Back to top

The Pozen Family Center for Human Rights is pleased to announce the commencement of our 20th Anniversary Year, launched at the 2017 Robert H. Kirschner, MD, Human Rights Memorial Lecture with David Cole.

In 1997 a group of faculty from across the University of Chicago believed that: the theory and practice of human rights would benefit from engagement across disciplines and professional schools; and the study of human rights should be part of a robust liberal arts education. With their shared enthusiasm for the project. the support of the Provost, and a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the University of Chicago Human Rights Program began. In 2014 the Human Rights Program was renamed the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights to honor the generous gift from Ann and Richard Pozen, AB’69.     

On June 1, the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights began the celebration of its 20th Aniversay. Over the past two decades, human rights education at the University of Chicago has grown to include a robust set of courses taught by faculty from many disciplines, a Human Rights Minor in the College, a Human Rights Core Civilizations sequence, and a Human Rights Study Abroad program in Vienna, Austria. The Pozen Center has hosted figures such as Justice Albie Sachs, Elizabeth Borgwardt, and Monica McWilliams as Pozen Visiting Professors in Human Rights. Furthermore, the Center supports faculty and graduate student research in the forms of projects, grants, fellowships, and lectureships each year.   

 More than 450 students have participated in the Human Rights Internship Program. This year-long program helps students search and prepare for a summer internship, integrate their summer experience into their academic work, and share their experience with the broader university community. Internship alumni include six Rhodes Scholars, eight Truman Scholars, and numerous other winners of awards and fellowships. Many have gone on to work as physicians, teachers, filmmakers, lawyers, public policy analysts, and professors.    

In its third decade, the Pozen Center will continue to deepen its commitment to the practice of human rights. This will include activities such as developing a Director of Human Rights Practice, supporting research projects to explore critical dimensions of human rights thought and practice, and building connections between alumni and students. We invite you to join us in these exciting new efforts, as well as for our celebration activities throughout the 2017-18 academic year.