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January 2019
A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.

Top 10 Reasons to Teach Human Rights

  1. Promotes effective, participatory teaching and learning practices.
  2. Helps address pressing issues faced by schools, including participation, attendance, classroom management, and academic achievement.
  3. Creates an inclusive school culture that generates enthusiasm, engagement, and respect for self and others.
  4. Improves student behavior and relationships; reduces bullying.
  5. Contributes to the development of higher order thinking and literacy.
  6. Provides a useful lens and “critical toolkit” to view core concepts and explore contentious issues.
  7. Creates active citizenship, helping students build connections between their own home and the world.
  8. Increases teacher satisfaction, improves morale and reduces burnout.
  9. Provides a value framework suitable for modern society that is multicultural, multi-faith, and part of an interdependent world.
  10. Offers young people something positive to believe in and support
These are just some of the many reasons that HRE USA advocates for the inclusion of HRE in national and state education policies, standards, curricula, and pedagogy. 

Want to know more about how you can get involved in ensuring human rights education is taught in your state? Contact Adam Stone to learn how you can join the effort. 

>> Learn more


  Support HRE in Schools


  Black Lives Matter at School


  Five Strategies for HRE


  USHRN report on HR in US
  MLK Day Resources
  Youth Campaign for Kindness
  Video Contest

 Guide to Storytelling for HR
 Curriculum on Islamophobia
 On the Spirit of Human Rights
 MA in Human Rights - UK
  MA in Human Rights - Finland

  Humane Education Summit
  HR Advocacy Workshop
  CTAUN Conference 



Black Lives Matter at School

Mark your calendars! The Black Lives Matter at School week of action will be held from February 4-8, 2019.

Black Lives Matter At School is a national committee of educators organizing for racial justice in education.  BLM at School encourage all educators, parents, students, unions, and community organizations to join the annual week of action during the first week of February each year.

There are many ways to participate in Black Lives Matter at School week. Some educators teach BLM lessons every day of the week, wear their Black Lives Matter At School t-shirt, organize after-school rallies, facilitate their students entering the creative challenge, develop curriculum, post on social media, and rally at the school board meeting. One easy way for everyone to participate is to sign the petition endorsing the week of action

The important thing is that you act in some way to join this movement to bring down the structures of anti-Blackness in education and affirm the lives of Black students in your classroom. 

Email BlackLivesMatterAtSchool If you or your organization would like to support or endorse the week of action.

>> Learn more 

Five Strategies for Human Rights Education

Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario, the co-chair of HRE USA and the founder and executive director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), recently wrote a piece as a guest blogger for Education Week.  In the blog post, she shared five strategies that educators can utilize to educate, inspire, and activate youth around human rights in their own communities.

>> Read the full blog post here

New Status Report on Human Rights in the United States

From US Human Rights Network

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is pleased to release its seventh annual report on the status of human rights in the United States on December 10th in honor of Human Rights Day. On this day 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) the first global expression of the rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled—was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.

This human rights report is a tool to provide advocates on the ground in the United States with a human rights framework to address their issues on the front lines.

>> Learn more and download report

Teaching the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

From Teaching Tolerance

This week schools across the country will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Teaching Tolerance has put together some useful resources to help teachers go beyond the simplified story to help students learn about this civil rights leader's life and legacy. 

>> Learn more

International Youth Campaign on Kindness


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) have launched an International Youth Campaign on Kindness for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
This campaign aims to mobilize the world’s youth to achieve the United Nations’ 17 SDGs by calling for and celebrating stories of extraordinary, transformative acts of kindness committed by youth and by showing how they are contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

Youth are encouraged to submit their stories or the stories of others they have witnessed via the campaign's website. 

>> Learn more and submit a story

Speak Truth to Power Video Contest

From Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute, the 8th annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Speak Truth To Power Video Contest invites middle and high school students to create short videos that highlight the work of a human rights defender. In creating these short videos, students can become champions of change in their communities.

The Grand Prize winning video will premiere at the NYC Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019.

Deadline: February 17, 2019

>> Learn more

Say it Forward: A Guide to Social Justice Storytelling

This new guide by Voice of Witness provides strategies and resources for creating justice-driven oral history projects.

Oral history is a universal form of storytelling. For many years Voice of Witness has shared powerful stories of people impacted by injustice with a broad audience of readers. 

Say It Forward extends this work, offering a DIY guide for social justice storytelling that outlines the critical methodology at the core of Voice of Witness’s evocative oral history collections. 

What’s Inside?

  • Information, strategies, and steps to address power discrepancies, awareness of cultural norms, insider/outsider dynamics, self-care for interviewers, and more
  • An extensive resource section for oral history, community storytelling, media options for sharing stories, community-organizing resources, and clinical psychology resources related to traumatic stories and self-care
  • Field reports exemplifying how to harness the power of personal narrative to expose larger issues of inequality
>> Learn more and purchase

Islamophobia: A People’s History Teaching Guide

Islamophobia is getting worse. The number of anti-Muslim hate groups has grown exponentially. Anti-Muslim hate crimes increased another 15% and the bullying of Muslim children in schools is on the rise. If we want to reverse these trends, we need to challenge Islamophobia with educational resources that raise consciousness and move people to action.

Teaching for Change has created a seven-lesson curriculum called “Islamophobia: A people’s history teaching guide.” The lessons teach us to rethink what we know about the history of Muslims in the U.S., including the fact that Islamophobia is rooted in a history of racism. In addition to narrative-changing content and inclusive teaching strategies, our lessons elevate the voices of activists building justice. Each lesson includes detailed teaching directions, participatory activities, and multimedia teaching resources.

In 2018, Teaching for Change introduced the lessons to nearly 400 teachers who impact 60,000 students.  The lessons are in the final stage of development and will be available in early 2019.

>> Learn more and support the curriculum

On the Spirit of Human Rights 

From Human Rights at Home Blog

Professor Dan Edelstein of Stanford University has written a fascinating new book tracing the intellectual history of human rights, titled On the Spirit of Rights.

In an interview with the Stanford Press, Edelstein described the deceptively unified-looking human rights discourse that originated centuries ago and is still relevant today.  Said Edelstein:

"I identify two types of traditions – the Anglo-American common law tradition and the continental natural law tradition. The first places great importance on criminal procedural rights within society, including the right to a trial by jury, the right against unlawful searches and seizures. These specifics are tied to the history of English common law and are not intrinsically part of natural law. For example, the right to trial by jury is ultimately about a certain right to liberty, but it’s a specific take on how we should retain that right.

The second tradition revolves around a belief that there is a sort of natural order of things. If a state and its economy are run according to natural law, then by extension, everyone living in that society would maintain their natural rights. Today, we would call that neoliberalism. This way of thinking can be traced back to the 4th-century Christian theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo, who was influential among 20th-century liberal economic thinkers.

By the late 18th century, both of these traditions have come to something kind of similar. They’re both issuing declarations of rights. The United States Bill of Rights and France’s Declarations of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen were both created in 1789. The American and French revolutionaries see what they’re doing as fairly similar.

But I argue that although it looks like they are talking about the same things, they have a very different understanding of these rights. And I suspect these differences have been carried to the present as well."

The book concludes with an analysis of the "archaeology" of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, excavating the question of whether the Universal Declaration finally unified these two intellectual strands or simply papered over tensions that persist today.

>> Learn more and order book

Masters Program in International Law and Human Rights from Åbo Akademi University (Turku, Finland)

The Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University (Turku, Finland) is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Master's Degree Program in International Law and Human Rights, starting in August 2019.

This two-year full-time program is designed to prepare its graduates for challenging careers in international organizations, NGOs, public administration and legal practice. It will also provide the requisite background for advanced research in human rights or public international law. The study program allows for individual, tailor-made specialization profiles, in areas such as international human rights law, migration and refugee law, international law and conflicts, and general international law. The program is open to those holding a law degree or another bachelor's degree with at least 45 ECTS credits in law or other relevant subjects. Successful completion of the program results in the award of a Master of Social Sciences degree. The program has a legal focus, corresponding to an LL.M. degree.

Application period: 3 December 2018 - 31 January 2019

>> Learn more
>> Apply here

Scholarships for MA in Human Rights at University of London

This MA is based on an established program developed in collaboration with leading human rights activists to provide training for future human rights professionals.

The cutting-edge content looks at human rights issues from a practical perspective as well as a theoretical and legal one. We offer a wide range of elective modules. The topics address emerging issues in human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals; or cultural genocide.

This MA provided by the University of London provides an interdisciplinary approach, with a vibrant, global mix of students and chances to learn from human rights professionals from around the world.

>> Learn more and apply

Humane Education Summit


When: February 5-7, 2019
Where: Virtual 
Cost: FREE

Three days. 27 events. 46 speakers and panelists.

This FEE-FREE virtual speaker series organized by the Humane Education Coalition will bring together education professionals in human rights, animal protection, and environmental ethics to learn, share, and network

The summit will feature unique speaker sessions and facilitated discussions from more than 45 humane education experts.  Participants will learn new strategies and tools for introducing, incorporating, and enhancing educational programs, and they'll discover opportunities for building cross-cultural connections and solving challenges.​

The Humane Education Coalition is currently seeking event sponsors. To be part of this special event to support educators around the world, click here

>> Learn more and register

Workshop on Human Rights Advocacy, Campaign Development, Engagement Strategies


When: Saturday, February 9th from 10am-4:30pm and Saturday, February 16th from 10am-1:30pm
Where: Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10027    
Cost: $400 (reduced rates available for those with significant financial need)

This two-part interactive workshop is designed to help practitioners strengthen their ability to conduct effective human rights advocacy and develop successful campaigns. 

Participants will explore the elements of an effective advocacy strategy, including issue analysis, the development of goals and objectives, and the identification of appropriate targets and tactics; learn how to tailor messages to specific audiences; discuss effective partnerships and how to build coalitions; prepare and receive input on a draft advocacy plan; prepare and participate in role plays to simulate advocacy meetings with policy-makers; discuss relevant case studies of successful campaigns. 

Each participant will be encouraged to develop an advocacy plan and role play on an issue of their choosing that is relevant to their work and/or interests.

A certificate of participation will be granted to all those who complete both days of training. Individuals who complete three workshops offered as part of the Human Rights Training Series will receive an ISHR Human Rights Training Series certificate of completion.

Workshop facilitator: Jo Becker, Advocacy Director of the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

>> Learn more and register

20th CTAUN Conference at the United Nations

EVENT DETAILS: Sunrise view from space on Planet Earth. South America zone. World in black Universe in stars. High detailed 3D Render animation. Realistic world globe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

When: Friday, April 5, 2019
Where: United Nations, New York, NY
Cost: $15-35 

The 20th Annual Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference will be held on April 5, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. 

The theme for this year's conference is:
"Our Planet, Our Crisis - What Now?"

Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment. If we do not change course by 2020, we could miss our chance to avoid the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change. The time for ambitious #ClimateAction is now.

~ UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

This conference will highlight major issues affecting our environment, and showcase efforts underway by UN agencies, governments, NGOs and individuals in finding solutions.  Special emphasis will be on the role of educators in raising awareness and as always we will provide resources for use in the classroom.  

>> Learn more and register

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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