Human Rights on Campus

Yale has a diverse range of faculty, student organizations, workshops, conferences, and fellowships focused on human rights issues. The Schell Center has compiled many of those resources here. The guide below is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it provides many ideas for how to get involved with human rights work on campus.

Yale has many different centers and programs engaged in activities that concern human rights. These centers address issues of human rights from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. Centers bring speakers, faculty and students together to address a range of human rights topics across the university.

The Afro-American Cultural Center ("Af-Am House") is a community of African American scholar-leaders committed to preserving and promoting the historical, cultural, intellectual and social movement traditions of the African Diaspora.

The Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) supports the thriving Asian and Asian American presence at Yale, encourages students to take an active role in shaping their learning experiences and exploration of identity, and honors the vibrant and complex cultures, histories, and experiences of the Asian and Asian American community at Yale.

La Casa Cultural de Julia de Burgos, the Latino Cultural Center (La Casa) offers Yale students and community members a rich variety of social, academic, and cultural resources in a vibrant and welcoming environment, promotes a sense of unity among Latinx people at Yale, and supports Yale students in matters of scholarship, identity exploration, leadership, and social awareness.

The Center for Cultural Sociology provides a focus for analysis in the social science tradition, with openings to normative themes such as democracy, justice, tolerance and civility.

The Center for Empirical Research on Stratification and Inequality supports empirical research on the causes and consequences of social inequalities. Research adopts both an inter-generational perspective, in its concern with how advantage and disadvantage is transmitted between generations, and an intra-generational perspective, focusing on the life course and human development.

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy seeks to incorporate fresh thinking, ethical awareness, and analytically rigorous decision-making tools into environmental law and policy.

The Center for Faith and Culture critically examines and promotes practices of faith that advance authentic human flourishing and the global common good.

The Center for Global Legal Challenges bridges the divide between the legal academy and legal practice on global legal issues and provides a forum where academic experts and students regularly interact with public and private sector actors responsible for addressing global legal challenges.

The Center for the Study of Globalization enriches the debate about globalization on campus and promotes the flow of ideas between Yale and the policy world, concentrating on the core issues of global development, financial globalization, multilateral trade, and the provision of key global public goods.

The Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration is devoted to advancing academic work related to ethnic studies; to intersectional race, gender, and sexuality research; and to Native and diasporic communities in the United States and other countries. The Center houses the undergraduate program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and is the new home for the academic journal Social Text.

The Conflict, Resilience, and Health Program builds resilience and health in communities affected by armed conflict or structural violence. The program engages with academics, practitioners and policy makers to promote innovations in global health research and to evaluate resilience-building interventions.

Dwight Hall at Yale is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as the Center for Public Service and Social Justice for Yale College. It features over 90 student-run member groups that engage 3,500 students each year in service and social justice activities.

The Economic Growth Center aims to study and promote understanding of the economic development process within low-income countries and how development is affected by trade and financial relations between these countries and those that developed earlier.

The Genocide Studies Program conducts research, seminars and conferences on comparative, interdisciplinary, and policy issues relating to the phenomenon of genocide and has provided training to researchers from afflicted regions, including Cambodia, Rwanda, and East Timor.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition is dedicated to the investigation and dissemination of knowledge concerning all aspects of chattel slavery and its destruction.

The Global Health Justice Partnership is a program hosted jointly by Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health that tackles contemporary problems at the interface of global health, human rights, and social justice. GHJP is pioneering an innovative, interdisciplinary field of scholarship, teaching, and practice, bringing together diverse thought leaders to collaborate on research, policy projects, and academic exchanges. GHJP is engaged in policy and research projects that involve students, faculty, and domestic and international partners working on global health justice issues in both academic and real-world settings. GHJP runs the Global Health Studies Program, an undergraduate, multidisciplinary program for students interested in understanding and addressing pressing global health challenges.

The Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women's Rights at Yale Law School consists of four core components: l) the Global Constitutionalism Seminar; 2) the Gruber Distinguished Lectures in Global Justice and Women's Rights; 3) the Gruber Global Justice and Women's Rights Fellowships; and 4) the Gruber Project in Global Justice and Women’s Rights.

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School is an intellectual center that explores the implications of the Internet and new technologies for law and society. The ISP houses a number of initiatives on: Access to Knowledge, Freedom of Expression, Foreign Affairs in the Internet Age, Law and Media, and Law and Technology, as well as the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice and the Visual Law Project.

The Institution for Social and Policy Studies advances interdisciplinary research in the social sciences that aims to shape public policy and inform democratic deliberation.

The Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics is a teaching and research program that focuses not only on biomedical ethics, but also on environmental ethics, animal ethics, the ethics of scientific research, business and professional ethics, and ethics issues relating to new technologies.

The Justice Collaboratory is an interdisciplinary group of scholars developing new theories and conducting original empirical research to improve the criminal justice system.

The Latin American Linkage Program is a student exchange between Yale Law School and several universities in Argentina, Brazil and Chile where students focus on a wide range of areas including human rights, constitutional law, international law, and criminal law through participation in classes, meetings with professors, and workshops at universities.

The Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy promotes research and teaching about the interactions between politics and economics around the world.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies program promotes innovative interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on the historical and contemporary experience of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people.

The Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies is the home at Yale for teaching and research on all aspects of international affairs and area studies, such as African, Baltic, Canadian, East Asian, European, Latin American & Iberian, Middle East, and South Asian Studies. The Macmillan Center hosts a variety of lectures, conferences, and other events throughout the year. It also produces The Macmillan Report, an online show that features interviews with Yale faculty, and Yale Global Online.

The Native American Cultural Center (NACC) supports a prominent and thriving Indigenous presence at Yale College, fosters a sense of community for students that involves encouragement, mentoring, and service, and cultivates student identity and leadership through such shared values as accountability, transparency, assertiveness, and honesty, and pride in culture.

The Office of Global Health at Yale Medical School works to confront the disparities in global health through research, education and health services in partnership with institutions serving resource-limited communities around the world. The Office of Global Health has long-term commitments to partner sites in South Africa, Uganda, Liberia, Rwanda and Indonesia.

The Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, based in Yale Law School, coordinates a diverse program of human rights activities at Yale and contributes to the development of the human rights community locally and internationally. The Schell Center sponsors frequent panels, lectures, and conferences, including the weekly Human Rights Workshop and the annual Bernstein International Human Rights Symposium. The Schell Center conducts the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and houses the Lowenstein Human Rights Project and sponsors the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights in Yale College.

The Program in Agrarian Studies is an experimental, interdisciplinary effort to reshape how a new generation of scholars understands rural life and society, including poverty, subsistence, cultivation, justice, art, law, property, ritual life, cooperation, resource use, and state action.

The Program in Iranian Studies promotes study of Iran, Afghanistan, and the Persianate cultural sphere and strives to reflect diverse views on foreign policy as well as nongovernmental voices and views of deprived groups such as women, intellectual descanters, religious and ethnic minorities, and nonconformists.

The Program for the Study of Antisemitism invites scholars from across the university—including sociology, political science, law, history, literature, art history, philosophy, religious studies, and psychology—to analyze antisemitism in an atmosphere of interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly inquiry.

The Program on Social Enterprise supports scholars, students, alumni, and practitioners interested in exploring the ways in which business skills and market disciplines can be harnessed to most effectively and efficiently achieve social objectives.

The Program on Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Humanitarian Responses is an intellectual hub for research, teaching, and policy recommendations that take a people-centered approach to the refugee experience—from internal displacement at home, to the transit experience inside and outside the camp, to challenges of resettlement and integration.

The Project on Religious Freedom and Society in Africa aims to critically inquire into the connection between freedom of religion and societal well-being, and how the flourishing of persons and societies can be promoted on that basis.

The Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities fosters research and theoretical reflection on the history of sexualities, especially as they intersect with other axes of social difference and inequality.

The Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy focuses on the intersection of the law, governance, practice, and business of healthcare by bringing together leading experts and practitioners from the public and private sectors to address cutting-edge questions of health law and policy, and by training the next generation of top health lawyers, industry leaders, policymakers, and academics.

The Yale Women’s Center works across issues and identities toward collective liberation by fostering a self-critical and self-reflective community, intentionally directing our time, resources, and programming toward dismantling systems of oppression through education and action.

The Women's Leadership Initiative facilitates discussion and action at Yale towards creating opportunities for women to take leadership roles both on campus and beyond and works to help its members and the Yale community empower each other and learn about numerous challenges and opportunities for women around the world.

The Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program brings 16 accomplished, mid-career, global leaders to Yale's flagship leadership development program for a four-month immersive transformational journey. The work of many of the World Fellows is focused on human rights and humanitarian issues.

If there is no link to an online application in the information listed below, apply for the fellowship or grant through the Student Grants Database (SGD). The list below is not exhaustive. Please let the Schell Center know if you find additional sources of funding to add to this guide.

The Alexander P. Hixon Fellowship supports Yale international undergraduate students pursuing summer travel within the United States for research, independent projects, or unpaid/low-paid opportunities.

The Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellowship provides scholarship support for School of Forestry and Environmental Studies students from developing countries, and provides additional post-graduate awards to those students returning to their home countries to pursue environmental careers.

The Archaia Program for the Study of Ancient and Premodern Cultures and Societies Fellowship is awarded in support of research, field work, or other activities that may involve travel, language study, or other work that has a demonstrable relationship to the applicant’s ongoing graduate studies at Yale.

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship annually funds fellowships for Yale Law School graduates to spend a year working in the United States on public interest legal issues such as welfare rights, homelessness, racial profiling, indigent criminal defense, alternative sentencing courts, immigration, workers rights, and juvenile justice.

Arthur Liman Summer Fellowships are open to Yale undergraduates—with the exception of graduating seniors. The Liman Summer Fellowship offers students an opportunity to participate in public interest law projects. Summer Fellows have worked on issues such as immigrants' rights, workers' rights, prison conditions, educational adequacy, and juvenile justice.

The Charles Kao Fund supports grants to students of Yale College (including graduating seniors), graduate students in M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and graduate students in the professional schools for summer research in East and Southeast Asia. Research should focus on the impact of technology transfer processes between Asia and the West and/or between East and Southeast Asia, and the social, cultural, and political transformations in these regions.

The Clara Levillain Prize offers grants up to $2500 to students beginning research on a project with a strong and direct connection with French language or culture.

The Class of 1982 Cowles Summer Fellowship provides funding for Yale College first-years and sophomores in Davenport Residential College planning to pursue a project or internship related to public discourse or community service.

The Coca-Cola World Fund provides summer travel grants for graduate and professional student projects involving applied research or internships overseas. Projects must focus clearly on the intersection of at least two of the following fields: international law, international business or management, or international affairs and public policy.

The David Nierenberg '78 International Refugee Assistance Project Fellowship funds a one-year position in either IRAP’s Legal Department or Litigation Department. The International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons.

The Downs Fellowship supports graduate and professional Yale students who undertake health-related research primarily in low- and middle-income countries. The fellowship provides opportunities for challenging experiences abroad as Fellows create and improvise in the face of unforeseen events, acquiring new perspectives on their responsibilities and capabilities as professionals.

Dwight Hall offers a number of fellowships for students working on a range of social justice issues in New Haven.

The Edward A. Bouchet Fellowship Program is named in honor of Yale's first African-American graduate and the first African-American in the United States to earn a Ph.D. The Bouchet Fellowship is designed to increase the number of minority students and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities, who will pursue PhDs and subsequent careers in academia. The Fellowship allows undergraduates to work on paid research projects during the academic year, and to pursue full-time research during the summers between sophomore and junior years, and between junior and senior years.

The Fox International Fellowship Program is a direct two-way student exchange partnership between Yale University and twelve of the world's leading universities offering a year-long exchange.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students whose academic work includes foreign language study and whose career plans include teaching, public service or business related to African Studies, European Studies, Middle East Studies, or Latin American Studies. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are eligible to apply.

The Friedman Family Research Fellowship is a CIPE Summer Research Fellowship that supports research projects related to urban development in the U.S. or abroad.

The GALA Summer Fellowship provides a limited number of fellowships to pay for living expenses to allow students to work in unpaid internships for non-profit organizations working on political, economic, social or cultural issues that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer people.

The Ganzfried Family Travel Fellowship provides support for undergraduate and graduate students studying a variety of subjects as they relate to Israel - communal and religious tolerance and understanding, security and cooperation, natural and economic resources, environmental, scientific and technological collaboration and development, communication, culture, gender and family - or for academic work elsewhere in the field of Jewish studies. Amounts can vary up to $2,500.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition offers a number of different fellowships and grants. Graduate students can receive up to $3,000 for summer research on projects related to slavery, resistance, abolition, or their legacies. Professional school students will be considered.

Global Health Awards for Research support undergraduate, graduate and professional students committed to global health as they take their first steps in becoming leaders in the field. Student projects have ranged from a research study of human trafficking in Moldova to developing standard guidelines for HIV/AIDS prevention services in Thailand.

The Gruber Fellowship supports recent graduates (within three years) of Yale graduate and professional schools to spend a year working on issues of relevance to the fields of global justice and/or women's rights. Gruber Fellows have undertaken projects all over the world.

The Henry Hart Rice Foreign Residence Fellowships provide support for Yale students in the humanities and social sciences to conduct individual study and research for 9 to 12 months while in residence in a foreign country that is experiencing strained relations with the United States. Eligible are undergraduates who have completed at least two years of course work, including graduating seniors; graduate and professional students who have permission from their Director of Graduate Studies to take a year's leave of absence for this purpose; and graduate students at the conclusion of a terminal master's program. The fellowship stipend may cover most or all travel and living expenses in the host country.

The Heyman Federal Public Service Fellowship Program supports recent Yale Law graduates who wish to work closely with high-level leaders in the federal government for one year, either through an existing position or through a "special assistantship." The fellowship allows alumni to explore careers in public service and to bring creative, entrepreneurial ideas to the federal government. Positions that will not be considered include judicial clerkships, entry-level positions, and work for political campaigns.

The International Court of Justice Fellowship (Yale Law School students only) supports a ten-month position at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

The Keggi-Berzins Fellowships for Baltic Studies awards up to $1,500 to current Yale undergraduates and graduate students for research or language study in or about a Baltic country.

Kirby Simon Summer Human Rights Fellowships, supported by a generous grant from the Robina Foundation, provide funding for Yale students to undertake at least six weeks of human rights work during the summer. Kirby Simon Fellows have worked on a wide variety of issues at non-governmental organizations, international organizations and agencies, and international and foreign courts throughout the world. Yale undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply.

The Latin American and Iberian Studies Travel Awards at the MacMillan Center provide support for junior  undergraduates and graduate students who plan to conduct research in Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal or Spain.

The Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy provides a number of grants to graduates and undergraduates whose research focuses on political economy. Grants range from $500 to $5000. Enter "George Walter Leitner" into student database.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies offers a number of fellowships for undergraduates, graduates and professional school students for reading/discussion groups, undergraduate summer research, undergraduate scholarly research, and research, publication, and course development.

The Lindsay Fellowship for Research in Africa supports grants to graduate and professional students for summer research in order to increase understanding of Africa among Yale students and faculty.

Mary A. McCarthy Fellowships in Public Interest Law (Yale Law School students only) support public interest law projects by offering summer funding, other short-term project funding, and postgraduate funding. Project areas tend to be focused on mediation and the rights of immigrants, prisoners, criminal defendants, and women. Work products have ranged from legal briefs and evidence gathered in support of litigation to articles in national journals, informational pamphlets, and videos. Contact Norma D'Apolito for updated application information.

The Moran Environmental Fellowship supports a paid summer internship with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). It is open to students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is awarded by the NRDC and the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague offers Yale Law School graduates a unique opportunity to work on cases involving issues ranging from territorial boundaries and humanitarian law to disputes under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and commercial contracts.

The Presidential Public Service Fellowship provides a variety of opportunities for Yale students to work on economic development, human development, and neighborhood revitalization with public sector and nonprofit organizations in the City of New Haven.

The Program on Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Humanitarian Responses at the MacMillan Center provides a limited number of awards for qualified undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who wish to conduct international summer research on issues related to the refugee crises in the world.

The Program for the Study of Antisemitism provides research grants for undergraduate or graduate students who wish to pursue focused research on an aspect of anti-Semitism. Grants can be used to fund travel or research conducted at Yale. Awards typically range from $500- $3000. 

The Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights annually funds several recent Yale Law School graduates to pursue a year of full-time human rights advocacy work. Recent Bernstein Fellows have worked with EarthRights in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights in Kampala, Uganda, the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch in New York City, and Privacy International in London.

The Robert Lyons Danly 1969 Memorial Travel Fellowship is a CIPE Summer Research Fellowship that supports research in Japan.

The Robina Foundation Post-Graduate Human Rights Fellowship funds recent Yale Law School graduates to do full-time human rights work, particularly with international or foreign courts and tribunals and intergovernmental human rights agencies. Recent Robina Fellows have worked at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, USAID/Power Africa in Washington, D.C., and the Ombudsperson Institution of the Republic of Kosovo in Pristina, Kosovo.

Rustgi Fellowships are offered by the South Asian Studies Council at The MacMillan Center to support summer research for students with a demonstrated commitment to the field of South Asian studies.

The Social Enterprise in Africa Fellowship is awarded by the Council on African Studies of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies to sophomore and junior students currently enrolled in Social Economies in Developing Economies I (AFST 305).

The South Asian Studies Council Conference Grant for Graduate Students provides travel support for graduate students to attend and/or participate in South Asian Studies workshops, conferences and meetings on topics in South Asian history, politics, economics, languages and culture in the United States and internationally throughout the academic year as well as during the summer.

The South Asian Studies Senior Essay Research Grant is for undergraduate students who are doing summer research on South Asian Studies for their senior essays.

Tinker Field Research Grants are awarded for graduate students with little or no previous field experience to enable them to conduct research in specific regions of Latin America and Iberia. They are intended for master and pre-dissertation field research travel. Awards can be expected to range between $750 and $1500 and are intended to help defray travel costs only.

The Tristan Perlroth Prize for Summer Foreign Travel is awarded to current juniors in Yale College, or sophomores in exceptional cases, for summer travel outside the United States designed to enhance the student's understanding of foreign culture and/or international relations.

The William and Miriam Horowitz and David and Iris Fischer Judaica Project Funds seek to promote summer projects that will increase understanding of Jewish history, culture, or religious thought in a demonstrable way.

The Yale-Collaborative Action Project (YCAP) supports scholarly endeavors for teams of Yale students to work in the field of global health. The award supports teams of two to five students for a variety of areas, including research, practice, advocacy, policy and management.

The Yale College Public Service Research Grant (Research for a Better World) supports sophomores and juniors in all disciplines undertaking an independent, directed research project focusing on public service and studying solutions to important societal injustices or environmental problems.

Yale Law School Public Interest Fellowships (YPIF) supports recent Yale Law School graduates for full-time public interest work for one year, although some extensions may be available in limited circumstances, such as when matching funds are available from other sources. [NOTE: those interested in transnational human rights fellowships should apply for Bernstein or a Robina Fellowships and should consult with faculty in charge of those programs regarding any questions.]

External databases:

In searching for funding outside of Yale, the following might be helpful:


The Arthur Liman Public Interest Workshop meets weekly in the spring to discuss emerging issues of theory and advocacy. Students may audit this class and visitors are welcome with the permission of the instructor.

The Brown Bag Lecture Series is a series of intimate conversations with scholars of slavery, resistance, and abolition from all over the world hosted by the The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

The Comparative Politics Workshop is a forum for work in progress by Yale faculty and graduate students, as well as scholars from other universities. The workshop's methodological and substantive range is broad.

The Comparative Research Workshop promotes theory-driven, empirically rigorous comparative and historical research into a variety of issues, including state formation, social networks and movements, democracy, and citizenship.

The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) hosts speakers in the CLAIS Colloquia focusing on Latin American governance, history, and society.

The Development Workshop is designed as a forum for graduate students and faculty with an interest in economic problems of developing countries. The scope of topics includes: agricultural and rural development, industrial development, human capital investment, employment, entrepreneurship, risk consequences, incomplete markets, poverty and income distribution, structural transformation and the interaction of international trade and development.

The Human Rights Workshop, offered by the Schell Center, provides a weekly presentation on human rights issues.

The International Relations Seminar Series provides a weekly presentation on issues related to international relations.

The Leitner Political Economy Seminar hosts speakers that discuss distributive politics, American politics, global challenges, and other relevant topics.

The Political Theory Workshop provides an informal, interdisciplinary forum for the presentation of work in progress. The workshop features papers by Yale faculty members, visiting scholars, and graduate students in the fields of political philosophy, social theory, ethics, intellectual history, and related disciplines.

The Women Gender and Sexual Studies program hosts a student-run graduate colloquium where students present their own scholarly work. Students also coordinate a Working Group that focuses on new developments in gender and sexuality studies.


The Council on Latin American & Iberian Studies at the Yale MacMillan Center hosts multiple conferences each year to promote intellectual exchange and collaborations regarding Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition hosts an annual conference, attracting preeminent scholars from around the globe to discuss slavery, abolition, and resistance and to foster fascinating discussions and exciting new discoveries.

The annual Global Environmental Justice Conference at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies explores pressing topics including extractive industries and human rights, environmental governance, and adaptation in response to climate change.

The Global Health & Innovation Conference is the world's leading, largest conference on global health and social entrepreneurship conference. Each year, more than 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries attend.

The Yale Model United Nations Conference (YMUN) brings together more than 1,800 delegates from over 40 countries, connecting youth from around the world with Yale, New Haven, and each other.

The Robert L. Bernstein Human Rights Symposium, hosted by the Schell Center, brings together scholars, advocates, and students for two days of panels and events on a particular topic within human rights.

RebLaw is the largest student-run public interest conference in the country. The conference brings together practitioners, law students, and community activists from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change.

The descriptions for the following groups list students typically involved, but please contact each group individually to see if they are open to outside involvement from undergraduates, graduates, and professional school students. Undergraduate groups are denoted by "YC" and Yale Law School groups by "YLS." Student groups are organized here into the categories "Advocacy & Research," "Community," and "Publications."

Advocacy & Research

The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), based at the Urban Justice Center, represents refugee families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to flee life-threatening conditions. Students at the founding Yale chapter have worked with hundreds of families to prevent their deportations. Open to law students and undergraduate volunteers. (YLS)

The American Red Cross at Yale is an undergraduate organization working to bring national American Red Cross projects to the Yale campus. They work closely with the south central Connecticut Red Cross to organize blood drives and other community service activities and leverage Yale University’s significant people resources to provide essential blood supplies to hospitals and patients. American Red Cross blood drives Fundraising Students volunteers to manage the front reception as well as the resting area of the drive to facilitate a smooth donation experience for blood donors. (YC)

Black Students for Disarmament at Yale (BSDY) aims to strip Yale of its long existing oppressive powers in the larger community through policy reform that completely restructures policing on and off campus by the Yale Police Department. (YC)

The Capital Assistance Project (CAP) matches YLS students with public defenders from around the country to provide research support for capital defense work. (YLS)

The Yale Civil Rights Project supports students pursuing independent projects related to civil rights in the areas of civil liberties, critical race theory, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, and women's rights. (YLS)

The Green Haven Prison Project meets with a group of prisoners dedicated to self-improvement at the Green Haven Correctional Facility to discuss a current issue of political or personal interest. (YLS)

The Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project is a student run, not-for-profit organization that works on behalf of New Haven's homeless and near-homeless communities. (YC)

The Immigrant Justice Project organizes law students in support of immigrant communities in Greater New Haven and around the country. Members provide direct legal services, assist with strategic litigation, and draft appeals of immigration decisions. (YLS) 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides direct legal services to refugees seeking resettlement in the United States. Student teams, paired with pro bono attorneys from private firms, prepare a wide range of visa applications and appeals for clients fleeing persecution. (YLS)

The Lowenstein International Human Rights Project is an extracurricular human rights group at Yale Law School. Through the Lowenstein Project, small teams of students work on specific human rights issues, usually on behalf of and with guidance from a human rights or other public interest NGO. Teams conduct research, write memoranda, engage in advocacy activities, and organize events at the law school. This project may be open to graduate students and undergraduates depending on individual experience. (YLS)

The Migration Alliance at Yale (MAY) is a group of undergraduate students passionately devoted to aiding all migrants – including refugees, documented & undocumented immigrants, and asylum seekers. MAY is an umbrella organization that consists of several constituent groups, each of which take on distinct roles in serving the migrant population in Greater New Haven.

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) de Yale is an organization of students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds who have come together in pursuit of social justice, community empowerment and cultural awareness.  The organization’s social and political activism is a direct response to the problems that affect the Chicanx/Latinx population and other communities of struggle locally, nationally and globally. (YC)

The New Haven chapter of Prisme LGBT+ is a non-profit whose mission is to educate teens and younger children about queer identities at the local level. Through their educational efforts, they seek to not only introduce students to queer identities and debunk stereotypes that oppress the queer community, but also to provide students with the theoretical tools necessary to understand the oppressive social norms that are institutionalized in our society, including heteronormativity, cisnormativity, and sexism.

Refugee and Immigrant Student Education (RISE), is a Yale Dwight Hall member organization that connects and engages with New Haven's refugee and immigrant communities. Volunteer tutors work with refugee and immigrant students virtually, as part of their modified in-home program during the COVID-19 pandemic, to foster community and civic engagement. 

Reproductive Justice Action League (RALY): The Reproductive Justice Action League at Yale College is committed to the advancement of reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right, as well as the promotion of students’ control over their sexual and reproductive lives. In its protection of reproductive rights, RALY works actively within the university community and the city of New Haven to encourage discussion, educate individuals of their reproductive options, and raise awareness of national policy and legislation. Reproductive justice is a keystone of human dignity and equality. The Reproductive Justice Action League at Yale College is motivated by a mounting sense that such rights are in jeopardy–- from Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court to the attempts by the Trump-Pence administration to cut Title X funding and silence doctors on abortion. By empowering activism inside our community within a national context, RALY advances the fundamentally humanistic importance of reproductive justice. (YC)

REPROJustice is a student organization at the School of Public Health dedicated to advocating for sexual and reproductive liberties, gender equity, and social justice within public health.

Stand with “Comfort Women” is an undergraduate organization that aims to shed light on the “comfort women” issue and stand in solidarity with victims of wartime sexual violence across the world. (YC)

Students for Yemen is a student-led campaign to raise awareness about the Yemeni Crisis, end U.S. military involvement in the war, fundraise for humanitarian aid, and promote peace. (YC)

There’s Hope in North Korea (THiNK) is an undergraduate organization that strives to promote human rights in North Korea by raising awareness and engaging in discourse. (YC)

Yale Students Against Wrongful Convictions (YSAWC) aims to help remedy, prevent, and increase public awareness of wrongful convictions through education and legal assistance. (YLS) 

The Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association (YULAA) is an organization open to human rights and legal aid-interested undergraduate students, which broadly speaking promotes human rights through legal empowerment off and on campus. YULAA is focused primarily on offering its members volunteer opportunities on various legal projects in the greater New Haven area throughout the semester as well as organizing advocacy events on campus to expand awareness on legal issues that pertain to the criminal justice system, immigration, refugee resettlement, asylum-seeking, and immigration among other things. (YC)

The Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP) aims to reduce recidivism and promote dialogue around issues connected to mass incarceration. YUPP runs seven programs at three correctional facilities, as well as two outreach centers in Connecticut. YUPP's GED tutoring, literacy, and mentoring programs impact more than a hundred imprisoned or recently imprisoned individuals annually. (YC)


The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy aims to foster community-wide discussion over progressive issues in American law and provide a forum for all members of the Yale Law progressive community to pursue their interests, educate the wider community, and bring scholars and practitioners together to find the best way to effect progressive change.  (YLS)

The Asian Pacific American Law Students' Association is a community of Yale Law School students and alumni that seeks to connect and empower Asian Pacific Americans in the legal profession. (YLS)

The Yale Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is a group of students committed to the advancement of African Americans inside and outside of Yale Law School. (YLS)

The Yale Environmental Law Association (YELA) creates a community for students interested in environmental law by hosting events, providing information about opportunities in the field, and facilitating on-campus activism. (YLS)

The Yale International Relations Association (YIRA) aims to raise awareness of and foster debate about international relations and global affairs through a number of unique and ambitious constituent programs. (YC)

The Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA) supports Latinx students primarily by community building, providing professional and academic mentorship, offering opportunities for political engagement on issues confronting the Latinx community, and connecting members with Latinx alumni and practitioners.  (YLS)

The Yale Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) educates, organizes, and supports law students to ensure that a new generation of advocates will be prepared to protect and expand reproductive rights as basic civil and human rights. (YLS)

Yale Law Women (YLW) works to advance the status of women at Yale Law School and in the legal profession at large. YLW creates programming, resources, and mentorship opportunities to bolster women's pursuit of their professional and personal goals. (YLS)

The Middle Eastern and North African Law Students' Association provides a forum for engaging the Yale Law School community on the legal, political, social and cultural realities of the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East. (YLS)

The Yale Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) is an organization dedicated to providing personal, professional, and cultural support to Yale’s Native American law students and fostering a community among all law students who are interested in Indian legal issues, tribal sovereignty, and indigenous rights. (YLS)

OutLaws is an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) members of the law school. Its main goals are to provide a community for LGBTQ-identified people within YLS and to advocate for LGBTQ issues both at YLS and beyond. (YLS)

The South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) provides those interested in South Asian culture, history, and community issues at YLS a space to gather, create support networks, and form communities. (YLS)


DISTILLED is an interdisciplinary publication staffed by undergraduate, graduate, and professional students of diverse academic interests who believe that innovations in science and technology give rise to ethical and political concerns.

The Yale Globalist is an undergraduate publication with a focus on international affairs, including politics, culture, and economics. (YC)

The Yale Human Rights Journal looks to encompass the discussions and forums about human rights under the lens of health, economics, identity, politics, historical trends, and technology; it aims to capture these debates about human rights in the past, apply them to current situations, and consider future possibilities. (YC)

The Yale Journal of Law and Feminism is committed to publishing scholarship on gender, sexuality, and the law, especially insofar as the law structures, affects, or ignores the experiences of women and other marginalized peoples. (YLS)

The Yale Review of International Studies (YRIS) is an undergraduate journal dedicated to publishing both opinion and long-form scholarship on contemporary and historical global issues. In order to address the many questions of international interest, the Yale Review of International Studies seeks to stimulate broad and multi-faceted debate on issues ranging from foreign policy to international trends in law, culture, and the environment. (YC)

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science. He is the author of nineteen books that have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy.

Julia Adams, Margaret H. Marshall Professor of Sociology; Head of College, Grace Hopper College. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of state development; gender and family; social theory and knowledge; early modern European politics, and colonialism and empire.

Jennifer Allen, Associate Professor of History. She is a historian of modern Germany with a particular interest in late twentieth-century cultural practices. She teaches courses on modern German history, the theories and practices of memory modern Europe, and the history of the Holocaust.

Rene Almeling, Professor of Sociology, History of Medicine, American Studies, and Public Health (Health Policy). Her research and teaching interests are at the intersection of gender, medicine, and economics. 

Elijah Anderson, Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies. His interests include urban ethnography, race, violence, and inner-city life.

Laura Barraclough, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration; Chair of American Studies. Her scholarship integrates archival, ethnographic, and spatial analyses of urban life and culture.

Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political Science. Her interests include 19th and 20th century European social and political thought, particularly German idealism and the work of Hegel, Marx, Weber and Arendt; ethics; and contemporary democratic and citizenship theories.

Jasmina Besirevic-Regan, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her teaching and research interests include genocide and ethnic conflict, identity, nationalism, human rights, and refugee resettlement. Her academic work focuses on the Bosnian Muslim identity and disintegration of former Yugoslavia.

Ned Blackhawk, Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies. His interests include Native American history & Native American law.

David Blight, Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies. He lectures widely in the U.S. and around the world on the Civil War and Reconstruction, race relations, Douglass, Du Bois, and problems in public history and American historical memory.

Melanie Boyd, Yale College Dean Student Affairs; Sr. Assoc. Dean. She runs the Office of Gender and Campus Culture, and advises the student-run Women's Center. Both her scholarly and administrative work focuses on gender, sex, and sexuality, with a particular attention to issues of sexual violence and cultural transformation.

Stephen B. Bright, Harvey Karp Visiting Lecturer in Law. Bright was president and senior counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights, a human rights organization that deals with human rights in the criminal justice and prison systems.

Hazel Carby, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Professor Emeritus of American Studies. Carby teaches courses on issues of race, gender and sexuality through the culture and literature of the Caribbean and its diaspora; through transnational and postcolonial literature and theory; through representations of the black female body; and through the genre of science fiction.

Carolyn J. Dean, Charles J. Stille Professor of History and French. Her interests include the cultural and intellectual history of modern Europe; history of gender and sexuality; and genocide studies and the Holocaust of European Jewry.

Amity Doolittle, Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist, Yale School of the Environment. Her research focuses on property rights and how control over and access to natural resources is defined, negotiated, and contested by different stakeholders.

Kathryn Dudley, Professor of American Studies and Anthropology; Acting Director of Graduate Studies American Studies. Her research focuses on embodied knowledge and social trauma under regimes of labor that are marginalized by transformations in global capitalism.

Marcela Echeverri Muñoz, Associate Professor of History. Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationship between political subjectivities and social transformation in Latin America from colonial times to the present.

Daniel Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, School of the Environment; Clinical Professor of Environmental Law & Policy, Yale Law School. His interests include global environmental governance; environmental performance measurement; innovation and sustainability; business and the environment; and trade and the environment.

Moira Fradinger, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature. Her interests include film and intellectual history; theories of democracy; Southern European cultural exchange with South America; the Global South; critical theory; feminist theory; gender politics and global women's movements; and political philosophy.

Crystal Feimster, Associate Professor of African American Studies, History and American Studies. Her academic focus is racial and sexual violence.

Gregg Gonsalves, Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases), Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Law, and Co-Director, Global Health Justice Partnership. He is a leading HIV/AIDS activist and teaches the Global Health and Justice Practicum.

Inderpal Grewal, Professor Emeritus of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and of American Studies. Her research interests include transnational feminist theory; gender and globalization; NGOs and theories of civil society; theories of travel and mobility; South Asian cultural studies and postcolonial feminism.

Zareena Grewal, Associate Professor of American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, & Migration, and Religious Studies. She is a historical anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker whose research focuses on race, gender, religion, nationalism, and transnationalism across a wide spectrum of American Muslim communities.

Oona A. Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law and Counselor to the Dean. Her current research focuses on the intersection of U.S. constitutional law and international law, the enforcement of domestic and international law, national security law, and the law of war.

Matthew Jacobson, Sterling Professor of American Studies and History and Professor of African American Studies. His teaching interests are clustered under the general category of race in U.S. political culture 1790-present, including U.S. imperialism, immigration and migration, popular culture, and the juridical structures of U.S. citizenship.

Gilbert Joseph, Farnam Professor Emeritus of History. His research and teaching interests focus on the history of modern Latin America, particularly Mexico and Central America, on revolutionary and social movements, and U.S.-Latin American relations.

Paul Kahn, Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities; Co-Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, Yale Law School. He teaches in the areas of constitutional law and theory, international law, cultural theory and philosophy.

Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Global Health Justice Partnership, Yale Law School. Her areas of research include information policy, intellectual property law, international law, and global health.

Kaveh Khoshnood, Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Faculty Director, InnovateHealth Yale; Program Co-Director, Global Health Ethics Program, Yale Institute for Global Health; Program Director- BA-BS/MPH Program in Public Health at Yale. His primary research interests are the epidemiology, prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis among drug users, prisoners and other at-risk populations in United States and in resource-poor countries. Other interests include health and human rights and the ethical dilemmas in research involving vulnerable populations.

Ben Kiernan, A. Whitney Griswold Professor Emeritus of History. His interests include world history; Southeast Asia, early and modern especially Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and East Timor; comparative colonialism; nationalism; communism; genocide; and environmental history.

Jennifer Klein, Bradford Durfee Professor of History. Her research spans the fields of U.S. labor history, urban history, social movements and political economy. She teaches courses in labor history, 20th century political economy, U.S. urban history, U.S. women's history, and contemporary America, 1945-Present.

Albert Icksang Ko, Raj and Indra Nooyi Professor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health. His research centers on the health problems that have emerged as a consequence of rapid urbanization and social inequity.

Douglas Kysar, Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law. His teaching and research areas include torts, environmental law, and risk regulation.

Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale Law School. His interests include public and private international law, national security law, and human rights.

Marianne LaFrance, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her primary research concerns how gender and power are reflected in and maintained by subtle communication processes. The organizing theme of her research is to understand how subtle and implicit messages reveal, justify, and preserve unequal social structures.

Louisa Lombard, Associate Professor of Anthropology. She is a cultural anthropologist who studies African borderland areas where the state is largely absent. She teaches classes on sub-Saharan Africa; African politics; anthropology and law; international development and humanitarianism; war, violence, and conflict; conservation and the management of "wilderness"; and the social and historical aspects of inter-species categorization.

Mary Lui, Professor of American Studies and History; Head of Timothy Dwight College. Her primary research interests include Asian American history, urban history, women and gender studies, and public history.

Daniel Magaziner, Professor of History. He is an intellectual historian specializing in South Africa. His teaching focuses on South Africa, modern Africa, religion, political thought, popular culture, and the African Diaspora.

Ivan Marcus, Frederick P. Rose Professor of Jewish History. His interests include Europe; history of the Jews in medieval Europe; history of Jewish culture; Jewish-Christian relations; Jewish mysticism and pietism; the Jews and Islam.

Hope Metcalf, Clinical Lecturer in Law; Research Scholar in Law; and Executive Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. Her teaching and research focus on U.S.-based human rights violations, particularly with respect to people in various forms of detention.

Alice Miller, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Global Health Justice Partnership. Her interests include gender, sexuality, health, and international human rights.

Samuel Moyn, Chancellor James Kent Professor of Law and History. His areas of interest in legal scholarship include international law, human rights, the law of war, and legal thought, in both historical and current perspective. In intellectual history, he has worked on a diverse range of subjects, especially 20th-century European moral and political theory.

Catherine Panter-Brick, Bruce A. and Davi-Ellen Chabner Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs and Professor of Public Health. Her current research focuses on youth in global adversity, addressing issues of risk and resilience in contexts of poverty, disease, famine, armed conflict, and social marginalization.

Nilakshi Parndigamage, Chief of Staff and Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives. She previously worked as a human rights researcher, focusing on sexual violence in wartime and the rights of minorities.

Stephen Pitti, Professor of History and of American Studies and of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; Director, Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. His interests include History of Mexican Americans; U.S. West; Latinos; 19th & 20th century immigration; U.S.-Mexico border; and labor history.

Kristin Reynolds, Research Affiliate at the Yale Center for Environmental Justice. Her research centers on urban agriculture and social justice. She teaches courses on food and the environment, urban food systems, and food justice.

Graeme Reid, Lecturer in WGSS. He is the director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program for Human Rights Watch. He is an expert on LGBT rights and has conducted research, taught and published extensively on gender, sexuality, LGBT issues, and HIV/AIDS.

Juno Jill Richards, Associate Professor of English. Their interests include British modernism; human rights; creative writing; women's movements; and juvenile justice.

Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Professor American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; Head of College, Ezra Stiles College. Her scholarship concerns the femicide in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; transnational migration; border governance; and social movements in the Americas.

Jim Silk, Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights and Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. He is also the Director of the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights.

David Simon, Senior Lecturer and Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, Jackson School of Global Affairs. He studies African politics, focusing on the politics of development assistance and post-conflict situations (and that of Rwanda in particular).

Jason Stanley, Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy. His interests include philosophy of language; epistemology; race; criminal justice and mass incarceration; and propaganda.

Quan Tran, Senior Lecturer, American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration. Her research and teaching interests include critical refugee studies, Vietnamese boat people, Asian American studies, diaspora and transnational studies, comparative ethnic studies, migration studies, memory studies, and food studies.

Maria Trumpler, Senior Lecturer in WGSS. Her interests include gender and science, feminist critiques of science, scientific studies of sexuality, and food studies.

John Wargo, Tweedy-Ordway Professor of Environmental Health and Politics, Yale University School of the Environment; Chair, Yale College Environmental Studies Major and Program. He has lectured extensively on the limits and potential of environmental law, with a focus on human health.

Elisabeth Wood, Professor of Political Science and International and Area Studies; Crosby Professor of the Human Environment. She is currently writing two books: one on sexual violence during war, drawing on field research in several countries, and a second on political violence in Colombia. She teaches courses on comparative politics, political violence, collective action, and qualitative research methods.

Patrick Weil, Visiting Professor of Law, Oscar M. Ruebhausen Distinguished Senior Fellow, Yale Law School. His work focuses on comparative immigration, citizenship, and church-state law and policy.

Laura Wexler, Charles H. Farnam Professor of American Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Wexler's scholarship centers upon intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class with film and photography in the United States, from the nineteenth century to the present.

Jonathan Wyrtzen, Associate Professor of Sociology, History, and International Affairs. His teaching and research engages a set of related thematic areas that include empire and colonialism, state formation and non-state forms of political organization, ethnicity and nationalism, and religion and socio-political action.