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

In this issue, please find:
  • Call for HRE USA Steering Committee Nominations
  • Updates and Announcements
  • Update from CAPAC
  • From the  Regions
    • Southern California
      • Student Taskforce Year End Workshop
  • HRE USA Featured Partner-NEA
  • Join HRE USA as a Partner
Call for HRE USA Steering Committee Nominations

There are two seats opening up on the steering committee to be elected by the HRE USA membership.

You can nominate yourself or someone else.

The deadline for nominations is June 15, 2015.

Please send your nominee(s) to Karen Robinson (HRE USA secretary).

Once we have the candidates confirmed we'll send out a ballot in early July.

Eligibility for HRE USA Steering Committee:
Any US-based partner of Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) is eligible to serve on the Steering Committee. International members should be engaged in human rights education activities in some capacity in the USA.
HRE USA assumes that all members subscribe to its values statement:
HRE USA is committed to the basic human rights principles of human dignity, equality, and non-discrimination as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In all our undertakings we value diversity, inclusiveness, transparency, integrity, accountability, responsibility, and respectful, honest communication and sharing.
Responsibilities of HRE USA Steering Committee members:
  1. To attend monthly conference calls (approximately one hour).
  2. To promote human rights education in the USA and seek to build HRE USA’s membership and resources.
  3. To serve on at least one Steering Committee committee or assume another major responsibility in the network (e.g., HRE USA officer, Regional Representatives).
HRE USA Decision-Making Policy
  • HRE USA uses a consensus-based framework for decision-making.
  • The Steering Committee and other working groups can choose other decision-making approaches when time constraints do not permit full discussion of issues.
  • Decisions should be guided by the mission and values of the network.

Updates and Announcements

New Publication: Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms: Exemplary Models from Elementary Grades to University
Edited By Susan Roberta Katz and Andrea McEvoy Spero
About the book
Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms presents ten research-based human rights projects powerfully implemented in a range of US classrooms, from elementary school through community college and university. In these classrooms, the students—primarily young people of color who have experienced or witnessed human rights abuses such as discrimination and poverty—are exposed for the first time to thinking about their own lives and the world through an empowering human rights lens. Unique in integrating theory and classroom practice, and in addressing human rights issues with special relevance for communities of color in the US, Katz and Spero provide indispensable guidance for those studying and teaching human rights.
Discount offered until June 30th with this flyer!!

“The Last Survivor” Educational Resource Guide:
“The Last Survivor”: April was Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Honor victims of genocide by watching the "The Last Survivor" (22 mins).
“The Last Survivor is an award winning documentary that presents the stories of four Survivors and their struggle to make sense of tragedy by working to educate a new generation, inspire tolerance and spark a civic response to mass atrocity crimes. The film follows survivors of four genocides and mass atrocities - The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur and Congo" (The Last Survivor Website). An educational resource guide is available.

Check out the HRW Student Task Force website for more Genocide Awareness and Prevention resources.
Links: 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 has gotten the first set of lesson plans in draft form and the review process is underway.

If you are interested in writing lessons, ore reviewing 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.

From the Regions
Southern California

Student Task Force Year-End Leadership Workshop (Kristin Ghazarkis)
The Kindness of the Hangman
May 5, 2015: Fifty-five students, teachers and guests listened in awe of Dr. Henry Oster, Holocaust survivor, as he shared his story at the STF Year-End Leadership Workshop. Graduating STF intern Alexa Mencia said, “An experience like meeting Dr. Oster would have significantly shaped my course of study and action as a high school student.” As a young teen, Henry and his mother survived deprivation in the Lodz Ghetto, thanks to the kindness of the Ghetto’s hangmen who gave him extra bread, only to be later separated in a life-or-death selection in the Birkenau extermination camp. Shortly before his liberation from Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, Henry made it through a firing squad in Auschwitz, being strafed by an Allied fighter, and starvation.

“A ‘seed,’ or ‘kernel’ is all it takes to see something blossom into widespread killing. The task that you have is to avoid apathy through awareness…” Henry said to encourage STFers to continue fighting for human rights. “The idea of living with intent to teach like you do, to teach avoidance like you do, is a life task and thank you for doing it!”
See more photos from the event! Learn more about Henry from his book: The Kindness of the Hangman!

HRE USA Featured Partner-National Education Association (NEA) 
(Patricia Wright)

The National Education Association (NEA), primarily through its Human and Civil Rights Department, has been an HRE-USA partner since HRE-USA’s inception. With its three million members, NEA is the largest professional organization/union for educators in the United States, and many human rights educators in K-12 public schools are also NEA members. Social justice and human rights tenets are embedded in the NEA vision, mission and core values, and the organization advocates tirelessly for its members and the students and families they serve.

Currently, the organization is engaged in a full-out campaign to close “opportunity gaps” for students. The central campaign message is that a student’s chances for success should not depend on living in the right zip code, winning a charter lottery, or affording private school. Every child deserves access to a system of publicly funded, equitable and democratically controlled public schools. When we short-change some students, we short-change our nation as a whole.

Watch the NEA video to see how educators can work at local, state, and federal levels to ensure that all students have more one-on-one attention, inviting classrooms, and a well-rounded curriculum.

Reminder to Register as an HRE USA Partner
HRE USA launched its new website on December 10th! Please check it out at

Please note the change in language from "member" to "partner." 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.

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


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

Copyright © 2015 Human Rights Educators USA, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp