First in her family, finding her place

SMU News Originally Posted: December 9, 2019 The daughter of a single mom who worked two jobs to support her family, Kaitlyn Contreras was determined to attend college. “I knew I wanted to go to college; I just didn’t know how,” she says. “But I followed the advice of my grandmother. She never went to school and never learned to read or write, but she taught me to always ask questions.” As an eighth-grader, Kaitlyn began asking questions, seeking a more challenging high school than the one in her neighborhood. What Kaitlyn couldn’t know then was that asking questions would open the door to unique opportunities. READ MORE

By | 2019-12-10T15:22:59-08:00 December 10th, 2019|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Embrey Human Rights Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on First in her family, finding her place

Texas has been ground zero for capital punishment for over 40 years

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: December 1, 2019 Dec. 1, Rick Halperin, director of the SMU Human Rights Program, co-authored by Roger C. Barnes for a piece about Texas being “ground zero” in the U.S. for carrying out capital punishment. Thus far in 2019, there have been 20 executions carried out in the United States. Eight of them have been in Texas. There are four more executions scheduled in the country by year’s end, and one of them is to be carried out in Texas. Since the death penalty in the U.S. was reinstated in 1976, there have been a total of 1,510 executions. A staggering 566 of them have been in Texas. In other words, Texas has been ground zero for capital punishment for over [...]

By | 2019-12-02T08:03:45-08:00 December 2nd, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Texas has been ground zero for capital punishment for over 40 years

Chasing the American Dream: Sanaa Ghanim

SMU Daily Campus Originally Posted: Nov. 7, 2019 Sanaa Ghanim arrives early in her first class of the semester. She made sure to set her alarm clock five minutes earlier than usual before going to sleep the night before. While she scans the lecture hall for an open seat, she quickly notices that the front row is mostly empty. Many students opt to sit in the back, especially during early classes like this one. But not Ghanim. She eagerly slides into the front and center seat, pulls her laptop out of her bag, and waits for the professor to start the lecture. Winning $5,000 from the Big Ideas Competition gave Ghanim the opportunity to start her nonprofit, Give a Pencil. Photo credit: Sanaa Ghanim Ghanim pushes herself [...]

By | 2019-11-20T08:51:50-08:00 November 20th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Chasing the American Dream: Sanaa Ghanim

Texas shouldn’t teach students that Palestinians are the bad guys [Opinion]

Houston Chronicle Originally Posted: July 25, 2019 Sanaa Ghanim is a senior in the Southern Methodist University Human Rights Program, where she is researching the role of education in shaping perceptions of the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She enters law school in August 2020, and plans to concentrate on international law. The Texas state curriculum for high school social studies leaves students with the impression that conflict in the Middle East boils down to this: The Palestinians are the bad guys, and the Israelis are the good guys. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies used to require that public school teachers “explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict.” In November, the Texas State Board of Education [...]

By | 2019-07-25T07:43:59-08:00 July 25th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Texas shouldn’t teach students that Palestinians are the bad guys [Opinion]

Congratulations to all the Hilltop Excellence Awards Winners

Dedman College News Originally Posted: April 18, 2019 On Monday, April 15, SMU celebrated students and faculty that have made significant contributions to the University at the Hilltop Excellence Awards. Congratulations to all the award winners! Below is a list of winners, * are Dedman College faculty and students.   The Dr. James E. Caswell Award : Rani Vestal. Emmie V. Baine Legacy Award : *Andrea Salt. A. Kenneth Pye Outstanding Greek Leader Award : *Jackson Hughes, N'dea Fleming, *Melissa Kraft, and *Ashley Mai. The Extra Mile Award : Ira Greenberg, *Ross Sloan, and Megan Murphy. The Sheri Mooney Memorial Recognition : Eliana Yellin, *Smythe Mullikin, and Tejumola Longe. The Outstanding Faculty/Staff Volunteer Award : Kathy Hubbard of the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership. Outstanding Senior Woman [...]

By | 2019-04-18T06:52:04-08:00 April 18th, 2019|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events, Sociology, Sociology (Faculty)|Comments Off on Congratulations to all the Hilltop Excellence Awards Winners

Survivors of Nazi occupation host discussion at SMU about anti-Semitic violence

Fox 4 Originally Posted: November 17, 2018 October’s massacre at a Pittsburg synagogue has focused new attention on the rise of anti-Semitic violence. This week, a couple who lived through Nazi occupation during World War II encouraged some SMU students to speak out against that kind of hatred in the world. Beate and Serge Klarsfeld are trying to teach a new generation about the evil of anti-Semitism. "It is important to give them the experience of our actions,” said Serge Klarsfeld. Klarsfeld witnessed his father being taken from their home in France after Nazis invaded. He and his wife have since spent the past five decades seeking justice for victims and survivors of Nazi war crimes. "When we began it was not the same world it [...]

By | 2018-11-19T07:45:52-08:00 November 19th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events|Comments Off on Survivors of Nazi occupation host discussion at SMU about anti-Semitic violence

Meet Benjamin Chi, Human Rights Fellow 2017-18

Dedman College News Originally Posted: November 9, 2018 By: Ryan Garrett In the 2017-18 academic year, SMU Human Rights Fellow Benjamin Chi fought to change the Texas Family Code, advocating for underage youth without guardians to give consent to their own medical care, which would allow them to attend school and improve public health. “Working as an SMU Human Rights Fellow has been the most formative experience of my undergraduate experience,” said Ben. Inspired to study human rights through his parents’ experiences of living in poverty until their thirties, Ben has been collaborating with homelessness advocates, state government officials, healthcare specialists, and youth experiencing homelessness. In the 2014-2015 school year, 113,000 students were identified as homeless, according to the Texas Homeless Education Office, an organization [...]

By | 2018-11-08T15:44:44-08:00 November 9th, 2018|Anthropology, Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Meet Benjamin Chi, Human Rights Fellow 2017-18

Meet India Simmons, Human Rights Fellow 2018-19

Dedman College News Originally Posted: October 9, 2018 By: Ryan Garrett India Simmons is a junior majoring in Human Rights, International Studies, and Political Science. In addition to her academic pursuits, India has also competed on SMU’s Track and Field team. Through the EHRP, India has traveled to Poland, Germany, and Israel to further advance her knowledge and skillsets by seeing things first-hand. The trip to Poland and Germany, taken in December over winter break, was especially relevant to Simmons as it was focused around meeting with Holocaust survivors and visiting concentration camps. “It was a hard trip, physically and emotionally,” Simmons said. “(The survivors) were all elderly women. They were all so joyous. They were smiling the whole time. They were laughing. It was [...]

By | 2018-10-09T10:58:21-08:00 October 9th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Meet India Simmons, Human Rights Fellow 2018-19
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