Prof. David Weissbrodt Wins Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award
David Weissbrodt, founder and co-director of the Human Rights Center, a member of the Law School faculty since 1975 and a local, national, and global leader in human rights advocacy, has been named a 2014 recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award. The honor recognizes educators who have inspired their former students to “create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large.”
Weissbrodt was nominated by two former students, Bret Thiele (‘99) and Mayra G?mez, who founded the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) in 2010 with Weissbrodt’s support and encouragement. The GI-ESCR seeks to end global poverty by addressing its causes, using a mixture of strategic litigation, advocacy for women’s rights, and development of human rights. It has had a number of successes to date, including stopping the Bulgarian government from evicting members of the Roma community from their homes and securing compensation for Kenyan families who were forcibly evicted from theirs.
In their nominating letter, Thiele and G?mez said Weissbrodt sparked their interest in human rights through his classes at the Law School and by inviting them to intern with him when he was doing human rights work with the United Nations in Geneva during the summers of 1999-2001. “Our experiences in the classroom and in Geneva with Professor Weissbrodt led us to the conclusion that human rights abuses are particularly devastating in the area of economic, social, and cultural rights, causing us to form the GI-ESCR…. He is an inspiration to everyone who meets him, not only his students.”
“It’s not surprising that Bret and Mayra were inspired to create their organization by Professor Weissbrodt,” said Dean David Wippman. “He quite literally ‘wrote the book’ on human rights law; his textbook, International Human Rights: Law, Policy and Process is one of the most-often used in the field. His human rights students work on real projects, and his energy has stirred a dozen of his colleagues—including myself—to contribute our efforts to human rights scholarship. Outside of his work at the University, Professor Weissbrodt has helped to establish several human-rights organizations, including The Advocates for Human Rights and the Center for Victims of Torture.”
Weissbrodt will receive the award at a special ceremony in Atlanta on Nov. 15.