The Institute for Human Rights was initiated by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences along with key faculty members in 2014 to provide a framework for Birmingham’s human and civil rights activities and to connect the city's historical significance in the struggle for civil rights to national and international collaborative initiatives. The IHR was established in 2014 and is part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ambassador Andrew Young: "Birmingham was the cradle of the nonviolent movement for human rights." (UAB, August 30, 2013)