Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program Overview & Objectives

The Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program was generously funded by a grant from the Louisville Bar Foundation and funds provided by the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program of the Brandeis School of Law in the spring of 2014. As such, it was originally named the LBF/Greenebaum Human Rights Fellowship. In the spring of 2015, the Program received funding through the admissions office of the Brandeis School of Law, enabling the Program to select and fund fellows for each of their three years in law school. As the Program has grown, it has been renamed the Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program. It is codirected by Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes and Professor Jamie Abrams.

The first phase of the Program focused on liaising with local and regional human-rights-related organizations to identify human rights issues in the community and to understand the work of legal and other services providers to the international community. As it became clear that the needs of vulnerable populations, such as noncitizens and refugees, extend beyond legal services alone, the list of organizations and providers that should be included in the discussion grew. The need for multiple services is often interrelated and to isolate one component for study would provide incomplete and less helpful information about the role that the Program can play.

The Program ultimately liaised with a variety of legal, medical, educational, and social service providers. The purpose of this work was to understand the scope and range of the services provided and to begin to identify any potential gaps in information available to the public about human rights issues, as well as information about the resources and the services available. This report is designed to share this information with the larger community and those organizations providing services. The subsequent phases of the Program Program will include events designed to promote public education and outreach regarding human rights issues especially to underserved communities including the international community and communities of color, and to work on human rights legal matters.

The Program is new and its work is ongoing. Therefore, any findings of this report necessarily are preliminary. While feedback from the noncitizen and refugee population, as well as the service provider community was sought and collected, this does not somehow complete the work of the Program or finalize these findings. The findings included in this report are meant to bring awareness to the service provider community and to the community-at-large while also providing direction to the Program so that its work is impactful.