The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.

Living Newspaper Project

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St. Stephen's students perform in "Got Rights?" at the close of the Rapoport Center's third annual conference on human rights in December 2006. Before an audience of human rights professionals from across the country, students embodies the lives of an AIDS orphan in Kenya, a Sudanese refugee and a child in foster care. The experience was for adults in the audience, some of whom stood up to share their own experiences with the students.

The Rapoport Center reaches out beyond the UT campus to educate the community on human rights. Currently, our principle human rights education initiative is the Living Newspaper Project.

The Living Newspaper Project, which began as a collaboration of the Rapoport Center, the Humanities Institute, the Performance as Public Practice Program of UT's Department of Theatre and Dance, and Theatre Action Project, is an innovative program to reinvigorate civic education in Austin-area high schools through the dramatization of current human rights issues.


Rapoport Center summer fellow Creighton Chandler (center) and undergraduate intern Kate Hull (right) participate in a theater exercise with local teachers, using theater techniques to bring human rights issues to life.

The program's main component, Living Newspapers Across the Disciplines, provides high school teachers with the tools to guide their students through a Living Newspaper unit in an English, Social Studies, or Theater Arts classroom. Because a Living Newspaper—literally, a newspaper brought to life—combines research on current events, critical and creative writing, and public performance, students gain important skills and a greater ability to understand and affect the world around them through an interdisciplinary, hands-on, collaborative project.

Participating teachers receive the Living Newspaper Resource Guide, a comprehensive package containing TEKS-aligned model lesson plans, evaluative tools, and resources, and the ongoing support of a program team comprised of subject specialists, UT Austin graduate and professional students, and UT Austin faculty. In addition to the academic skills emphasized by the program, students will also benefit from relationships with graduate and professional student guest teachers and, through them, exposure to an unprecedented array of post-secondary school opportunities and careers in the humanities, higher education, law, public affairs, and the arts. Learn more.

Media Coverage

The Living Newspaper Project was featured in a Round Rock Leader story on March 27, 2008. Read the story.

For more information, please visit the Living Newspaper Project program overview at the Humanities Institute website or contact Tessa Farmer at the Humanities Institute at (512) 232-6093 or