Human Rights Program A 15-credit minor or 24-credit certificate in Human Rights.

Hunter’s Human Rights Program aims to give students the tools they need to address human rights problems intelligently and constructively, whether as advocates, scholars, researchers or informed citizens. Via academic study and hands-on experience, students will explore both the theoretical and practical underpinnings of current human rights debates.

By learning about human rights law, theory and practice, students in the program will understand how human rights norms and aspirations can shape public policy, international relations, and corporate behavior. They will learn about issues such as accountability, humanitarian intervention, freedom of expression, and the rights of immigrants. They will be introduced to the structure of human rights enforcement mechanisms, assessing the way in which international treaties and multilateral institutions influence the behavior of national governments.

L-R: Human Rights Program Director Jessica Neuwirth, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Denis Mukwege, Playwright Eve Ensler and Hunter College President Jennifer Raab prior to a spring 2019 event on sexual violence in wartime.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks to Human Rights students about climate change, gender equality, peace and security, and other important human rights issues.
L-R: Human Rights Program Director Jessica Neuwirth, President of the General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and Allan Frei, Professor in Hunter’s Dept. of Geography and Environmental Science.

Human Rights Program Staff

  • Program Director: Jessica Neuwirth
  • Program Manager: JoAnne Vellardita
  • Program Associate: Brianna Krummenacker
  • Program Assistant: Hector Perez

For questions about the Human Rights Program please email

The Policy and Curriculum Committee

The Policy and Curriculum Committee (PCC) is a five-member committee that develops the human rights curriculum and oversees the program’s academic content. Members are elected to a three-year term on the Committee by a vote of the Human Rights Faculty.

Human Rights Program Faculty

The Human Rights Program benefits from the advice and support of a 37-member group of Human Rights Faculty.  The faculty, who teach human rights classes, collaborate on human rights events, and support human rights scholarship at Hunter, represent a broad range of disciplines.

Temisan AgbeyegbeEconomics
Karna BasuEconomics
Manu BhagavanHistory
Martha BraginSilberman School of Social Work
Jonathan ConningEconomics
Omar DahbourPhilosophy
Thomas DeGlomaSociology
Marc EdelmanAnthropology
Ken EricksonPolitical Science
Leonard FeldmanPolitical Science
María FischerSpanish
Roseanne FloresPsychology
Nancy FonerSociology
Jennifer GabouryWomen and Gender Studies/Political Science
Carol GouldPhilosophy
Jack HammondSociology
David HodgesAnthropology
D’Weston HaywoodHistory
Nico IsraelEnglish
Rob JenkinsPolitical Science
Marnia LazregSociology
Lazaro LimaAFPRL Studies
Vivian LouieAsian American Studies
Erin Mayo-AdamPolitical Science
Jessica NeuwirthHuman Rights
Rupal OzaWomen and Gender Studies
Sonali PereraEnglish
Mary RoldanHistory
Jill RosenthalHistory
Laura SchorHistory
Jillian SchwedlerPolitical Science
Larry ShoreFilm & Media
Ida SusserAnthropology
Deborah TolmanWomen and Gender Studies

Hunter College students can subscribe to the HUMANRIGHTS-L listserv to receive occasional emails about human rights internships, news and events.

During the fall 2019 semester, a group of lawyers, academics, activists and religious leaders joined the human rights program for a discussion on free speech-hate speech.
L-R: Lillie Johnson Edwards, Drew University; Ruby Sales, Founder of SpiritHouse Project; and Navi Pillay, Former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

On April 12, 2019 a panel of experts joined the human rights program for a screening of the film 13th and an engaging discussion on race, justice, and mass incarceration.
L-R: Kirk A. James, NYU’s Silver School of Social Work; Baz Dreisinger, Professor at John Jay’s College of Criminal Justice; Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project; Kesha Moore, Professor of Sociology at Drew University; Jessica Neuwirth, Director of Human Rights Program at Roosevelt House, Hunter College; and Carol Jenkins, women’s rights activist, author, and journalist.

Download the Human Rights Program Brochure here (PDF).