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January 2018
A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.

HRE USA would like to start out 2018 by saying THANK YOU to all of our members who helped make 2017 a memorable year. As an HRE USA member, you’re a part of something that goes beyond our network. You’re a part of building a movement for human rights in your homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. A place where people with different perspectives can find common ground under the human rights framework based on the unifying principles of peace, justice, equality, freedom, and dignity for all.  

In 2018, HRE USA is committed to continuing its mission to create a vibrant base of support for human rights education (HRE) within the United States. Our goals include expanding HRE into state education standards, developing and curating curriculum available in our resource library, convening an annual membership event, and collaborating on action and research projects with our partner organizations.

We could not continue to do this important work without you.  Please help us meet our 2018 goals by joining one of our committees, making a monetary contribution, or sharing your HRE work and news with fellow members. Not a Member? Become one today.   
  Thank You!
  HRE USA Awards Ceremony
  Int'l Conference in Montreal


  Black Lives Matter at School
  NCSS 2018 - Call for Proposals & Reviewers


 Teaching Immigration to Immigrants
  Human Rights Fellowship


  Human Rights Training Series
  STEM and Human Rights Ed.
  CTAUN Conference
  Teacher Summer Institute

HRE USA Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, November 16th, 2017 HRE USA held Its annual reception and awards gala in San Francisco, CA. The ceremony celebrated the 2017 winners of the Edward O’Brien Award for Human Rights Education which recognized both an individual as well as organization, institution or program that has made an outstanding contribution to human rights education in the United States. 

The 2017 individual award was presented to Mariana Leal Ferreira.  As one nominator said of her: “I witnessed Ferreira’s work as a math and human rights educator in Brazil (working in dire conditions during the military dictatorship, 1964 -1985)…[S]ince her doctorate at Berkeley, her work as a human rights educator has supported curricula in public schools on Indigenous reservations in North and South America. … Now, more than ever, I believe in her mantra: “If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any!”

The organizational award was given to the Voice of Witness Education Program. The program serves more than 20,000 people annually, providing curricular support in human rights education and empathy based learning. Its oral history pedagogy has been used to train a broad range of advocates for human rights and dignity, including educators, writers, journalists, documentary filmmakers, attorneys, and medical doctors.
This year, HRE USA also recognized Nancy Flowers with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of dedication, innovation, and mentorship in advancing human rights education. Nancy was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues many of whom shared their own personal stories and thank you messages attesting to the impact Nancy has made on their lives through her human rights work.
>> Watch Video of Flowers Award Ceremony 

Furthermore, in honor of Nancy Flowers, HRE USA established the Flowers Fund. Under her guidance, the fund will be used continue Nancy's legacy of innovation and mentorship in human rights education. Please consider contributing today to help us advocate for and further develop programming that supports human rights education and our ultimate goal of making human rights a reality in each community. >> Donate Now 

Mariana Leal Ferreira (with award on right) and the Voice of Witness (VOW) Education Program (Cliff Mayotte with award on left)
Nancy Flowers (2nd from left) visiting with friends and colleagues following the award presentation. 

HRE USA at 8th International Human Rights Education Conference in Montreal

Twenty members and advisors represented HRE USA at the International Conference on Human Rights Education in Montreal in early December.  Now in its 8th year, this conference has grown from a small, rather traditional gathering of academics and representatives of Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOS) (e.g., the Council of Europe, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) to become a global forum for the multifaceted HRE movement. In addition to academics and IGOs representatives, the 300 participants from 58 different countries included a rich diversity of NGO, artists, teachers, and many undergraduate and graduate students. 

Left to right: Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, Glenn Mitoma, Carolyn Rapkievian, Mirelle Lamontagne and Rebecca Norlander copresented a workshop entitled, “Museums: a Space for HRE in Action.”

Workshops and plenary panels, including four organized by HRE USA members, reflected the conference theme of “Bridging Our Diversities.” The conference Declaration set forth some forward-looking recommendations for HRE’s future in regard to national and local governmental authorities, higher education institutions, civil society organizations, and IGOs that will be of interest to all human rights educators.  

>> Read More

Black Lives Matter At School 

Attention Educators in the Washington D.C. area!

You are invited you to endorse and participate in the D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools from February 5-10, 2018 to bring social justice issues into the classroom and empower students of color across the D.C. area.

D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice,  Center for Inspired Teaching, the Washington Teachers’ Union, D.C. area educators, and community members are collaborating on D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools. This week of action builds on the momentum of National Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Our Schools campaign taking place in cities across the U.S. to promote a set of local and national demands focused on improving the school experience for students of color.

Each day will explore two to three of the Black Lives Matter movement thirteen guiding principles. In school, teachers across the district will implement Black Lives Matter Week of Action curriculum designed for pre-K through 12th grade classrooms. In the evening, there will be events for educators, students, stakeholders, and community members to actively engage in the movement.

The goal of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools is to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversations in school communities for people of all ages to engage with critical issues of social justice. It is our duty as educators and community members to civically engage students and build their empathy, collaboration, and agency so they are able to thrive. Students must learn to examine, address, and grapple with issues of racism and discrimination that persist in their lives and communities.

>> Learn More

NCSS 2018 - Call for Proposals and Reviewers!

The National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) invites you to submit a proposal to present a session and to review presentation proposals for selection by the program planning committee.  The 2018 NCSS Conference will be held November 30 - December 2 in Chicago, IL. The theme of this year's conference is "Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow: Building the Future of Social Studies." 

Proposal Deadline: February 26

Whether or not you submit a proposal, please consider becoming a proposal reviewer.  As a reviewer, you will rate 12-15 proposals. The work is done entirely online, and you will help ensure that the conference reflects NCSS member’s interests and needs.  As an added incentive, reviewers receive a 10% discount on the conference registration as a thank you for their work. 

>> Submit a Proposal
>> Sign up to be a Reviewer

Tasting History: How to Teach Immigration to a Class of Immigrants

by Jessica Lander, Facing History and Ourselves

In my US history classes this fall, we’ve been exploring the journeys of immigrants who came to these shores early in the 20th century. We have listened to accounts from Ellis Island and examined Emma Lazarus’ inscription on the Statue of Liberty.

As I searched for the unit’s final project, I found many proposed activities that began the same way: “Have your students imagine they are immigrants coming to a new country.”

Here I am in luck. Most of my students won’t have to “imagine.” I have a classroom full of experts.

The students I teach hail from 39 countries. Their immigrant stories are just as diverse. I have students born in Thai refugee camps; students who have escaped war in Iraq; and students who have flown from the bustling cities of Brazil in search of economic opportunities. 

Immigrant and refugee students bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experiences to our classrooms — not to mention the perseverance it took for them to get here in the first place. But too often, our approach to these learners focuses on the one thing they often lack: English. In the academic hierarchies of high schools — AP, honors classes, college-level classes — English learners often sit on the bottom rung.

It’s obviously true that these students need to master English to thrive in American colleges and professions, but we’re missing something important when we focus so intently on their deficits. We’re overlooking how much they have to offer.

>> Read More

Human Rights Innovation Fellowship

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is inviting applications for its Human Rights Innovation Fellowship on the topic “Resisting Criminalization.”  ndividuals or non-profit organizations with an innovative project that is relevant to the fellowship’s theme can apply.  In addition, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, research centers, grassroots organizations, and UUSC partners may apply for the fellowship. The fellowship will provide funding up to $25,000.

Application deadline: January 17

The fellowship proposal should address a major challenge facing individuals and/or communities who are criminalized in the  United States. Criminalization refers to policies and practices that stigmatize, scapegoat, and profile whole communities as “criminal” or “terrorist.” UUSC’s primary goals in this campaign are to advance community protection strategies and expanded sanctuary, decriminalize poverty, and advance restorative justice.

>> Learn more and apply


Human Rights Training Series

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University is holding two workshops as part of its Human Rights Training Series!

Human Rights Advocacy, Campaign Development, and Engagement Strategies

When: Saturday, January 20th and Saturday, January 27th
Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Where: Columbia University, International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027
Cost: Early bird rate of $295 for those who register by December 21st.  Regular rate of $345.

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

>> Learn more and register

Human Rights Research and Documentation

When: Saturday, February 10th and Sunday, February 11th
Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Columbia University, International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027
Cost: Early bird rate of $295 for those who register by December 21st.  Regular rate of $345.

This two-day interactive workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ human rights research and documentation skills, primarily for the purposes of human rights policy and advocacy.

>> Learn more and register

AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting will focus on "STEM Education and Human Rights”

When: January 25 - 26, 2018
Time: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm

Where: AAAS Headquarters, 1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC
Cost: $50 (General) $10 (Student) 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Coalition on Science and Human Rights invite you to their next coalition meeting that will focus on the use of human rights in STEM education. At a time when many educators say their students crave new ways to apply what they learn in class to global challenges, a growing number of STEM educators are finding that integrating human rights into their teaching sparks their students’ interest in applying research theories and methods, engages them in research on issues of relevance to their community or society more broadly, and gives practical context to scholarly debates around ethical responsibilities, and the roles of stakeholders.

Can a broader adoption of these experimental approaches improve STEM education, including learning outcomes, retention, and diversity? What resources can be drawn from the human rights education movement’s practices and pedagogies? What are the opportunities for collaboration across disciplines to strengthen these efforts? Meeting participants will learn from case examples and contribute to discussions aimed at identifying key challenges, considering potential models for integrating human rights into STEM education, and articulating needs and opportunities for mentoring and other types of support. 

A live stream of the sessions on January 25 will be available on their website.

>> Learn more and register

2018 CTAUN Conference

When: Friday, April 6th, 2018   9:30 - 4:00 pm
Where: United Nations Headquarters, First Avenue and 45th Street, New York,  NY 10017
Cost: $65 

Registration is now open for the 2018 Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference. The theme of this year's conference is "Stepping Up to Protect the World's Children."  This all day conference This all-day conference will shed light on some of the serious challenges faced by children worldwide, has well as by children in our own communities. We will look at what can be and is being done at the UN, by NGOs, by educators and others, including children themselves, to help them overcome and rise above these most difficult circumstances.    

>> Learn more
>> Register for event

The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives

When: July 9-27
Where: Duke University, Durham, NC
Stipend/Award: $2700 (The stipend is intended to help participants cover travel, housing, meals, and basic academic expenses)

Application deadline: March 1st

This summer teaching institute was designed by a collaborative team of scholars, veterans, and educators from Duke, the SNCC Legacy Project, Tougaloo College, and Teaching for Change. Participants (classroom teachers in grades 7-12) will learn the bottom-up history of the Civil Rights Movement and receive resources and strategies to bring it home to their students. They will have the unique opportunity to learn from the people who made the civil rights movement happen, and from the leading scholars of the era. Three key narratives will serve as the focus of this institute:

  1. The movement thrust forward its leaders, not the other way around.
  2. The tradition of protest grew out of a long history of activism in the black community.
  3. Grassroots activism was the major engine that led to legislative reforms.

>> Learn more and apply

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 © 2018 Human Rights Educators USA, All rights reserved.

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