The principle that all people have inherent rights and dignity is universal — a touchstone for our shared humanity and internationally recognized language of justice. Yet human rights struggles are at the heart of the greatest global crises of our time, from political upheaval and environmental degradation to systemic inequities in access to education, healthcare, economic opportunity and social justice.
Two Big Ideas champions and a Big Ideas faculty member have received national recognition for their groundbreaking work in their respective fields. Keith David Watenpaugh is the champion of the Global Human Rights Big Idea. David Slaughter is the champion of the Smart Farm Big Idea and Allen Van Deynze serves as a faculty member alongside Slaughter.
Jawad Kaysaneya was in his first year of college, studying to be a civil engineer like his father, when he fled eastern Ghouta shortly after the war started. War derailed his dreams, and continues to do so in Lebanon, where he’s lived since 2012. But dreams have a way of persisting, especially with a little help. The web-based platform where these young Syrian adults are uploading their documents aims to remove obstacles to their aspirations.
Article 26 Backpack, which uses face-to-face counseling and cloud-based technology to help refugees document and share their educational accomplishments, will launch in Lebanon beginning Friday, June 15.
The University of California, Davis, will use a $500,000 core grant from the Ford Foundation to develop Article 26 Backpack, a cloud-based “ecosystem” to help refugees and other vulnerable young people reclaim their education.
Keith Watenpaugh discusses his efforts to help refugees access higher education. It is his and his colleagues' goal to make human rights an elemental pillar in UC Davis' global footprint by cultivating research and innovation in human rights with the Institute for Global Human Rights in the 21st Century.
Since 2013, an international team of university professionals, and human rights professionals led by UC Davis Professor and Director of Human Rights Studies, Keith David Watenpaugh have been seeking ways to address the impact of the war in Syria on higher education and in particular how to help young refugees return to university.