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July/August 2016
"Human-rights culture must be a popular culture if it is to be able to innovate and to be truly owned at the national and sub-national levels. "Education" is the word we use to describe this process, and it deserves more attention"
~ Sergio Vieira de Mello
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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Everyone can play a part in promoting HRE in the U.S.
Human rights education resources at your fingertips.
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Welcome New and Returning Steering Committee Members

Following our July election, HRE USA would like to welcome our new and returning Steering Committee members. 

Kristina Eberbach
New York, NY
Adam Stone
Carbondale, IL

>> Read bios for HRE USA's Steering Committee members

Thank you to everyone who participated in the election and for your willingness to serve and carry out the mission of HRE USA to build a vibrant base of support for human rights education within the United States.  


For Black Lives to Matter, So Must the Education of Black Students 

By Jesse Hagopian, Teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle

(Picture: Jesse Hagopian at the S.O.S rally in Washington, D.C.

Picture: Jesse Hagopian at S.O.S (Save our Schools) rally in Washington, D.C.

Philando Castile knew every name of the 500 children he served breakfast and lunch to every day. He knew their food preferences and food allergies. Parents and coworkers described him as kind to and patient with the kids he provided for every day at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in Minnesota.

But the police didn’t see an educator or a mentor when they pulled him over on that Wednesday evening and shot him to death. So let the bullet that pierced Philando’s heart also pierce through the mirage that somehow institutional racism is a thing of the past.
But when we say, “Black Lives Matter,” we don’t just mean we don’t want to get shot down by unaccountable police with impunity. We know that for black lives to matter, black education has to matter too.
>> Read full article
>> Take Action

Incarceration v. Education: Misguided Priorities 

By David Sheridan, National Education Association

State and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much as spending on K-12 public schools over the past three decades. This is the stunning conclusion of a new report from the U.S. Department of Education.

Commenting on the report, Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama was unusually blunt: “These misguided priorities make us less safe, cost us an exorbitant amount of money and betray our core values. Where there are fewer resources for schools, job training and economic development, cycles of poverty and incarceration continue unabated.”

The Department of Ed report notes: “Investing more in education, particularly targeted at-risk communities, could achieve crime reduction without the heavy social costs that higher incarceration rates impose on individuals, families and communities.”

>> Read full article
>> Take Action

Upstander Academy
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

By Glenn Mitoma, University of Connecticut 

From August 1-5, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut hosted the first Upstander Academy, a professional development institute to teachers interested in teaching human rights, genocide, and intellectual humility.  Sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation as part of the UConn Humanities Institute's "Humility and Conviction in Public Life" project, the Academy was co-designed Dodd Center Director Glenn Mitoma and Upstander Project's Mishy Lesser and Adam Mazo, and offered educators the opportunity to explore new approaches to teaching the Rwandan Genocide and cultural genocide of Native Americans in North America.

Over 25 participants from New England high and middle schools, as well as the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center worked together with facilitators, including Maine Wabanaki - State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner gkisedtanamouk, on identifying strategies to foster open-mindedness, intellectual humility, and upstanding in students and museum visitors.

Participants had the opportunity to explore these topics through the Upstander Project's films, Coexist on the Rwandan reconciliation process, and First Light a short documentary on the Maine-Wabanaki TRC, as well as consider human rights education approaches to classroom pedagogy and inquiry.

>> Learn More


Book Review: Human Rights in Children's Literature

Human Rights in Children’s Literature takes as its fundamental premise that “[i]f a primary goal of a democratic society is to have an engaged citizenry that is aware of its rights and respectful of the rights of others, then that society must educate its newest members about human rights.” 

The authors, Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham, respectively professors of law and English, emphasize that the creation of legal meaning takes place through an essentially cultural medium, and show how children’s books can convey the core values underlying human rights.

>> Read full book review
>> Learn more and purchase

New Resource: Human Rights 101 

Human Rights 101 is a free primer that provides a concise and accessible college-level overview of human rights in just sixteen pages:

I.    The universality and moral foundations of human rights
II.    The UN human rights system
III.    International humanitarian law
IV.    Regional human rights systems
V.    The role of NGOs in advancing human rights
VI.    The role of the USA in human rights

Written by HRE USA partner Professor Sam McFarland for his human rights course and published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this primer is ideal for teachers and school students alike. 

>> Download free resource

Handa Center is Hiring

The Handa Center at Stanford University is very pleased to share the announcement for a new staff position to manage strategic development and communications. 

The new Program Manager will oversee the Center's fundraising initiatives, develop and implement an effective communications plan, and support strategic program development both on campus and overseas. 

>> Read full job description
>> Apply through Stanford Careers here