The Human Rights Certificate offers students an in-depth and rigorous interdisciplinary study of human rights history, theory and practice, cultivating life-long learners and engaged citizens who have a deep and nuanced understanding of human rights. This year, 30 students are enrolled in the Human Rights Certificate program and 13 are members of the Class of 2021–Eritrea Temesghen, Sarah Kane, Naraya Price, Zara Porter, Jordan Diamond, De’Ja Wood, Allayne Thomas, Daniel Raftis, Cecilia Cardelle, Ce’Ondra Ellison, Stefanie Pousoulides, Olivia Kramer and Multy Oliver! Read more about them and their experiences in the program below.

Olivia Kramer
Political Science major, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Certificate ’21

“This program has made me a more attentive to the injustices people have faced and continue to face in our world. I have become increasingly driven to use my education to advocate for vulnerable persons whose rights are threatened. Moreover, I find myself able to discuss and debate contentious human rights issues with confidence in my knowledge of the subject matter.” Read the full interview with Olivia Kramer.


Jordan Diamond
English major, Jewish Studies Certificate ’21

“The Human Rights Certificate has made me a more critical thinker, better able to approach history and the modern world with a lens toward equity, justice, and the structures and interests that prevent those ideals from being realized. I know that this critical mindset will be useful in my future academic work and life in general.” Read the full interview with Jordan Diamond.  


Naraya Price
Public Policy and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill ’21

“Educational inequity and mass incarceration are both injustices that I’ve come to deeply understand through a human rights lens as I completed my certificate. After I graduate, I will complete two years teaching elementary education in DC, hopefully, go abroad for a few years, and then ultimately pursue a career in international human rights law. Therefore, I think the information and experiences I’ve gained from the certificate will continue to guide and inspire my career trajectory for many years to come.” Read the full interview with Naraya Price. 

Ce’Ondra Ellison
Psychology and African and African American Studies majors ’21

“The most impactful moment was receiving the Human Rights Summer Research grant and being able to explore the interconnection of citizenship, civil rights, and human rights as it relates to education and race in America. The interconnection between civil rights and human rights was a topic that I explored in the introductory course to human rights, and I enjoyed being able to explore that more through my summer research.” Read the full interview with Ce’Ondra Ellison.

Cecilia Cardelle

Philosophy major, Latino Studies of the Global South Certificate ’21

“I think what makes the Human Rights Certificate program unique from other programs at Duke is its versatility. The concept of human rights and discussions of its importance can be addressed in nearly every single discipline at Duke. Human rights issues include issues relevant to education, economics, health care, law, policy, and so many other fields of study. The study of human rights is relevant to any conversation or situation which involves human beings.” Read the full interview with Cecilia Cardelle. 

Stefanie Pousoulides
Political Science major, International Comparative Studies minor ’21

“I had already attended various events hosted by the Human Rights Center, and, after declaring three majors, two certificates and a minor over the course of my time at Duke, I have yet to find a program that cares more deeply about its communities and reshaping education than the human rights certificate program.” Read the full interview with Stefanie Pousoulides.


Sarah Kane
Public Policy major, History minor ’21

“The Human Rights Center puts on excellent and unique programming that really supplements the certificate’s courses. The Center also a Student Advisory Board, which is just one of the great ways for students to engage with human rights and advocacy outside of the class room. The certificate is also very flexible, allowing students to pursue a multidisciplinary education that can end up being more holistic than taking courses in a single department.” Read the full interview with Sarah Kane.

Multy Oliver
Public Policy major, Theater Studies minor ’21

“I’ve always felt like the Human Rights Certificate creates a community of individuals who really want to help the world. We’re all connected by our fascination and respect for people’s ability to live a free and fulfilled life, which I think is unique from communities created by other programs at Duke.” Read the full interview with Multy Oliver.


Zara Porter
Public Policy major, Global Health Minor ’21

My passions lie at the intersection of policy, health care, and social justice. I plan to help shape policies focused on health disparities after graduation. Thus, I am planning to use the information and experiences I have gained from the certificate to bring a more humanistic view to policy. I believe having a human rights perspective while working in policy is essential when shaping policies that impact people’s lives. Especially with everything happening in our world today, passing or not passing policies can have large implications on the daily lives of people.” Read the full interview with Zara Porter

Daniel Raftis
Biology major, Chemistry minor ’21

“Human rights is applicable to all lines of work and is something that I now feel confident enough to openly discuss and even debate in conversation. Prior to my experience at Duke I had no concept of what human rights were or how to advocate for them. Now when I approach a world problem I see the crucial role which human rights can play. I plan to continue to educate myself on the ever expanding field of human rights wherever my future takes me. ” Read the full interview with Daniel Raftis.

Eritrea Temeshgen
Sociology and Public Policy interdepartmental major, Spanish minor ’21

“I place a lot of value on recognizing the intersectionality of people’s identities and experiences and how that relates to larger social injustices that I want to participate in transforming. The multidisciplinary focus of the certificate has allowed me to dive deeper into those intersections from an academic perspective and learn from the wisdom of great thinkers, writers, and activists that have been doing this work for generations.” Read the full interview with Eritrea Temeshgen.

Allayne Thomas
International Comparative Studies major, Korean minor ’21

“This certificate is unique because it’s the only one that will really provide a comprehensive understanding on of some of the most important social moments for change in the last few decades and give a template to how to bring about the change you wish to see in the world.” Read the full interview with Allayne Thomas.


De’Ja Wood
African and African-American Studies major, Education minor ’21

“The Human Rights Certificate has helped me develop the language and memory to fight for human rights in all sectors of life. We can’t reserve conversations about justice for academic and professional settings. In order to fight for change, we must apply the teachings that the Human Rights Certificate offer in all aspects of our lives personal, academic, and professional. I think that this is important now more than ever for our generation, as we are in the midst of revolutions right now, like Black Lives Matter.” Read the full interview with De’Ja Wood.