HRE USA: A national network dedicated to building a culture of respect for human rights
Dear HRE USA Partner,

In this February, 2015 issue, please find:
  • The UN High Commissioner Delivers Major Speech on Combatting Atrocities
  • HRE USA's Website - A Closer Look
  • Human Rights Here and Now - New HRE USA mini-publication
  • Human Rights Education: Steering Committee Publications
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
  • Collaborative Action, Policy & Advocacy Committee (CAPAC) Update
  • Featured Member Organization: Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

The UN High Commissioner Delivers Major Speech on Combatting Atrocities
Washington D.C. February 5, 2015 - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, speaking at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, called for universal human rights education as means for combating the causes of the conflicts and atrocities occurring across the world. Full text of speech.

HRE USA's Website Has A New Look!!

HRE USA launched its new website on December 10th! Please check it out at Please note the change in language from "member" to "partner." We've made this change in order to better represent the collaborative nature of our relationship.

You will still receive this newsletter if you registered as a member, however, in order to participate in the "partners only" section of the website you will need to re-register as a partner. To re-register as a partner please click here.

Please feel free to engage in the "Partners' Forum," a place for partners to engage in discussion about current human rights issues and events.

Key Features in the New Site:
1. Materials for Teaching Learning and Action - Find materials and lesson plans for different human rights education topics such as: Bullying, Children's Rights, Civil and Political Rights and much more!
2. Get Started With Human Rights Education, frames ways to develop lesson plans for teaching about human rights.
3. Educational Resources - Find a listing educational resources for human rights education, as well as monthly bulletins on various topics related to human rights.
4. News and Updates - Find news and Updates on events and key human rights issues nationally and from around the world.
5. Partners Forum - Engage in discussion with other partners about human rights issues and issues in human rights education. Please note: You must be a partner to join a discussion, so join today!
6. Ways to Get Involved with HRE USA and with Human Rights Education. Find out about HRE USA projects and how you can get involved.
7. HRE USA Regions - Find your region and regional coordinator
8. Events - Find Human Rights Education events happening around the country.

Important to note: We were able to re-design the website due to a generous grant from the Puffin Foundation.

Human Rights Here and Now - HRE USA mini-publication
This is an abbreviated resource for educators addressing a contemporary issue from a human rights perspective. It offers selected resources for teaching and learning about that issue. Our first issue: Confronting Torture, is a response to the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

We hope this bulletin will encourage educators at every level to consider the human rights dimension of torture. Everyone is welcome to submit feedback and further resource suggestions on this topic. Much more information is available on the HRE USA website.

Human Rights Education: Steering Committee Publications
Journal of International Social Studies, Social Justice Issues Column
Gloria Alter, Column Editor, "Human Rights Education: What you Need to Know and How to Get Involved" (Introduction)
Rosemary Ann Blanchard, Co-VIce-Chair of HRE USA, "Mainstreaming Human Rights Education-A New NCSS Community Looks Forward” (The Development and Achievements of the NCSS-HRE Community)
Felisa Tibbitts, Founder and Senior Advisor, Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), “Human Rights Education Here and Now: U.S. Practices and International Processes” (NCSS-HRE Community Scholar Presentation at the Annual NCSS Meeting, November 2014)
JISS issue link:
Announcements and Upcoming Events:

2015 NCSS Annual Conference - Call for Proposals and Early Registration Offer (Rosemary Blanchard)
Dear Human Rights Educators,

The National Council for the Social Studies is now accepting proposals for presentations at the 2015 NCSS Annual Conference. Join NCSS  and the NCSS Human Rights Community in New Orleans at the 95th NCSS Annual Conference, November 13-15, 2015.  New Orleans' rich heritage and contemporary rebirth will be yours to experience and celebrate. You will be able to share your work with more than 3000 peers from around the U.S. and the world.

One of the key themes for NCSS 2015 is the Celebration of Human Rights. It is important that the Human Rights Education and Advocacy community be very well represented at this conference which has selected a specific human rights theme.
According to NCSS, proposals for presentations should include materials and information that address the conference sub-themes:
  • Celebrate Human Rights
  • Celebrate Social Studies and the Young Learner
  • Celebrate Sustainability
  • Celebrate Global Citizenship-Past and Present
  • Celebrate Excellence in Social Studies Education (Pedagogy & Content Knowledge)
I hope you will put NCSS New Orleans 2015 on your calendar of important events and submit proposals for presentations, workshops, and other events promoting your work in human rights education. Please use the HRE USA site and our network of supporters to plan for a strong and memorable human rights educator presence at this conference that is celebrating human rights.

If you are an NCSS member and have not yet joined the HRE Community within NCSS, please join us now. Go to "Get Connected" on the NCSS website, click on Special
Interest Communities, scroll down to the Human Rights Education Community and click on "Join".  That's all there is to it! No additional dues, fees, or fusses.

If you have any questions, want to find collaborators, or want to share your ideas, please contact me, Rosemary Blanchard, Chair of the NCSS Human Rights Education Community, through my email: We can exchange emails or arrange a time to phone conference.

The site for proposals will remain open until March 1, 2015.  
More information can be found here:
Save the Date!
March 28, 2015 International Conference on Education as a Human Right
Embrey Human Rights Program will host the International Conference on Education as a Human Right March 28th,2015 -

The Cultures of Resistance Scholarships
The Cultures of Resistance Network is excited to announce the second year of the Cultures of Resistance Scholarships at SOAS: 2015-16. This scholarship is designed to give a chance to students from war-torn countries to study for a Masters degree at the University of London,SOAS. Through this program, we hope to allow students who have been affected by civil wars and foreign military occupation to return to their home countries in the future as leaders in the fight for human rights and the promotion of grassroots democracy.
Check out the full scholarship announcement at the link below. The announcement includes lists of eligible countries and programs of study. The online scholarship application  form will become available on February 16, 2015,​ and the deadline for applications will be March 20th, 2015.
Please pass this along to any students, educators, or university administrators who might be interested in helping us to spread the word about this great opportunity for two students from the global South.
The Cultures of Resistance Scholarships at SOAS
Deadline: March 20, 2015
November 13-15, 2015 NCSS Annual Conference-New Orleans
Collaborative Action, Policy & Advocacy Committee (CAPAC) Update (Adam Stone HRE USA Co-Vice Chair)
HRE USA's Collaborative Action, Policy & Advocacy Committee (CAPAC) meets by teleconference, for approximately one hour, on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2:00 pm Eastern standard time. Members receive updates about the various projects CAPAC has undertaken, discuss issues relevant to those projects, and explore possible new projects. At present, CAPAC is providing support and technical assistance to the following ongoing action, policy, and advocacy projects:

(1) Creation in New Jersey of a Human Rights Education Curriculum Integration Guide

CAPAC anticipates getting the first set of lesson plans in draft form soon. At that time, Bill Fernekes will begin the review process. We are looking for additional author.
If you are interested in writing lessons, please email Bill at:

(2) Participation in the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Human Rights Education Community of Interest.

(3) Student-led initiatives from the members of the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (HRW STF). There are 13 STF chapters in Los Angeles high schools coordinating children’s rights camps. Students are sending letters to the President urging Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

(4) Development of a youth-engagement activity to raise awareness of HRE USA among students and to bring more students into HRE USA.

(5) Collaboration with Amnesty International USA for "Becoming A Human Rights Friendly School" (for more information, please contact: Kirby Edmonds).

(6) Development of a comprehensive plan to proactively approach US states and territories (as those entities begin to revise their educational standards) to encourage those entities to integrate HRE into any new or revised standards.

CAPAC is also dedicated to reviewing potential new collaborative action projects in conjunction with HRE USA member organizations (and other possible partners), and plans to communicate opportunities for such projects as widely as possible. Recently, CAPAC members provided vital input to the report submitted to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review regarding HRE in the US.

For further information, or to join CAPAC, please contact CAPAC coordinator Adam E. Stone at

Featured Partner Organization: Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut

Devoted to the theme of human rights, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center honors Thomas Dodd's service as Executive Trial Counsel in the International Military Tribunal, the first of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. 

Since 1996, the Dodd Center has hosted the Raymond & Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series, designed to bring internationally renowned speakers to the University of Connecticut campus to discuss human rights issues. On April 9th, the Dodd Center will host RFK Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy as this year’s Sackler Distinguished Lecturer (click here for more information).

The Dodd Center advances human rights education in Connecticut schools through its K-12 HRE initiative, promotes respect for human rights among the business community, through its Business & Human Rights initiative, and recognizes leaders in the advancement of human rights worldwide through the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights. Among the recipients of the prize are individuals such as Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Justice Richard J. Goldstone of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and organizations such as Mental Disability Rights International, the Center for Justice & Accountability, The Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Center for Justice & International Law. The most recent winner is the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

In addition to these programs, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center facility houses the  University Libraries Archives & Special Collections, the Center for Judaic Studies & Contemporary Jewish Life and the Human Rights Institute.  It is located on the main Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut.

For inquiries, please contact our Director, Dr. Glenn Mitoma, who is also a member of HRE USA Steering Committee, at



To promote human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for Human Rights Education (HRE) in the United States.

For more information, visit

HREUSA Committees Members Can Join:

Collaborative Action, Policy and Advocacy Committee (CAPAC)
For more information or to join, please contact: Adam Stone.

Membership Growth and Engagement Committee
For more information or to join, please contact: Kirby Edmonds.

Fund Development Committee
For more information or to join, please contact: Bill Fernekes.

Contact Your Regional Representative:

Start Your Own Region
To start your own region, please contact Regional Coordinator: Nancy Flowers.

2014-2015 HRE USA Steering Committee:

Gloria Alter

Social Studies for Social Responsibility
DeKalb, IL
Rosemary Blanchard Vice-Co-Chair

Alburquerque, NM
Pam Bruns

Student Task Force
Human Rights Watch
Los Angeles, CA
Kirby Edmonds (Co-Chair)

Dorothy Cotton Institute
Ithaca, NY
Bill Fernekes

Rutgers University
Flemington, NJ
Rick Halperin

Dallas, TX
Sarah Herder

Advocates for Human Rights
Minneapolis, MN
Page Hersey

University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Azadeh Osanloo

Department of Educational
Leadership & Administration NMSU
Las Cruces, NM

Glenn Mitoma

Director Dodd Research Center
UConn-Storrs, CT.
Edwin O’Brien

Former Executive Director
Street Law, Inc.
Washington, DC
Karen Robinson-Cloete

RFK Center
New York City
Kristi Rudelius-Palmer

University of Minnesota Human Rights Center
Minneapolis, MN
Sandy Sohcot-Co-Chair

The World As It Could Be
San Francisco, CA
David Shiman

University of Vermont
Burlington, VT
Adam Stone-Vice-Co-Chair

Carbondale, Illinois
Felisa Tibbitts

Human Rights Education Associates
Cambridge, MA
Patricia Wright

National Education Association
Washington, DC

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