues on the leading edge of human rights scholarship; fostering ongoing interaction and intellectual cooperation among affiliated faculty; and encouraging the development of a unique brand of human rights scholarship that is multidisciplinary, critical, theoretically innovative, and empirically and practically informed.

We currently support the following working groups:

Gender, Security & Human Rights

The goal of this working group is to critically examine dominant concepts of security, and how gender does and should factor in the discussion. Faculty and students from across campus are invited to explore the relationship between gender and security through the use of literature, the arts, law, history, queer studies, politics, human rights, and anthropology.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this working group, please email Jacqueline Chandler.

Health & Human Rights

The Health & Human Rights Working Group originally began as an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students interested in fostering a university-wide conversation on the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. It has since expanded its focus to include other health and human rights issues.

The working group holds an annual World AIDS Day Conference to heighten awareness about the impact of the AIDS pandemic on minority and impoverished populations in the U.S. and abroad.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this working group, please email Neville Hoad.

Human Rights & Archives

The relationship between archives and social justice is often understood in terms of the role archives can play in human rights prosecutions. The Working Group aims to broaden this understanding by examining the transformative potential of what archives can do and be. To that end, we would like to bring together faculty, students, archivists, administrators, and community partners interested in critical approaches to archive-building and analysis. We have a particular interest in facilitating connections among the different special collections and archives across the campus and in promoting their use in classroom teaching. More generally, we wish to consider how the academy can be more radical in archiving and exhibiting public life—especially in collaboration with communities that are typically excluded from archival practices.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this working group, please email Andi Gustavson.

Human Rights & the Arts

The Human Rights and the Arts Working Group maintains that literature, music, theatre, dance, and the visual arts hold an integral role in expressing the need for social and political change, in fostering education on social injustice, and in building more just and equitable societies. The Working Group supports the role of the arts in social justice advocacy through sponsoring performance events and film series, fostering interdisciplinary dialogue at the university, encouraging student research on this topic, and through conducting outreach in the community.

The Working Group's participants include a team of faculty and students from diverse disciplines such as Ethnomusicology, History, Social Work, Art History, Business, and Law.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this working group, please email the Rapoport Center.

Natural Resource Governance, Inequality and Human Rights

This working group engages with the distributive consequences of extractive economies and the role of human rights in addressing the inequalities in authority, decision making power, benefit and risk exposure that arise in relation to natural resource governance. The group meets once a month to read and discuss texts on natural resource governance, human rights and economic inequalities. A proposed list of themes and texts that will be discussed in 2015-2016 is available here.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this working group, please email Julia Dehm.