Professor James Silk ’89 Receives Human Rights Award
Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights James J. Silk ’89 was awarded the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award by the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) on January 4, 2019 in New Orleans.
At the Law School, Silk also directs the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, which gives students firsthand experience in human rights advocacy. Silk also coordinates the Robina Human Rights Initiative, which provides support for human rights-related research, clinical education, teaching, and programming; visiting human rights faculty; and the promotion of careers in human rights, through academic-year scholarships, summer fellowships, and post-graduate fellowships.
Introducing Silk to the audience, Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow Paul Linden-Retek ’12 praised Silk’s “attunement to the suffering and the cruelty of the world, to the need to defend our ideals and one another.”
In his remarks, Silk explained that “our goals first are for our students’ learning. Learning the knowledge and the skills they need to be effective advocates for human rights. But also developing certain principles and practices that I believe are a crucial foundation for that kind of work.”
Previous winners of the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award include Bryan Stevenson, Congressman John Lewis, Sherrilyn Ifill, Zahra Billoo, and the Law School’s Harvey Karp Visiting Lecturer in Law Stephen B. Bright.