For many, a prerequisite to peace is the development of compassion and respect. One path to cultivating that compassion and respect is to articulate a core set of rights that all human communities can embrace.  Building on the College's success of the Peace Studies Program, which is generously funded by the Schmidt Family Foundation, and supported by the Lynn-Wold-Schmidt Peace Studies Endowment, this initiative seeks to bring together the various entities on campus invested in the themes of Human Rights, Peace and Social Justice, both locally and globally.

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Based on the strength of our faculty´s teaching, research, and creative accomplishments and the dynamic community partners with whom we work, the Initiative  has established five central areas of inquiry and action, which we expect will grow as the Initiative matures and prospers.

> Inequalities & Social Inclusion

> Environmental Justice
   & Sustainability

> Mindfulness & Wellbeing

> Conflict, Violence
   & Genocide

> Creative Expression
   & Social Change


Mehmet Gurses Dr. Mehmet Gurses, Associate Professor in Political Science received funding from Zeki Fesih Mert to establish the Mert Family Peace Research Fund. The funding will support program and research efforts of Dr. Gurses in post-civil war peace building and democratization.

 The  Atas Peace Fund   was also created to support program and research efforts of Mehmet Gurses in post-civil war peace building and democratization to continue academic excellence in this field for other scholars and students at FAU





2015 Ethics Bowl

2015 Ethics Bowl:  This year's Ethics Bowl was a great success! 25 undergraduate students participated in the inaugural ‘Ethics Bowl’ on FAU’s Jupiter Campus on Friday, March 27, 2015. The event was sponsored by the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative with additional support from the Wilkes Honors College. Six teams were given an ethical controversy to debate, and after stating and defending their position, they fielded questions from four faculty judges. Among the topics were ‘Ethics in the workplace’, ‘privacy in public places’, and the extent to which the state can regulate people’s choices, such as, to refuse to undergo surgery or to purchase unhealthy foods. The winning team (shown in the photo along with the faculty judges) consisted of John Blozinski, Kaitlyn Shotwell, Sean Crary, Nolan McKenna, and Andrew Faris.

Tenzin Palmo

 Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo shares her welcome of the new year with an inspirational message of peace, courage and the wisdom of staying connected to yourself. See the highlights on Boca Mag TV.   Watch the video


Doris Sommer

A public lecture and panel discussion titled Art Works: Cultural Agents Tackle Urgent Social Challenges was held on Monday, October 6, 2014 at Florida Atlantic University’s University Theater. Attended by more than 150 people, this lecture featured Dr. Doris Sommer and was made possible by the University Galleries, the generosity of Lalita and Walter Janke, and the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative (PJHR).   More...

Human Rights Day 2014
Several leading legislators continued the push for equity during Human Rights Day at the Florida Capitol. State Senator Dwight Bullard from Miami, brought in noted leaders in education and human rights. Dr. Rose Gatens, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education at Florida Atlantic University and Gracia Bennish, President of United for Human Rights Florida were just two of the presenters. More…

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PJHR 2015 events

 >> Printable list of PJHR Events through Spring 2015. View list...

  Barb Schmidt Tedx Boca Raton
>> PJHR Community partner Barb Schmidt is the former owner of six successful McDonald’s franchises, and in this TEDx talk, she will discuss her journey from a high-powered, but unhappy, entrepreneur to an enormously successful, and happy, businesswoman and spiritual mentor, who knows firsthand that outer peace is achieved through inner peace. She will share her insights and strategies for greater mindfulness, meaning, and purpose in life. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.   Watch here...





 Last Modified 5/12/15