The Donia Human Rights Center (DHRC) was founded by the Donia Human Rights Fund, which was established in October 2016 by U-M alumnus Robert J. Donia (MA '74, PhD ’76, History) and his wife, Jane Ritter, to build on their longtime commitment to focus attention on the origins, institutions, and practices of international humanitarianism and human rights. The Donia Human Rights Center will use its general contributions to support a wide variety of activities and programs, fellowships, scholarships and research projects on human rights for students and faculty across all disciplines.
The director of the Donia Human Rights Center, professor Kiyoteru Tsutsui (2013-2020) notes, "With this generous donation, the Donia Human Rights Center aspires to become a leading depository of knowledge about human rights research and practices in the world. The donation will enable us to expand our programming and embark on various ventures that would stimulate informed conversations about important human rights issues on our campus, in our local community, and on the national and international stages. We plan to host a series of individual lectures and symposia that focus on topical and regional themes. We will also enhance our international exchanges, which we started with the Korea-Michigan Human Rights Research Fellowship in 2014, and partner with many more universities in the world. We also seek to reach broader national and international audiences by inviting impactful speakers and posting recordings of our events online. Through these activities, we will be able to promote a deeper understanding about the human rights challenges that we face in the contemporary world and foster an intellectual environment conducive to high quality research on human rights. We are deeply indebted to Bob and Jane for enabling us to pursue these goals."