Human Rights Day

The annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day is a day-long event. Each year a keynote speaker is featured along with several other speakers, interactive workshops, and a variety of other activities. While centered on the Indiana State University campus, the programming represents the work of many individuals from both ISU and the Terre Haute community, and will involve both public school and university students.

Human Rights Day will take place on March 2, 2021 virtually. Local high schools will participate on this day through virtual engagement. Community partners and school administrators who would like access to this virtual engagement please reach out to the Center for Community Engagement at 812-237-2334 for more information.


Speakers for the day:

Speaker sponsored by CANDLES




Derek Rhodes is a nationally recognized business and community leader who understands just how powerful people are and how untapped their potential to change the world might be. 

While serving as a White House intern under President Obama, Derek learned how to leverage storytelling to help others unleash their inner power to create change, as he had done during his time in the President’s Office of Scheduling and Advance and the US Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs one year prior. 

His children’s book, Jimmy for the City, published in 2016, teaches young readers the importance of local, civic engagement and breaks down the unique world of politics to an approachable level for educators and students alike.  In 2019, Derek founded the Durham Success Summit, a one-day leadership conference for college-aged young men of color looking to create change in their communities and lives.

Featured in Business Insider for his commitment to community and development work in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, Derek has made access, equality, and opportunity pillars of both his professional and personal life. 

Currently, Derek works full-time as the Director of Business Strategy for the Miami HEAT where he structures innovative approaches to solve business and policy objectives. Prior to joining the Miami HEAT, Derek worked in strategy at Google’s Creative Lab in New York City, and most recently, returned to the Obama world leading strategy and operations for the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in Washington, D.C. 

He graduated from Duke University in 2015, where he earned a degree in Public Policy Studies and Political Science and holds a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard University.    Presentation Title: How to Change The World

At some point, each of us have been inspired to do something. Yet, how that “something” is defined varies by individual. If we are inspired to change the world, figuring out a beginning point can be tough or near impossible, not to mention navigating this unique space of. In this keynote address, learn:

• How Derek leveraged personal experience to chart his journey toward a professional and personal life dedicated to community despite challenges, setbacks, and doubts;

• What he learned about the process of making change working alongside some of the world’s most renowned changemakers, and;

• How you too can make a lasting, authentic, and meaningful contribution to everyone in this world using his first-hand methodology - yes, it’s possible


Nick McCreary

Creighton University, Sustainability Director


Nick McCreary works in the Office of Sustainability at Creighton University. Nick studied geology, political science, and philosophy a DePauw University. It was at DePauw where he began working on campus sustainability issues - as a senior he initiated a recycling program for campus tailgating events. In graduate school he worked in the Office of Sustainability at Saint Louis University. From 2017-2020 he has served as the Sustainability Coordinator at Indiana State University. 

During the October 22nd Presidential Debate, President Trump said the communities living near oil refineries and chemical plants are "making a tremendous amount of money." This statement is wholly untrue. The majority of Americans who live near industrial sites are either poor or people of color - typically both. These communities domestically and worldwide shoulder the burdens of climate change and industrial pollution. We will start the presentation with a quick overview of how historic systematic and structural racism condemned these communities to a life of poverty, health issues, and land insecurity. But, the majority of the presentation will focus on a solution - a Just Transition. Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.


Tirey Hall 134A
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809

812.237.2525 fax

Office Hours:

8:00 am - 4:30 pm