Professor Trucios-Haynes Appointed as Director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice

Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes has been appointed as Director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville. According to the institute’s mission statement, it advances the work, study and practice of peacebuilding, social justice and violence prevention through the development of innovative educational programs, training, service and research.

“I am committed to the values of the MAI [Muhammad Ali Institute] relating to the promotion of peace and social justice. The MAI focuses on initiatives that support human dignity, foster responsible citizenship, further peace and justice and address the impact of violence in local, state, national and international arenas,” said Professor Trucios-Haynes, who, in addition to her new director’s role, also serves on the Metro Louisville Ethics Commission, as Vice Chair of the board of the ACLU of Kentucky and on its Executive and Litigation Review Committees, and directs an Immigration Externship at the Brandeis School of Law.  “My longstanding work around the social justice issues in immigration law and policy, as well as international human rights law is clearly related to the mission of the [institute]. The opportunity for collaboration with the Ali Institute is particularly exciting.”

One attractive aspect regarding her work for the Ali Institute, said Professor Trucios-Haynes, is gaining the ability to witness and assist the work of Ali Scholars, whom she called “future leaders in their communities.” In the Ali Scholars Program, the students, among their other duties, are expected to select an expert area related to peace or social justice on which to focus, conduct research on a topic related to his or her expert area, and, finally, design and implement a local, national or international project related to his or her expert area. Part of the program also includes a biannual international trip that helps provide the scholars a global perspective on the lessons learned and matters emphasized during the program; this year, nine UofL students in the Ali Scholars Program visited Rwanda, a country only two decades removed from the genocide that occurred within its borders.

With so many great features, staff, and students already, what’s potentially next for the Ali Institute under the direction of Professor Trucios-Haynes?

“I hope to expand the presence of the MAI in the university and local community by focusing on local, national and international impact of violence affecting teens,” she said. “I plan to reinvigorate the faculty resource group to work on research projects related to the impact of violence on teens in our local community. At the national level, I hope the MAI can investigate the issues relating to the violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that has led to the humanitarian crisis of the large scale migration of unaccompanied children and families to the United States.”