[GLI] Human Rights Lab

Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice

“Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.”
– Studs Terkel, American writer, historian, actor, and broadcaster

The city of Rome has long been a battleground for civil rights, a melting pot of multicultural diversity and revolutionary power struggles. Home to the Vatican as well as being the Capital of Italy, Rome provides ample opportunities to investigate questions of human culture, equity and social justice.


The Human Rights Lab consists of courses in Equity, Diversity and Social Justice. Some areas of further research include; Diversity in Mediterranean history, Global Migration, Indigenous and Changing Regional Cultures, Community Service and Civic Engagement, Memory, Oral History and Monuments, Gender and Women’s Studies.

Courses from the Catalog

  • HRL 101 Social Justice in Italy
  • HRL 201 Contemporary Italy: Culture and Society
  • HRL 301 Smart Cities and Participation: Urban Planning for Equity in Italy
  • HRL 401 Refugee Flows at the Mediterranean Crossroads 
  • INT 101 Academic Internship

SERVICE LEARNING AND INTERNSHIPS in Equity, Diversity and Social Justice

Students may take part in workshops and field experience involving human rights organizations, NGOs, international aid and immigration. Our internships are curricular, followed closely by our faculty who coordinate public symposia and publications.

Students interested in enrolling in an academic internship while abroad will receive individual advising as our staff works to find the best customized internship placements for our students. As part of the Human Rights Lab at the Borromini Institute, you could have the chance to intern with an non-profit working to aid recent immigrants or fight for climate justice.

Hear from Historian Mary Beard about Rome’s Historic Immigration Issues

In this speech, Mary Beard points out that looking back at Rome can provide valuable insights into contemporary issues like migration and citizenship. In ancient times, Rome was a place of asylum, where refugees and asylum seekers could become Roman citizens. There was no concept of illegal migration, and the Romans freely granted citizenship to people. 2000 thousands years on, the world has changed and we face different challenges. However, understanding ancient cultures and their perspectives can help us reevaluate our own views on contemporary issues.


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