Man with glasses and beard on right with young women in head covering on left filling in infomation computer on table
Keith David Watenpaugh, right, helps a Syrian refugee student fill her Article 26 Backpack at the American University of Beirut.

Professor Wins Human Rights Education Award

Keith David Watenpaugh, founder and director of Human Rights Studies at UC Davis, has received the 2021 O’Brien Award for Human Rights Education. A leading historian of human rights, Watenpaugh has led important educational initiatives at UC Davis and collaborated with partners in the Middle East and beyond.

One of his major accomplishments has been developing the Article 26 Backpack, a cloud-based mobility tool that empowers refugees to safely store and securely share educational training documents. The UC Davis Human Rights Studies Program in the College of Letters and Science is the largest program of its kind in the University of California system.

“I see this award as a wonderful recognition of the work and commitment of the many faculty from across the college who have built the UC Davis Human Rights Program, which is among the largest and most comprehensive in the country,” Watenpaugh said. 

The award is given by Human Rights Educators USA, an organization that develops training, material and networks for teachers, and will be presented on Human Rights Day on Dec. 10. It is named in honor of Edward O’Brien, a pioneer human rights educator.