The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


History, Vision and Accomplishments

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Rapoport Center Co-Directors Karen Engle (third from left) and Daniel Brinks (fifth from left), along with Christian Kelleher (first from left) and Fred Heath (second from left), are presented with a plaque by Gustavo Meoño (fourth from left), Coordinator of the Historic National Police Archive of Guatemala, commemorating the collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin and the Archive (December 2011)

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Bernard Rapoport meets with UT law students in 2005 to discuss immigrant workers' rights.

The mission of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice is to serve as a focal point for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights and social justice. The Center was created in the summer of 2004, thanks to a generous gift by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation to the University of Texas School of Law.

The University of Texas is one of the only public research and teaching entities in the southern and southwestern United States with a center dedicated to the advancement of human rights. It is among a minority of human rights centers in the country that is truly interdisciplinary. Lawyers and law students work side-by-side with scholars and practitioners across disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, government, public policy, and the fine arts. The Center’s motto is “Partners for Change at the Intersection of Academics and Advocacy,” representing its mission and unique position as an academic center that not only works across disciplines, but also collaborates with the communities outside the academy to affect innovative, enduring change in the lives of marginalized individuals and groups.

The Center’s major accomplishments since its inception include:

In addition to the grant from the Rapoport Foundation, the Rapoport Center has received funding from the Cain Foundation, the Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Karpen Moffitt Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law, the Inman Foundation, and numerous individual donors. Institutions across campus, including the School of Law, LLILAS, UT Libraries, Humanities Institute, the South Asia Institute, Middle Eastern Studies, the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, Texas Performing Arts, the Department of Government, the Harry Ransom Center, the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, the Department of English, and the Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law have also collaborated with the Center and financially supported its activities.