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Second Annual Human Rights Youth Summit Draws Local Students, Educators, and Activists to SMU Campus

Dedman College News

Originally Posted: June 22, 2018

The Embrey Human Rights Program welcomes one hundred high school students and educators to campus this weekend for the second annual Human Rights Youth Summit in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. June 23-24, Youth Summit attendees will explore strategies for effective advocacy and develop a human rights network through dynamic workshops, leadership training, and networking opportunities with Dallas community leaders and activists. The summit has expanded since last year’s one-day program to now include an overnight stay on the SMU campus and a second day of activities.

“Our annual Youth Summit was launched last year in response to community desire,” says Dr. Brad Klein, Associate Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program and one of the facilitators of the Youth Summit. “We had heard from many high school students and teachers who were craving more education on how to spark change ethically and effectively. As the only university in the South and one of only seven in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree in Human Rights, SMU was ready to answer this call.”

Along with Dr. Klein, featured facilitators include Dr. Rick Halperin of the Embrey Human Rights Program, Dr. Johnitha Johnson of SMU’s Simmons School of Education, Catherine Sims from Border Crossers and Brookhaven College, Lauren Cove from SMU’s Residence Life & Student Housing, and Amy Miller from the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Through the Human Rights Youth Summit, the Embrey Human Rights Program seeks to position young people as ethical advocates and human rights leaders within their communities.

“The Youth Summit offers a rare opportunity for attendees to work with nationally recognized scholars and advocates,” says Dr. Klein. “Under expert guidance, each student group develops a project to be implemented at their high school over the coming year. We are excited to see these young people extend the Embrey Human Rights Program legacy of training a new generation of visionary and innovative leaders.”