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August 2017
A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.

Welcome New & Returning Steering Committee Members

Following our recent election, HRE USA would like to congratulate our new and returning Steering Committee members. 
Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario
(New York, NY)
Director, Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE); Adjunct Lecturer, Art Education Department, City College of New York.
Glenn Mitoma 
(Storrs, CT)
Director, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center; Assistant Professor, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut.
The Steering Committee would like to thank 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.  

>> Read full bios for HRE USA's Steering Committee
  Congrats to Committee Members
  Responding to Charlottesville
  New UN Resolution on RTE


  Oral History Book Series
  AFSC DC Youth Summit
  Human Ed Coalition Survey


  Safe School Pledge


  Teaching Immigration
  Little Ripples Curriculum
  Resources on Racism


  Thematic Discussion in Higher Ed
  Int'l Day of Peace
  Int'l HRE Conference

Responding to Charlottesville 

Charlottesville has shaken the nation. As human rights educators, it is incumbent on us to address events like Charlottesville and especially their root causes within our classes. As Education Week Teacher Christina Torres wrote, it is essential for teachers to have honest conversations with students about racism and white supremacy.

“We must teach our students that the ‘history’ of these events is far from ‘past’ and ‘passed.’ The history our students face now is a very living thing that we must learn about in order to affect change for our future. As many of us prepare to return to our classrooms, we don’t just need to buy flowers and make bulletin boards. We need to prepare and read resources that help us make space in our classrooms to discuss these events. We need to ensure that we treat our students’ stories and the stories happening right now as a very real, living thing that our kids have the ability to change. They deserve that knowledge. They deserve that power.”

To help educators respond to the explicit hatred and violence experienced in Charlottesville and establish a safe and tolerant classroom for the coming year, HRE USA has developed the below collection of resources from our partner organizations.  For further resources, be sure to follow the twitter chat using the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.

>> Access Resource

Oral History Book Series

Voice of Witness is a nonprofit organization that advances human rights by amplifying the voices of those impacted by injustice.  The 16 books in their Oral History Book Series cover a diverse range of international and domestic issues.  Their Education Program provides consultancies, workshops, free webinars and free curriculum.  

Two new books were just released in May with new free curricular resources:

  • Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Workers in California Agriculture - These voices represent just a fraction of the more than 800,000 men, women, and children working in California's fields. The lesson plans provided include two English Language Learner-specific lessons adapted for varying language levels, as well as audio versions of short excerpts from the book.
  • Lavil: Life, Love, and Death in Port-au-Prince - With topics such as colonialism, chronic poverty, government corruption, and natural disasters, the stories from Lavil provide a rich basis for deep classroom discussion and multidisciplinary approaches to analyzing dominant narratives about a diverse and complicated country.

>> Learn more

2017 AFSC DC Youth Summit

The American Friends Service Committee proudly held its 5th annual Human Rights Summit from June 19th - June 23rd.  Thirteen youth gathered in Washington, D.C to discuss the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and would later raise their voices to advocate for their communities. This years’ summit marked the expansion of the program and need to acknowledge the Declaration as a universal document. Two of the youth were international participants. The participants spent five thought-provoking days in workshops to refine their organizing skills, advocacy, and lobby, using the human rights framework. At the end of the week the group visited the Capitol to meet with representatives and lobbied for local issues they felt deserved attention. 2 of the 13 youth received the opportunity to visit the Inter-American Committee for Human Rights. 

>> Read more

Human Education Coalition Survey

The Humane Education Coalition is conducting a survey to better understand the education-related needs and objectives of agencies in the human rights, animal protection, and environmental ethics sectors. Your responses will help the Coalition develop its partner initiatives to advance the field of humane education and support our collective efforts to create a compassionate and sustainable future. If you have a few moments, please click the link below to complete the short survey. 

>> Complete Survey

Take the Safe School Pledge

Schools should be havens. But right now, many of our students are scared, anxious, and feeling threatened. We are hearing from students and educators around the country who are encountering hostile, hateful environments in their schools and communities, with fake deportation notices being handed out and swastikas drawn in bathrooms. We are being flooded with reports of hate speech and images directed at students in our schools. Nooses. Racist graffiti. Threats to our LGBTQ students. Headscarves being torn off. Girls being assaulted. Children are hearing that they are not welcome in their schools and even in the country they call home.

There is no place for this in our schools. Educators know that this isn't about politics, but simply that every student deserves a safe, welcoming, affirming learning environment. In fact, research shows that learning is stunted when the most basic need to feel safe and respected is not met. 

Teaching Immigration with Immigrant Stories

The Advocates for Human Rights and the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) are pleased to announce the release of Teaching Immigration with the Immigrant Stories Project. This free, three-unit curriculum for grades 8 to adults helps students learn about U.S. immigration, past and present, through immigrants’ personal stories.
Each unit features several digital stories from the IHRC’s Immigrant Stories project. The project helps people create 3-5 minute original videos about a personal or family immigration experience. Students study these stories within the broader contexts of the U.S. immigration system, U.S. immigration history, and global migration conditions.
Teaching Immigration includes lesson plans, classroom activities, worksheets, background summaries, and up-to-date fact sheets. Teachers may also download PowerPoints explaining complex aspects of the U.S. immigration system. 

>> Download Curriculum and PowerPoints

Little Ripples Global Citizens - Preschool Curriculum


Little Ripples Global Citizens, an iACT education program, is a U.S. based preschool curriculum and set of resources that connects children ages three to five with their peers living in Darfuri refugee camps and attending Little Ripples preschool centers. The program moves children through a series of 20 lessons that encourage critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation in order to plant seeds of compassion. Grounded on the pillars of peace, helping, and sharing, the 20-lesson program fosters these connections through empathy-based and developmentally appropriate lessons that meet nationally-recognized preschool learning foundations.

>> Learn more

Resources to Help White Americans Learn About Race & Racism


There are no doubt complexities that come with White Americans working for racial justice. White privilege can lead to a chronic case of undiagnosed entitlement, creating poor listeners, impatient speakers who talk over others, and people unaccustomed to taking orders. Nevertheless, the movement for racial justice needs more White Americans to get involved. And it’s our responsibility to help each other get involved – and get involved productively. I compiled this list to help White Americans do so. 

>> Access Resource

Thematic Discussions on HRE in Higher Education

The University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE) will be holding a series of thematic online discussions throughout the fall for anyone interested in exploring how to advance human rights education across university and college communities. 


  • Tuesday, September 12th @1pm EST- Subject: Human Rights Courses & Curricula
  • Monday, October 16th @1pm EST - Subject: TBD
  • Monday, November 13th @1pm EST - Subject TBD

How to Join Zoom Meeting

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,,2307940030# or +16465588656,,2307940030#
Or Telephone:Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 230 794 0030
International numbers available

International Day of Peace

When: Thursday, September 20th
Where: Earth

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. 

The theme for 2017 is "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All." This focus is drawn from TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants. TOGETHER unites the members of the United Nations, their citizens and their public and private institutions in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants.

“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbors as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us build bridges;  let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights.”

Please take some time in your classes or school to explore the theme of respect, safety and dignity for all. Included in the link below are sample lessons, websites and links to materials to help  build a culture of respect and dignity where everyone feels safe.

>> Access resources

8th International Human Rights Education Conference

When: November 30 - December 3
Where: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The International Conference on Human Rights Education (ICHRE) is the forum for practitioners, policy-makers and academics to explore innovative education solutions to global challenges. This 3.5-day conference will assemble 300 participants from all over the world for practical workshops and insightful sessions featuring the latest tools, knowledge and good practices in human rights education.

The Conference Bridging our Diversities will take place during a year of important anniversaries: Canada 150, Montreal 375 and Equitas 50. The conference will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the lessons learned from Canada, Quebec, Montreal and Equitas’ experience promoting human rights, pluralism, inclusion and respect for diversity.

Early Bird Deadline:  August 30th

>> 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
Copyright © 2017 Human Rights Educators USA, All rights reserved.

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