Community Partnerships

Albion students and community partners work together to explore the connections between human rights ideas and human rights practice and how local and global norms shape each other.

Lab members and their community partners research, write, and advocate for equitable, rights-based policy practices locally.

Promoting Purple and Gold on Tour

Caitlyn CummingsDeveloping Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Modules for the Albion College Admissions Department

Caitlin Cummings is creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) curriculum to train the tour guides at Albion College on how best to include information about DEI initiatives and adequately communicate the values of the college as an anti-racist institution.

Albion College’s Tour Guide Program consists of approximately one hundred tour guides who give tours to prospective students and their families around campus. The tour guides have a wealth of experience and knowledge about college history, resources, and campus life, but are not always prepared to discuss topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on tour. As Albion strives to implement standards of equity and inclusion, tour guides must be prepared to be at the forefront of conversations about the school’s mission and values.  The goal of these trainings is to increase the confidence of tour guides to communicate these values and navigate the questions families might have.

The project links Albion College values with human rights standards to produce a training curriculum that promotes equity, inclusion, and belonging on the Albion campus. Caitlin is excited about the opportunity to develop her human rights skills and put them into practice serving the community of Albion. Caitlin is also involved in other Human Rights Lab projects including developing the Advocacy Bootcamp training curriculum and contributing to the online human rights and social justice advocacy toolkit.

Human Rights Based Policing Policy in Albion Michigan

Niyati Kellenberg CallewaertNiyati Kellenberg Callewaert is collaborating with the Political Action Committee of the Albion branch NAACP on policing policy. Niyati has been comparing the United Nations human rights standards for policing practices with the State of Michigan’s training curriculum and the practices of the Albion police department. In the process, she has discovered discrepancies in the length and content of police training.

Niyati’s research aims to better align the Albion Police Department, the Michigan police academic training curriculum, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the United Nations Training Standards. Niyati’s policy analysis calls for additional mandatory cultural competency, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training and increased socialization between the community and policy.