Grant Will Fund Women's Rights Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin

The Center for Women's and Gender Studies (CWGS) at The University of Texas at Austin has received a $450,000 grant from the Embrey Family Foundation to develop a Women's Human Rights Initiative that will promote teaching, research and activism in the areas of women's rights and human rights.

The five-year grant will allow CWGS to develop new courses for University of Texas at Austin students, develop a curriculum and teacher training program for high school classes around the state and host an international women's rights conference in May 2012.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the Center for Women's and Gender Studies," says CWGS Director Susan Sage Heinzelman. "We will offer the community, both on and off campus, a vigorous debate about the causes of women's rights abuses and begin to generate solutions that might lead to systemic and sustainable change around the world."

As part of the initiative, CWGS will offer scholarships for up to five international graduate students to study at the university each year, helping to spread knowledge about women's and human rights issues around the world.

CWGS will also develop up to 10 signature courses for undergraduates that would each be taught by multiple faculty members from different disciplines. A signature course is designed to introduce undergraduates to academic discussion and analysis of world issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Using grant money, faculty will look for ways to infuse women's rights and human rights issues into the curricula of other courses.

The planned women's rights conference will allow the university community to hear from those on the front line of the struggle for rights around the world.

"The new Women's Rights Initiative will allow The University of Texas at Austin to become one of the premier sites in the country for inquiry into women's rights issues," says Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, which is home to CWGS.

The Dallas-based Embrey Family Foundation was established in 2004 by J. Lindsay Embrey. The foundation champions the well-being and rights of all people by supporting programs that advance human rights, healthy communities, education and artistic creativity.