As one of only seven U.S. universities to offer a major and minor in human rights, SMU is inspiring a new generation of world changers to understand and defend the dignity of all people thanks to the Embrey Human Rights Program.

Created in 2006 after a $1 million gift from sisters Lauren and Gayle Embrey, the innovative Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences program offers a compelling mix of curricula and public events while supporting meaningful community partnerships and student-led activism. The EHRP also leads trips across the globe to confront past or present humanitarian crises— from Rwanda and Cambodia to this country’s Native American West and Deep South. The “Holocaust Poland” trip, held each year from Dec. 18-30, is the cornerstone of EHRP travel opportunities.

Since EHRP Director Rick Halperin began leading the trip for SMU in 1996, the pilgrimage has grown from only a few participants to, as of the 20th anniversary trip in 2016, more than three dozen. The life-changing experience takes people to more than a dozen concentration/death camps and memorials in Poland, where, during the Nazi occupation in World War II, nearly half of the 11 million victims of the Holocaust were murdered. LEARN MORE