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Gonzaga Launches New Civil Rights Center

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University has formally launched a new Center for Civil and Human Rights. The center is affiliated with the law school. It was announced during a conference about the legal profession’s role in civil rights activism last Friday.

Jason Gillmer says Gonzaga’s new center is consistent with the Jesuit mission of, in his words, “educating the whole person to serve the public good.” Gillmer is the center’s director and a GU law professor.

“We’re always trying to move the ball forward in terms of progress in thinking of protecting the rights, particularly of those who are marginalized, who are disadvantaged, who are underrepresented,” he said.

Gillmer says the center will conduct research in civil rights-related areas and sponsor public education events. And he says the law school is now offering a certificate program for students interested in civil and human rights.  

He expects the center will also get involved in public policy issues.

“In legislation and getting involved in bigger cases that might be circulating in the Ninth Circuit or elsewhere, writing amicus briefs, participating in that sort of indirect type of representation,” he said.

Gillmer says the civil rights center will also work on occasion with the university’s Institute for Hate Studies, which, next week, will mark 20 years of work in the community.