Moral Courage

The Moral Courage Project

Even in the 21st century, our world continues to witness, confront and survive genocide and mass atrocities. From the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to the voting booths in Kenya to the small villages of Sri Lanka, widespread and systematic human rights violations persist despite the growth of international human rights and humanitarian law. For every case of violence, abuse and exploitation, however, there are stories of people relentlessly fighting these same injustices. In all communities, one can find individuals who are standing up on behalf of others in danger, regardless of the risk in doing so. These people embody moral courage. These people are what Ambassador Samantha Power's calls human rights "upstanders." This project aims to tell the stories of upstanders and by giving a face and name to this notion of moral courage, this project seeks to inspire others to be upstanders and to confront injustice in their own communities.

Even though we don't often hear about it, moral courage can save lives. It is critical to have a better understanding of these extraordinary acts among ordinary people as the global community continues to grapple with how best to respond to emerging violence. It is the aim of this project to bear witness to the heroic work being done by seemingly average people across the world and to bring these stories to light in order to better understand the impact of micro-level human rights advocacy

This project, which is a collaboration between the NGO, PROOF: Media for Social Justice (PROOF) and the University of Dayton Human Rights Center (HRC) and the Human Rights Studies Program (HRS), represents a new initiative to study, collect, archive and publicize instances of moral courage around the world. It will involve University of Dayton faculty and undergraduate students and will rely upon the leadership of Leora Kahn, Founder and Executive Director of PROOF and UD Human Rights Center Fellow.

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Human Rights Center

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300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2790