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AUGUST 2020
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A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.

HRE USA Grant & Awards - Apply Now! 


Edward O'Brien Awards
Recognize an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution to Human Rights Education by nominating them for the 2020 Edward O’Brien HRE Awards. 

EXTENDED DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
>> Learn more  


Flowers Fund Grants
Do you have an idea to advance human rights education in the United States?  Need support?  Applications are now being accepted for 2020 Flowers Fund Grants of up to $1000. 

EXTENDED DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2020  
>> Learn more

 IN THIS ISSUE

UPDATES & NEWS

 Grant & Award Deadlines
  New Committee Members
  FREE HRE Manuals

TAKE ACTION

  Advance Voting Rights

HR IN THE CLASSROOM

  Using Fiction to Teach HR

RESOURCES

  Teaching About the Pandemic
  FREE Social Justice Films
  Course - U.S. Gun Violence
  Teach Central America Week
  Future Voters Project
  Voter Registration Grants
  SIMA - Call for Film Entries

EVENTS

  Reclaiming the Ancestors
  UN 75 Years Discussion
  Indigenous Peoples Day Teach-In

Welcome New Steering Committee Members


HRE USA is excited to welcome two new members to our Steering Committee. Congratulations to Angelica Brooks and Jessica Evans!

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the election. We look forward to serving our membership and continuing to carry out the mission of HRE USA to build a vibrant base of support for HRE in the United States.  
Angelica Brooks 
(Montgomery, Alabama)
Executive Director and Founder,
The Silent Voices Project

>> Read more

Jessica Evans
(Murray, Kentucky)
Director of Assessment and Accreditation, College of Education and Human Services, Murray State University

>> Read more

FREE Human Rights Yes! Training Manuals



Human Rights Educators USA and Gleason Printing have teamed up to help offer two free human rights education training manuals:

Human Rights Yes!: Action and Advocacy on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a comprehensive human rights curriculum on the rights of persons with disabilities developed by leading experts in the fields of disability rights, international human rights law, human rights education, and grassroots advocacy. Human Rights. Yes! is Topic Book 6 in the Human Rights Education Series published by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. It draws on the full body of international human rights law, with a focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The book utilizes an active learning approach and is intended to serve as a resource for disabled people’s organizations, human rights advocates, national human rights institutions, governmental human rights focal points, and international development and humanitarian assistance organizations.

 These manuals are FREE with the exception of paying the shipping & handling charge.

Human Rights Posters & Booklets

While shopping, please check out our UDHR posters and our  Human Rights booklets on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

>> Shop now

Advance Voting Rights

August 6 was the 55th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Voting Rights Act, key portions of which were invalidated in 2013 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder. Recent primary elections in Wisconsin and Georgia were riddled with problems—polling place closures, long lines with hours-long waits, unfulfilled absentee ballot requests, and machine breakdowns—that could have been avoided if we had the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), a direct response to Shelby v. Holder, was recently reintroduced as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Lewis, the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, helped lead the historic 1965 march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, that led to the passage and signing of the Voting Rights Act. The House passed the VRAA in December 2019, after a dozen hearings documenting the continued persistence of racial discrimination in voting. Now, it’s up to the Senate. 

Contact your senators and tell them to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

 >> Take Action

Using Fiction to Teach Human Rights

By Amnesty International

Many children’s novels and even picture books possess great power to open up new worlds and inspire a capacity for empathy. Being able to empathize makes it easier to be kind, tolerant, and willing to consider other points of view. It makes it harder to adopt prejudiced stances, helps to guard against aggression and conflict, and may even encourage people to take positive action on behalf of others. It also helps young people to put their own problems in perspective. These are all values that lie at the heart of human rights – and we can find them in novels and picture books for children.

 

‘If, by reading ... we are enabled to step, for one moment, into another person's shoes, to get right under their skin, then that is already a great achievement. Through empathy, we overcome prejudice, develop tolerance, and ultimately understand love. Stories can bring understanding, healing, reconciliation, and unity.’
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Stories, memoirs, and picture books are a great resource to help personalize human rights that may otherwise seem abstract. They can awaken students to new worlds and challenging situations. At the point of caring about Anne Frank’s fate, for example, young readers want to know what can be done to stop it happening again. Fiction, too, can be used to provoke discussion that permeates many areas of the school curriculum and creates different ways of working together and understanding each other.

>> Read full article
>> HRE Fiction Book List for K-6
>> HRE Fiction Book List for 6-12

Teaching About the Pandemic



As remote instruction continues into the new school year, The Zinn Education Project shares resources for teaching in these challenging conditions including a new lesson for students, Who’s to Blame? A People’s Tribunal on the Coronavirus Pandemic
 as well as articles, films, and resources on teaching about the history of pandemics and the connection between climate change and the coronavirus.  

The summer issue of Rethinking Schools is a special, longer issue that focuses on teaching and learning in the pandemic. In their editorial, “The Fight of Our Lives,” Rethinking Schools editors describe the summer issue as “a lamentation, but it is also a celebration — and a call to action.”

This edition includes articles about what it means to show up for students at this time, the history of anti-Chinese racism and its intersection with disease in the United States, and how 12 teachers cope and think about what it means to be an educator right now.


>> Learn more

FREE Social Justice Films from Highlander Center

The Highlander Center (TN) was founded in the early 1930s, primarily to organize unemployed/working people. In the 1950s-60s, its workshops became an important incubator for the Civil Rights movement, and onward until today, carrying on the fight for justice and equality. 

To further the cause for social justice, the Highlander Center has made available four short inspiring films to show in classrooms, libraries, EJ organizations, at 'home schools,' and elsewhere to demonstrate how 'ordinary' people working collectively can make extraordinary change. They are excerpts from a longer film by Lucy Massie Phenix called You Got To Move

Film subjects include: 1) first Citizenship School on Johns Island near Charleston, teaching how to read/write so folks can vote; 2) organizing to demand reparations from strip mines in KY; 3) environmental justice and toxic waste dumping in TN, and 4) 1969 Black nurses' strike in Charleston.  

 >> Access Films

Online Course - In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis



Amnesty International USA is now providing a new online advocacy course! In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis based on their report of the same name that examines how all aspects of American life have been compromised in some way by the unfettered access to guns, with no attempts at meaningful national regulation.

“The U.S. government is prioritizing gun ownership over basic human rights. While many solutions have been offered, there has been a stunning lack of political will to save lives,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite the huge number of guns in circulation and the sheer numbers of people killed by guns each year, there is a shocking lack of federal regulations that could save thousands.”

Acknowledging the decades of work by impacted communities and activists, the report and the course aim to support those efforts by placing the problem of gun violence in the framework of universally recognized human rights, and offering solutions within that framework that the U.S. should adopt to address the crisis.

The course contains 4 modules for you to complete at your own pace (approximately 90 minutes). By the end of this course, the user will understand the framework for why gun violence in the U.S. is a human rights violation and what needs to change!  A course certificate will be provided upon completion.

 >> Access course
 >> Read full report

Teach Central America Week


Join educators across the country for #TeachCentralAmerica week from October 5 - 11, 2020. More than four million Central Americans reside in the United States and migration from the region is headline news. However, most schools teach very little about Central America, including the long history of U.S. involvement in the region. Read about responses to the Teach Central America Week from educators across the U.S.

>> Learn more

Future Voters Project: New Resources for Teaching the Election
 


Right now is a critical time for fostering civic action and understanding in our youth.  To that end, Teaching Tolerance has created brand-new resources as part of their Future Voters Project! Check out the project to explore their new voter suppression lesson bank and review their recommendations for leading safe, inclusive voter registration drives. Sign up to receive updates every Thursday until November with new and recommended resources for registering future voters, learning about voting rights and voter suppression, and leading discussions about the 2020 election.

>> Learn more

Fund a Voter Registration Drive With a Grant from TT

 
To help encourage voters to register in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, TT is offering grants ranging from $500-$2,000 for educators in these states. These funds support school community members and students to host voter registration drives at their schools and in their communities.

DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

>> Learn more and apply

SIMA 2021 Film Awards - Call for Entries
 



Each year, the annual international SIMA Awards honor the best independent impact storytelling that stands out in it’s creativity, integrity, and merit to inspire social change. Now in its 9th year, #SIMA2021 opens for entries on September 8, 2020

SIMA is looking for original, wise, brave, eye-opening and creative productions that increase the awareness of viewers to local and global issues, to the resilience of humans facing deprivation, to the politics and movements of human rights, environmental and social justice, and to efforts and agents of change worldwide. Entry Categories include: Feature Documentaries, Short Documentaries, Virtual Reality (VR) Films, Impact Videos, Production Companies and Funders.

Finalists will be announced on January 12, 2021 and Winners on February 10, 2021.


>> Learn more
EVENTS

Reclaiming the Ancestors: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on Repatriation, Human Rights, and Justice

EVENT DETAILS: 
When: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

Description:
Over the last several centuries, Indigenous, Black, and other colonized peoples' remains have been turned into objects of study for archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scientists. This can be seen most clearly in the collection of their ancestors, often excavated from cemeteries and burial grounds and taken to museums around the world. Today, more than 100,000 Native American ancestral remains are still held in U.S. public museums alone, while an unknown number of remains of people of African descent are stored in museum collections.

What does it mean to turn human beings into artifacts? What happens to the living communities who lose control and ownership over their own ancestors and heritage? In exploring these questions, this panel will discuss how repatriation--the process of reclaiming and returning ancestral and human remains--can address inequality. The discussion will further ask how repatriation might encourage a reckoning with the colonial violence experienced by Native and Black Americans in the past, which still reverberates in the injustice their descendants face today. Bringing together Indigenous and Black voices, this panel discussion finds common ground in the struggle for repatriation and assertion of sovereignty and human rights.

>> Learn more and register

The UN at 75 Years: Prospects and Potentials: The Future We Want


EVENT DETAILS: 

When: Thursday, September 3
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm CEST (9:00 am - 11:30 am EDT)

Where: Live Stream
Cost: $15


Description:
In connection with the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter, you are invited to a forward-looking global discussion on the future of the United Nations. Under the banner of “the future we want, the UN we need,” we reflect on the global institutional arrangements that we currently have —and that may be needed in the future—to respond to the complex and inter-related challenges facing our world, including global pandemics, economic shocks, inequality, climate instability, and threats to peace and security. How can we harness our collective strength among governments, global civil society, UN agencies, the business community, youth, and the general public to design The Future We Want, The UN We Need See full program here.

>> Register

Indigenous Peoples' Day Virtual Teach-In: Food and Water Justice
 

             

EVENT DETAILS: 

When: Wednesday, September 12
Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST

Where: Live Stream
Cost: $15


Description:
Join the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and Teaching for Change for a keynote speaker and curriculum workshops. The focus of the teach-in is Indigenous peoples’ histories and experiences around food and water justice today. The keynote speaker and interactive workshops will feature classroom resources from the NMAI’s Native Knowledge 360° and the Zinn Education Project’s Teach Climate Justice campaign. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom. CEU’s will be available by request and closed captions will be offered for the keynote and selected sessions. 

>> Learn more and Register

Human Rights Educators USA is a national network that strives to promote human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for Human Rights Education in the United States.   >> Learn more 
HRE USA is a project of the Center for Transformative Action
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