This interview was conducted over email with Camille Ampey, enrolled in the class of 2020 and majoring in Public Policy with a minor in Education and a Certificate in Human Rights, by Miranda Gershoni, a second-year undergraduate student working for the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Miranda Gershoni (MG): Why did you decide to pursue the human rights certificate?

Camille Ampey (CA): I decided to pursue the human rights certificate because it gives focus to my studies and allows me to learn more about how human rights and public policy are intertwined. Public policy and government actors not only have a substantial role in abusing human rights but also in protecting them and changing the national conversation around who should be considered human. This is the role I want to have throughout my future.

MG: What makes this certificate unique from other programs at Duke?

CA: This certificate is unique from other programs at Duke because it teaches a way of thinking. Although human rights as a concept encompass so many areas, the certificate program has allowed me to grow in my ethical thinking and reasoning to be able to define human rights as well as determine what it means to me.

MG: How has the multidisciplinary, experiential nature of the program affected your learning while in the certificate?

CA: These features of the program have affected my learning while in the certificate because I have been able to have a variety of experiences that are grounded by the certificate coursework. My experiences such as DukeEngage, tutoring Durham middle school students, writing OpEds, and completing art projects have allowed me to combine many skills and competencies under the guiding framework of human rights.

MG: How do you plan to use the information and experiences you’re gaining from the certificate?

CA: I plan to use the information and experiences I’ve gained from the certificate to continually educate those around me and share my perspective about the value of human rights in daily life. Through my actions, in conversations with others, and in approaching various personal and professional obstacles, I will use what I’ve learned in the program to shape how I view the world around me.

MG: What has been the most impactful moment (lecture, activity, reading, professor, etc) you’ve gained from the program?

CA: In the Introduction to Human Rights course, reading one of our first assigned articles The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates was one of the most impactful moments I’ve had in the program. In reading this piece, I felt that I was given evidence for beliefs I had always held to be true. I felt empowered by finally coming across data and a persuasive argument that articulated what I was feeling. This was the first of many moments like this throughout the program.