LOS ANGELES — The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law has received a $20 million gift to launch a new institute that will serve as a national hub for human rights education and advocacy. The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law will be generously supported by proceeds from the feature film “The Promise,” as well as other donations and university resources. The donation is the largest gift to launch a new institute in the history of UCLA Law.
“In so many corners of the campus, our faculty and students are focused on identifying and addressing the conditions that create social unrest, displacement and injustice,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “The Promise Institute will become UCLA’s center for collaboration in this area and will greatly enhance our ability to serve a global leadership role.”
The institute will advance the law school’s already-extensive work in the field of human rights. Law school faculty and students will collaborate with scholars in other disciplines from across the UCLA campus, and the institute will train the next generation of human rights leaders and develop strategies to address crises around the globe.
Dr. Eric Esrailian, the lead producer of “The Promise” and a faculty member at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, spearheaded the effort to establish the institute.
“The Armenian genocide must never be forgotten, and this need was one reason why we made ‘The Promise,’” Esrailian said. “However, human rights tragedies — in Syria, the Congo and South Sudan and a global refugee crisis — continue to unfold today.
“The Promise Institute is so named because UCLA and the UCLA School of Law are making a commitment to keep the promise to the victims of human rights abuses — that we will create the tools and train people of integrity and talent to address these crises. Out of the darkness of the Armenian genocide and our film, we will bring light into the world to help people who need it today.”