The UCLA School of Law is launching The Promise Institute for Human Rights with the help of a $20 million gift funded in part by proceeds from The Promise, the Armenian genocide drama starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac that opens Friday.
Funding for the institute, eyed to serve as a national hub for human rights education and advocacy, also will come from other donations and university resources, UCLA said. The donation is the largest gift to launch a new institute in the history of UCLA Law.
“In so many corners of the campus, our faculty and students are focused on identifying and addressing the conditions that create social unrest, displacement and injustice,” said UCLA chancellor Gene Block. “The Promise Institute will become UCLA’s center for collaboration in this area and will greatly enhance our ability to serve a global leadership role.”
The Promise producer Dr. Eric Esrailian, a faculty member at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, spearheaded the efforts to launch the institute. It will help UCLA Law’s course offerings in human rights studies, enhance hands-on programs in human rights law and policy, publish research and policy assessments, bring experienced human rights scholars and practitioners to UCLA Law as faculty members and guest speakers, support students through fellowships and scholarships and host events.
Survival Pictures’ Esrailian produced The Promise with Phoenix Pictures chairman and fellow UCLA alumnus Mike Medavoy and William Horberg. They said in February that all proceeds from the film will be donated to nonprofits including Elton John’s AIDS Foundation.