Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Student Advocacy

Amnesty International at Brown University 

As Amnesty International's Brown University Chapter, we aim to support and contribute to the work of Amnesty's international organization by campaigning for human rights. We provide a space for students to discuss and engage with social justice issues, including refugee rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, the rights of incarcerated people, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. During our weekly meetings, we keep each other updated on current events and human rights violations. We also plan numerous events, including teach-ins, letter-writing campaigns, and fundraisers. In addition, we collaborate with the local Rhode Island Amnesty Chapter to plan events and bring speakers to campus. This year, we are working on casework that has been assigned to us by the international organization. We are advocating for the rights of two teenagers unjustly imprisoned in Bahrain. Our work on this case includes writing letters to government officials and engaging in legal research. One of our goals for this upcoming semester is to design events and campaigns that specifically target some of the human rights violations that have come about as a result of the new presidency.

Brown University Coalition for Syria

The Brown University Coalition for Syria promotes education on campus about the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis, and also facilitates fundraising and volunteering for relevant humanitarian initiatives. The group hosts educational events, raises money through raffles to support organizations such as the White Helmets and the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, and sends volunteers to the Refugee Dream Center in order to support its English as a Second Language program.

Brown Humanitarian Society

Brown Humanitarian Society aims to bring awareness to humanitarian crises, both global and domestic, to Brown’s campus and student body. The BHS attempts to bridge the gap between students on Brown University’s campus and the humanitarian sector through education, events and outreach with other campus group and organizations working in this field. The main event BHS members will co-run and grow is the Hack for Humanity, a humanitarian based hackathon event aiming to bring together participants across disciplines to create innovative solutions to humanitarian crises occurring across the world.

Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic

The Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic (BHRAC) is a medical student-led organization affiliated with Physicians for Human Rights that collaborates with medical and mental health clinicians, lawyers, and community organizations to provide pro bono medical affidavits to undocumented individuals seeking legal status in the United States. At this time, involvement in BHRAC is limited to medical students.

Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE)

BRYTE is a student-led organization that pairs Brown undergraduate tutors with students in refugee families that have recently relocated to Providence from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. BRYTE tutors help their tutees acquire critical language skills as well as cultural fluency. Tutors are required to work with their tutee for at least a year, although many tutor and mentor for much longer than this. Through the tutoring process, volunteers and tutees build strong relationships, an integral aspect in allowing refugee youth to gain the independence to excel in school and be active participants in their new community. BRYTE runs in close collaboration with the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University, and the Providence Public School District.

Solidarity with the Rohingya People 

The purpose of this club is to fundraise for Health and Education for All (HAEFA), a non-profit organization that provides free healthcare in Bangladesh to garment factory workers, rickshaw pullers and Rohingya refugees, raise awareness for works done by HAEFA as well as issues affecting this region of the world, and foster discussion of ethical frameworks in the field of global health. 

Students Organize for Syria

Brown Students Organize for Syria is the Brown chapter of the student-led movement for Syria. We work to help Syrians build a self-determined, pluralistic society by standing in solidarity with them, raising awareness of their cause, and helping to alleviate the current humanitarian crisis in Syria and the hardships of Syrians forced to flee abroad. Our chapter seeks to help coordinate and teach English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes for Syrian refugee women with the Refugee Dream Center, host awareness events and teach-ins for the Brown community, and fundraise in order to financially support the ESL classes and host events and dinners for refugees in Rhode Island.

Students for Responsible Policies in Yemen

Students for Responsible Policies in Yemen advocates for smarter, more effective, and more humanitarian American policies in Yemen. The group aims to increase awareness about the crisis in Yemen through educational sessions across campus. In addition to awarness campaigns, the group strives to transform knowledge into pro-peace political activism.