The Ford Foun­da­tion has rec­og­nized Northeastern’s School of Law for its com­mit­ment to pro­mote human rights and sus­tain­able eco­nomic devel­op­ment, awarding the school a $300,000 grant to bol­ster its schol­ar­ship in these areas.

The non­profit foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cated to advancing inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion to end poverty and injus­tice, awarded the grant to the law school’s Pro­gram on Human Rights and the Global Economy. The pro­gram con­nects social and eco­nomic jus­tice activists around the world with scholars whose work focuses on solving a slew of social and eco­nomic problems.

Northeastern’s law school is among a select few that have received funding from the foun­da­tion for this sort of work, said law pro­fessor Martha Davis, fac­ulty director of the program.

Davis, who worked closely with the foun­da­tion to help the law school secure the grant, said that North­eastern is uniquely posi­tioned to build bridges between scholars and activists “because of our con­nec­tions to the advo­cacy world through co-​​op and fac­ulty mem­bers, many of whom have prac­tical expe­ri­ence and remain engaged with real-​​world issues.”

The award is an endorse­ment of what we’ve been able to accom­plish without grant sup­port,” she added. “It’s really a vote of con­fi­dence that will enable us to sig­nif­i­cantly expand our work and effectiveness.”

The law school intends to use the grant to hire an exec­u­tive director in order to increase the vis­i­bility of the pro­gram; to host a con­fer­ence on immi­grants’ rights; and to create an online sem­inar series on eco­nomic and social rights issues as a way to bridge the gap between scholars and activists.

Advo­cates are very savvy,” Davis said, “but they don’t read law reviews. We’re hoping to scout out schol­ar­ship that will actu­ally be stim­u­lating and useful to them in their day-​​to-​​day work.”

The pro­gram cur­rently pro­duces an online human rights law journal that is cir­cu­lated inter­na­tion­ally, and has spon­sored a series of human rights law training ses­sions for lawyers and judges. A global work­shop con­vened by the pro­gram will look across nations to con­sider the crit­ical issue of domestic judi­cial authority over eco­nomic and social rights.

The Ford Foun­da­tion award is the program’s first major grant. An ear­lier, smaller grant from the Mass­a­chu­setts Foun­da­tion for the Human­i­ties funded devel­op­ment of a cur­riculum on race and human rights issues in the United States.