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September 2016
"Peace does not just mean putting an end to violence or war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty."
~ Aung San Suu Kyi,
Burmese politician and activist
To promote human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for Human Rights Education (HRE) in the United States.
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>> Steering Committee
Everyone can play a part in promoting HRE in the U.S.
Human rights education resources at your fingertips.
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>> School-wide involvement


Positive Changes to California History and Social Studies Standards 

HRE USA member, Rosemary Blanchard, played an instrumental role in advocating for critical changes to California's History/Social Studies Framework relating to human rights.  As a testament to her efforts, not only were some HRE USA's recommended changes taken word for word but HRE USA was specifically mentioned in the new Framework. Now the California History/Social Science Curriculum Framework provides ample opportunities and guidance to educators to incorporate HRE into the education of California children.  

>> New Human Rights Language in CaliforniaFramework
>> Entire California History/Social Studies Framework

ICE raids creating an education problem, not solving an immigration crisis

By Kate Snyder, National Education Association 

(photo above by Alerta Migratoria NC)

The Obama Administration’s Operation Border Guardian has created a crisis in schools across the country. Instead of focusing all of their efforts on violent criminals or convicted felons, ICE agents are seizing students at school bus stops and on their route to school—a practice that has resulted in a significant drop in attendance in some schools. 

The case of Wildin Acosta, the North Carolina high school senior seized at a bus stop as he headed to school one morning, has garnered national coverage and moved communities to action. Wildin spent six terrifying months in a detention center awaiting deportation until the united efforts of educators and community advocates secured his release.

“Wildin’s plight and the actions of dedicated teachers and community members who wrote petitions and came to Washington to make their voices heard have focused attention on misguided enforcement of a bad patchwork of policy,” said RosaMaria Cordova, an NEA member and new teacher mentor for Arizona public school teachers.

RosaMaria 1
Arizona teacher RosaMaria Cardova

“There are thousands of young people like Wildin,” observed Cardova. “These raids have a terrible impact on students, families, and educators across this country.”

>> Read full article
>> Take action

Palisades Charter High School HRE Summer Institute

By Kristin Ghazarians, Human Rights Watch Student Task Force

Building on last summer's successful Human Rights Education (HRE) Institute at Palisades Charter High School, HRE consultant, Nancy Flowers, returned to join more than 50 faculty and students to further expand HRE on campus. In the morning, participants focused on how to implement and disseminate the newly drafted Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (SBRR), which we believe is the first SBRR rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the United States.

While speaking about the importance of human rights education from a student's perspective, guest speaker Amy Calfas said, "HRE is important because it makes curriculum come alive, adds greater complexity to the lesson plan, equips students with tools to produce change in their local and global community, and is transformative because it gives students a voice and a sense of agency."

After lunch attendees focused on identifying ways to include HRE in their coursework and to make it part of the school-wide culture.

The event was co-hosted by Palisades Charter High School and the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force.

>> Learn more and download free resources


Curriculum of Hope Newsletter

We all need hope.Hope is what keeps us working toward our goals in life and hope allows us to consider positive possibilities for changing undesirable or
even intolerable situations.  Once critical way educators can help to impact change in our troubled world is to ensure that all students have hope.  Check out the latest edition of the Curriculum of Hope for a Peaceful World Newsletter for ideas on how to create hopeful environments in the classroom

>> Download Newsletter

Education in Crisis Blog:
Human Rights Values in Education

By Sneh Aurora,Consultant, Human Rights Education and Advocacy

Human Rights and Values in EducationThese days the news is full of stories of attacks on refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Hatred of ethnic, cultural and religious minorities is expressed more openly, not only by extremist groups, but also by politicians and on social media. This fuels discrimination towards and social exclusion of minorities, which is a growing challenge to countries in Europe and elsewhere. Marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people, face discrimination and exclusion not only by the public but also by professionals in the education, healthcare and law enforcement sectors. Our children are bullied and harassed in schools due to discrimination and prejudice.

The more I read news reports and hear individual experiences, the more I am convinced that our education systems are failing to foster the attitudes and skills needed to help our children appreciate diversity and difference, and to build mutual respect for human dignity and shared values.  As a human rights educator, I have seen the power of human rights education to developing a culture of human rights and a society that embraces dignity, inclusion and equality.

>> Read full blog