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Keith David Watenpaugh stands at the front of a classroom putting a blue paper into a backpack worn by Naomi Danner. Both wear face coverings. Dr. Watenpaugh wears a dark green jacket and khaki pants, and dark rectangular framed glasses. His salt and pepper hair is neatly styled longer on top. Naomi stands in front of him wearing silver round-shaped framed glasses and a turtleneck blocked in navy blue, red, orange and navy blue, and light blue jeans. Her curly black hair is pulled back.
With student Naomi Danner, Professor Keith David Watenpaugh uses a backpack and other materials to demonstrate the difference between human rights and civil rights. (Tim McConville/UC Davis)

Keith David Watenpaugh Receives 2021 O’Brien Award for Individual Achievement

Human Rights Educators USA, or HRE USA, has named Keith David Watenpaugh, professor and founding director of Human Rights Studies at UC Davis, the recipient of its O’Brien Award for individual achievement for 2021.

The annual O’Brien awards were established in 2015 in memory of Edward O’Brien, a pioneer in street law programs. They honor individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to human rights education in the United States.

The organization will recognize the professor during its online Human Rights Day Celebration Dec. 10.

In announcing the award, HRE USA said Watenpaugh has led important educational initiatives at UC Davis and in collaboration with partners in the Middle East, including those to address the needs of displaced and refugee university students and professionals.

HRE USA highlighted his roles in developing Human Rights Studies at UC Davis into the largest program of its kind in the UC system, and as founding director of Article 26 Backpack. The latter, available in five languages, uses face-to-face counseling and cloud-based technology to help refugees and other displaced people document and share their educational accomplishments.

Read the full article at the UC Davis News website

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