Letter from the Director


Greetings from Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights!

The CCHR was founded over forty years ago by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s then-president and founding member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  Fr. Ted spent fifteen years on that commission grappling with the many dimensions of race discrimination in our nation and engaging with government leaders and citizens alike about how to realize the promise made at our nation’s founding – that all “are created equal.”

Fr. Ted founded the CCHR to ensure that Notre Dame remained at the forefront of the fight for civil and human rights.  The CCHR’s mission is to advance the God-given dignity of all human beings.  Our research engages pressing questions regarding how to prevent and remedy civil and human rights abuses.  Our educational programs, an LL.M. and J.S.D. in international human rights law, have trained more than 350 human rights advocates from over 90 countries.

As an integral part of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, the CCHR’s justice-focused work contributes to the Keough School’s mission of promoting integral human development.  We feel privileged to be a part of Notre Dame’s first new school in nearly a century and to have the opportunity to deepen our commitment to research and education in support of human dignity.

We at the CCHR are grateful for your support of our mission and work. 

In Notre Dame,

Jennifer Mason McAward
Associate Professor of Law
Director, Center for Civil and Human Rights