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A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.
Welcome New and Returning Steering Committee Members

HRE USA is excited to welcome Yvonne Vissing as a newly elected member of the HRE USA Steering Committee. Yvonne brings a wealth of experience to HRE USA. She is currently a Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Centre for Childhood and Youth Studies at Salem State University in Salem, MA. 

HRE USA is also thrilled to welcome back Kristina Eberbach who has served on the HRE USA Steering Committee for the last 3 years as the Secretary. Kristina is presently the Director of Education for the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York, NY.

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.  


  New Committee Members
  Call to Disband Commission on Unalienable Rights


  Prevent Gun Violence


  Is Toxic Masculinity Killing Us?


   Online Course on Advocacy
   SIMA Teacher Award
   Challenge Islamophobia
   UN Immersion Program


  UPR Process Webinars 
  New ILO Convention Webinar
  UPR Cities Webinar
  Teaching Tolerance Workshops
  Human Rights Film Festival
  The Uplift of All - Gandhi-King Conference

HRE USA Joins Call to Disband State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights

HRE USA joined a coalition of civil society leaders calling for the immediate disbandment of the U.S. State Department’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights,” due to serious concerns over the commission’s purpose, process, and membership. In a public letter organized by Human Rights First, signatories expressed alarm at the extreme views of many of the Commission’s members and noted that the body’s stated purpose will harm the global effort to protect the rights of all people.

The commission was ostensibly formed to examine how the existing international consensus on human rights aligns with an interpretation of the American “founders’ ideas of individual liberty and constitutional government,” Secretary of State Pompeo said when announcing its creation earlier this month. In a letter—signed by 179 non-governmental organizations and 251 individuals, including former senior government officials, faith community leaders, scholars, educators, and advocates—HRE USA calls on Secretary Pompeo to immediately disband the body.

>> Read more

Tell Congress to Prevent Gun Violence

Learning requires a safe environment and guns pose a grave threat to students and teachers.

The recent tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton are a gut-wrenching reminder of Congress’ inaction on gun violence. It is long past time to take action to stop school shootings and mass shootings in the United States. The Senate has a bill ready that can serve as a crucial first step in keeping schools and communities safe from gun violence. 

Write your senators today. Tell them to return to Washington D.C and immediately take up S. 42 to expand background checks for gun purchases and S. 66 to ban assault weapons. 

>> Take action


Is Toxic Masculinity Killing Us?

The amount of mass shootings across the U.S. so far in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year, according to a gun violence research group. This puts 2019 on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day.

We all want to be safe and secure, and to live without fear, and that’s a human right that we all have. But in the U.S., gun violence is an epidemic that directly threatens these rights. 

Other than the use of a gun, the common denominator linking all such attacks is glaringly obvious and yet worryingly absent from much of our discussion about gun violence. This common denominator applies to all but three of the more than 150 mass shootings in which four or more people in the US were killed in public between 1966 and earlier this year. The perpetrators are not all white nationalists, but they are almost all men.

When you look at the pattern among many of the men who have committed some of the most heinous acts of violence in our nation’s recent history, they frequently share a common trait of hating, and perpetrating violence against, women. A 2017 HuffPost investigation found that in 59% of mass shootings between 2015 and early November 2017, the suspected shooter had a history of domestic violence and/or killed an intimate partner or family member in the shooting.  According to a systematic analysis of 22 mass shootings by Mother Jones, there is “a strong overlap between toxic masculinity and public mass shootings.” Virtually all of them also suffer some form of aggrieved entitlement—“an existential state of fear about having my ‘rightful place’ as a male questioned…challenged…deconstructed.” In addition to high-profile mass shootings that make national headlines, many everyday incidents of gun violence in the United States involve domestic abuse.

So while stricter gun laws seem like a no brainer, we can’t just focus on symptoms. We also need to attack this problem at its source, which is toxic masculinity. As prominent feminist Jessica Valenti puts it: “The longer we ignore the toxic masculinity that underlies so many of these crimes, the more violence we’re enabling.” 

"In an article for Teaching Tolerance entitled, Toxic Masculinity Is Bad for Everyone: Why Teachers Must Disrupt Gender Norms Every Day, Colleen Clemens writes, Toxic masculinity, the idea that there is only one way to 'be a man'—strong, tough, unfeeling and aggressive—is a double-edged sword. First, it harms the boys and men who fail to live up to gendered expectations of who they should be. Then, sometimes, these men perpetrate violence in response, leaving innocent victims in their wake. Because gender expectations amount to a moving target that no one can hit, no matter how hard they try, toxic masculinity is always a losing game. A vacuum is created when we tell a boy over and over that  he is “not a man,” that he needs to “man up” or “grow a pair.” What if that vacuum is filled by a need to prove his power? What if the proof is violence?
As educators, it is time we decouple sex from gender and talk about how this twisted brand of cultural masculinity—not biological maleness—plays a role in creating violence in our classrooms, hallways, workplaces, and sanctuaries. Once we shift the discussion away from sex and biology and toward gender and culture, then we can begin to work toward solutions." 

To get started, check out the following resources on how you can promote healthy masculinity early and teach boys and young men to recognize, reject, and challenge toxic masculinity. 

>> LIVERESPECT: Coaching Healthy and Respectful Manhood (Educator Guide) 
>> NYT Lesson: Boys to Men - Teaching and Learning about Masculinity in an Age of Change
>> ADL Lesson: The Trap of Masculinity: How Sexism Impacts Boys and Men
>> Teaching Tolerance Resources on Toxic Masculinity
>> Jackson Katz TED Talk - Violence Against Women - it's a Men's Issue
>> Article: Challenging toxic masculinity in schools and society
>> Article: 6 Harmful Effects Of Toxic Masculinity

Online Course: Strategic Advocacy: Planning & Tracking Advocacy Campaigns

Whether you’re just starting to plan a campaign and want to make it as effective as possible, or are struggling to get the results you want, this training will help sharpen your focus, identify opportunities, and add flexibility and surprise to your campaign. The online course allows you (and your team) to work at your own pace, on your own time, with feedback from our professional trainers and interaction in an online forum with your peers. This new online course is being offered for FREE from New Tactics in Human Rights.

Application Deadline: August 30, 2019.

>>  Learn more and apply

SIMA Teacher Award

At the intersection of global citizenship education and media innovation, SIMA celebrates educators and students using this pivotal space as a catalyst for change. The annual SIMA Teacher Award will honor one exceptional teacher who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to utilizing social impact media as a springboard for global education and meaningful community engagement.

The Awarded teacher will receive lifetime access to SIMA Classroom, a permanent feature on the SIMA Classroom website, and a 12-day educator tour to Qatar (all-expenses paid) provided by Qatar Foundation International.

Application Deadline: December 15, 2019.

>>  Learn more and apply

Challenge Islamophobia Project

Most teaching resources and teacher workshops about Islam and Muslims focus on increasing knowledge of religious texts, beliefs, and rituals rather than addressing the root causes of Islamophobia. This project addresses that gap by placing Islamophobia firmly within a U.S. context and shared cultural history.

The lessons are designed to avoid the need for a facilitator with specialized knowledge in Islamic studies. The lessons do not teach the details of Islamic faith and practice because Islam is not the root of Islamophobia. Our lessons invite learners to think differently by investigating Islamophobia as a form of racism born from empire.

Challenge Islamophobia is a project of Teaching for Change.

>> Learn more and download teaching resources

UN Immersion Program

This unique training opportunity will give you direct access to the United Nations’ institutions and staff, offering opportunities for networking and providing you with insights into UN career paths.

The program includes activities with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other institutions.

The aim of the program, which is hosted at the UN headquarters in Geneva, is to prepare and empower participants to work more effectively and efficiently in any international environment.

The UN Immersion Program includes expert lecturers, training workshops, guided tours and the attendance of multilateral conferences. Dedicated career development sessions will give you the opportunity to have your CV, motivation letter and LinkedIn profile reviewed.

The training sessions will include content on the United Nations system, humanitarian affairs, sustainable development, conference diplomacy, core diplomatic skills, trade and commerce, and other topics of interest.

Application Deadline: August 22, 2019

>> Learn more and register

Hold the US Accountable to its Human Rights Obligations

In May 2020, the United States will undergo a “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) of its domestic human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. The UPR is an exciting and tangible advocacy opportunity for US-based NGOs to engage the UN on strengthening human rights in the United States. The UN UPR Working Group will review the United States in April-May 2020. 

Final stakeholder reports by NGOs on the human rights records of the US are due at the end of September 2019. The US Human Rights Network is facilitating issue-based working groups who will draft and submit stakeholder reports to USHRN by September 20, 2019. 

Join the USHRN webinars to find out more about the process and the opportunity to hold the US. government accountable to its human rights obligations. 

Save the Date! Upcoming Webinars (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT)

  • August 21: Webinar #4 - Thematic/issue-based approach to stakeholder reporting, with special guests who have experience engaging with the United Nations around their issue.
  • September 4: Webinar #5 - Thematic/issue-based approach to stakeholder reporting, with special guests who have experience engaging with the United Nations around their issue.
  • September 18: Webinar #6 - A full hour dedicated to your questions on stakeholder reporting, just ahead of the submission deadline.
  • October 16: Webinar #7 - After you have submitted your stakeholder report, it’s time to talk about going to Geneva and engagement with the U.S. government. Join us for an introduction to engaging at the UPR Working Group review of the United States in 2020.

>> Learn more   

Webinar: Understanding the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention


When: Friday, August 16, 2019
Where: Online Webinar 
Time:  11:00 AM PT / 2:00PM ET
Cost: Free and open to the public

This Friday, join Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez, Executive Director of the US Human for a webinar entitled, “A World of Work Without Violence: Understanding the New ILO Convention the Context of the United States.? The webinar will consist of a facilitated discussion with labor rights leaders on the International Labour Organization’s groundbreaking new convention to end violence at work. Panelists include:

  • Magalí Brosio & Anya Victoria Delgado, Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)
  • Cassandra Waters, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  • Sulma Guzmán, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante Inc.
  • Cecilia Leiva & Roushaunda Williams, Unite Here!

>> Learn more and register

Webinar: Using the UPR Cities Strategy to Fight Racism & Xenophobia


When: Thursday, August 29, 2019
Where: Online Webinar 
Time:  6:00PM Eastern/5:00PM Central/4PM Mtn/ 3PM Pacific time zone
Cost: Free and open to the public

The Universal Periodic Review process involves reviews of every United Nations member government's human rights performance - including the United States. It was established by the UN Human Rights Council to strengthen governments' compliance with international human rights obligations, identify models of best practices, and develop greater connections between local communities and international human rights processes.

To that end, the UPR cities project, coordinated with the US Human Rights Network's Universal Periodic Review Taskforce, is galvanizing local human right cities activists to take part in this 2019 UPR review of the United States. This webinar on "Using the UPR Cities Strategy to Fight Racism & Xenophobia" is the 4th in a series for the UPR Cities initiative. Past webinars can be viewed here

To Register, please email UPRCITIES

>> Learn more

Teaching Tolerance Workshops

September 13, 2019 | Social Justice Teaching 101
September 14, 2019 | Facilitating Critical Conversations
Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe
4400 South Rural Road

Tempe, AZ 85282

Teaching Tolerance is offering the following day-long workshops in Phoenix:

  • Social Justice Teaching 101— learn how to effectively implement culturally responsive instruction in your classroom.
  • Facilitating Critical Conversations— learn how to talk openly about the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of social inequality and discrimination.

These workshops are ideal for educators working in K–12 classrooms or schools of education, administrators and those who work with or coach them. Join us for one or both! The cost of each workshop is $35. It covers workshop materials, coffee, lunch and a certificate of completion for credit hours. Group rates are available. Space is limited. 

>> Learn more and register

Human Rights Film Festival

When: October 10-12, 2019
Where: Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
Cost: FREE – registration required

Morehouse College is hosting its first Human Rights Film Festival from Thursday, Oct. 10 to Saturday, Oct. 12 in Southwest Atlanta. The film festival will offer a platform to independent filmmakers whose work promotes cultural understanding and exposes the injustices and inequalities that divide nations.

The three-day event will be held at the Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center at 830 Westview Drive SW. The lineup will feature film screenings, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and artist workshops conducted by masters in screenwriting, editing, directing, and producing films.

Oscar-winner Spike Lee, a 1979 alumnus of Morehouse College, will receive a lifetime achievement award for his body of work at the inaugural festival. In honor of Lee’s success as a documentary filmmaker and human rights activist, the festival’s most prestigious award, the “Spike Lee Award for Social Impact in Filmmaking” will bear his name and be presented annually to artists who similarly use their craft to champion social justice issues.

>> Learn more
>> Purchase tickets

The Uplift of All: Gandhi, King, and the Global Struggle for Freedom and Justice

When: October 11-13, 2019
Where: Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.

Cost: $100 for early-bird registration (by August 31) and $150 for general registration (after September 1). This cost will be waived for students (ID required for verification)

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth by presenting a major, international Gandhi-King conference from Friday, October 11 to Sunday, October 13, 2019. This conference will feature three days of lectures and panel discussions at Stanford University by prominent scholars and activists who will reassess the legacies of Gandhi and King in a contemporary global context. Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, will be an honored guest.

This historic gathering will be the first event of the Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI), an effort to build an international network of institutions, organizations, and activists committed to the nonviolent struggle for human rights. This network will seek to enhance the rich history of intellectual and political collaboration between activists inspired by Gandhi and King.

Early Bird Registration Deadline: August 31

>> Learn more
>> Purchase tickets

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 © 2019 Human Rights Educators USA, All rights reserved.

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