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

In this issue, please find:
  • HRE USA Awarded Grant from Puffin Foundation
  • Reminder to Register as A HRE USA Partner
  • Events and Announcements
    • Art and Resistance Through Education Launches Community Workshop Series
    • HRE at Amnesty International Annual General Meeting
    • Dodd Research Center Events
  • Update from CAPAC
HRE USA is pleased to announce grant award from the Puffin Foundation
  • HRE USA has received an award of $30,000 from the Puffin Foundation to:
  • Hire a part-time communications specialist
  • Support a survey of what are the varying state policies regarding human rights education
  • Support networking at HRE conferences
A BIG thank you to the Puffin Foundation from all of us at HRE USA!!

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.

Events and Announcements

Art and Resistance Through Education Launches its Community Workshop Series

Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), a non-profit organization that engages young people around human rights education using the arts, is launching its inaugural Community Workshop Series. We are inviting HRE USA members to see if your school or organization would like to host an ARTE workshop for your community.
Please visit our page here for more information on what we can create for and with your community. We offer one hour long to full day customized workshops, focusing on the intersection of the arts, human rights, and youth development. We primarily serve teenage populations (14-19 years old), but are happy to work with populations outside of that specific age range. The form to request a workshop is available here. Please feel free to reach out to if you have any specific questions. Thanks in advance!

Dodd Research Center Events
Teacher Workshop: Teaching the Holocaust and Genocide from a Global Perspective
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center has partnered with the UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights to provide educators with expert guidance along with lesson resources and materials necessary to teaching the holocaust and genocide from a global perspective.  Registration is free.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center 
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Click here for more information]
Summer Teacher Institute: The Upstander Academy
This summer, The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the Upstander Project are proud to present a professional development academy for secondary educators using genocide and human rights education to teach about Rwanda as well as help foster a more positive school culture. The yearlong Upstander Academy will begin this one-week summer workshop for middle and high school teachers, staff, and administrators on the origins of the Rwanda genocide and discuss the principles, strategies, and approaches for fostering respect for human rights and dignity ​within schools and surrounding communities.
July 20-24, 2015
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Click here for more information []

HRE at the Amnesty International Annual General Meeting
Ellen Moore, a member of the HRE USA Steering Committee organized an Educator’s Caucus at the national meeting of Amnesty International, held March 20-22 in Brooklyn, NY. The teachers, faculty advisors, and students who attended were enthusiastic about bringing a renewed focus on education to Amnesty, not only through its campus groups, but also through expanded educational components in Amnesty’s human rights campaigns. Participants were especially interested in learning about opportunities for summer courses and opportunities for advanced degrees in human rights.

Collaborative Action, Policy & Advocacy Committee (CAPAC) Update

Take the Next Step for Human Rights Education!

The National Council for the Social Studies has taken the first step by declaring in an official position statement that:
Social studies educators in the United States have a special opportunity and a responsibility to contribute to this growing movement to build understanding and respect for the essential rights of all by integrating the fundamental concepts of universal human rights and international humanitarian law into a nurturing and yet rigorous education that prepares students to be compassionate, aware, and effective citizens and to work together to build a more livable world.
Now, what can you do – what can we do – as HRE USA partners to move this movement for universal  human rights education forward?
Some Ideas:
  • Ask human rights-related organizations with which you are connected to issue public statements commending NCSS on its position statement and asking all US states and territories to take immediate action to incorporate HRE and IHL into state educational standards.
  • Take the NCSS Position Statement to your local school board and ask them to provide for human rights education in the district’s schools.
  • Connect with your state affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies; host a session on HRE at their state meetings; ask them to support incorporating Human Rights Education and International Humanitarian Law Education into your state social studies standards.
  • Share the excitement – promote the effectiveness of HRE’s participatory methodology and core principles at local, state, regional national educational gatherings.
  • Find out when your state Department of Education and/or State Board of Education will begin the next revision of your state’s social studies standards. Become a spokesperson for Human Rights Education in that process.
  • Have coffee with a legislator you like and ask her/him to sponsor a resolution or a bill supporting teaching about human rights and about the Geneva Conventions in your state’s public schools.
  • Talk to your school district’s curriculum development specialists; offer to work with them to bring engaging, content-rich human rights and IHL lessons into existing social studies classes.
  • Talk to your child’s or grandchild’s teacher (elementary) or social studies teacher (middle and high); ask them to include HRE/IHL in their social studies classes and introduce them to the wonderful HRE resources available through the HRE USA website.
  • Reach out to student organizations (student government, Amnesty school chapters, etc.) to gain support for HRE in school settings.
  • Visit your nearest college or school of education and ask the dean or director how their teacher preparation program is preparing social studies teachers to teach about human rights and humanitarian law.
  • Write an article or an op-ed about the importance of human rights education that references the NCSS Position Statement.
  • Keep following the news through the HRE USA newsletter and explore more ways to bring human rights education into the classroom at every grade level.

Have additional ideas? Please let CAPAC know so that we can share them with the rest of HRE USA! Also, if you take any of the above steps, or other steps, please let us know what you did and what results you received, so that we can provide assistance and follow-up as desired. Contact: Adam Stone.

(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 anticipates getting the first set of lesson plans in draft form by early January 2015, and at that time Bill Fernekes will begin the review process. We are looking for additional authors, and Bill will be making a presentation to the NJ Social Studies Supervisors Association in late January to ask for their help in locating interested authors.
If you are interested in writing 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.

For further information, or to join CAPAC, please contact CAPAC coordinator Adam E. Stone at



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

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