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

  • UPR Town Hall Meeting in Washington, D.C. 
  • Media release to welcome NCSS support of HRE
  • Vote on HRE USA Steering Committee members
  • Welcome to new Communications Specialist
  • HRE MOOC in Development - Feedback needed!
  • Ten Best Human Rights Videos
    • "Human Rights Education, Postcolonial Scholarship, and Action for Social Justice."
    • Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms
    • The World as it Could Be - Human Rights Education Program Summer Institute (August 4-6)
    • Speak Truth To Power Summer Institute for Teachers (August 18-20)
    • NCSS Annual Conference (November 13-15)
    • UCEA Annual Convention (November 20-23)
    • Human Rights Director of Community Engaged Learning - Stanford
    • International Human Rights Law Legal Advisor - American Red Cross
    • International Journal of Social Studies Column Editor - NCSS
  • San Francisco
  • New York
  • Become a Regional Representative for HRE USA!



UPR Town Hall Meeting in Washington, D.C.
On July 20th, the U.S. Government is holding a Town Hall from 2 p.m. – 5p.m. (EST) at the Marshall Center in Washington, D.C. to discuss the UPR Recommendations and human rights implementation with civil society.
The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) encourages organizations from around the country to participate either in person or by phone and make the Town Hall a robust and meaningful discussion on implementing a human rights agenda in the United States. The USHRN partnered with HRE USA in preparing the report on the status of HRE in U.S. schools. Ideally HRE USA will be represented in the Town Hall meeting.
On May 11th, the US was reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Council which resulted in 348 recommendations to the U.S. Government. In advance of September when the U.S. Government will decide which recommendations, they will accept and which they will reject, the USHRN hopes to use this UPR Town Hall to raise human rights concerns to the USG. They invite all working groups and organizations who have taken part in the Universal Periodic Review to join this Town Hall and encourage other organizations working on human rights to participate in this important event. 

HRE USA will ideally be represented in order to forward a key recommendation from the HRE Stakeholder Report: the appointment of an HRE Focal Point. Any HRE USA member who is able to attend the July 20th meeting either in person or by phone, please contact Felisa Tibbitts.  In order to promote HRE with the U.S. Department of Education, a half-day conference is also being explored for August or September.
Rosemary Blanchard of HRE USA is coordinating input to the Town Hall meeting around the HRE NCSS Statement.  Any NCSS HRE Community Member or other NCSS member who is interested to attend the July 20 meeting in person or by telephone, please contact Rosemary Blanchard.

Below are further details about registration for the Town Hall event, provided by the USHRN:
If you are interested in attending the UPR Town Hall in person or by phone, please contact Annette Coto of the US Human Rights Network and inform her with your name, affiliation, and issue area.

Please also RSVP to no later than Monday, July 13 with the following information: (i) your name, (ii) institutional affiliation, (iii) whether you will attend one of the break-out discussion sessions or both and (iv) whether you will participate in person or by telephone. Based on your acceptance of this invitation, the State Department will provide additional information to facilitate your entry into the Marshall Center and participation in either or both parts of the event. 

Media release to welcome NCSS statement in support of HRE
In light of the publication in the May/June 2015 issue of Social Education of the official position statement of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) in support of Human Rights Education (HRE) in the United States, CAPAC is calling on all HRE USA partner organizations to issue media releases welcoming the NCSS position statement. CAPAC member Sarah Herder drafted this media release for use by her HRE USA partner organization, The Advocates for Human Rights. Please feel free to modify Sarah's release for use by your organization. CAPAC believes it is important for HRE stakeholders in the U.S. to show their support for this extremely positive action on the part of NCSS, and to use this opportunity to increase public knowledge of HRE in the U.S. in general, and of the NCSS position statement in particular, via the dissemination of timely, relevant media releases. Please direct any questions about this process to CAPAC coordinator Adam E. Stone and please send Adam a copy of the release your organization issues.

Vote on HRE USA Steering Committee Member
The call for HRE USA Steering Committee nominations has closed and the candidates have been confirmed. Ballots for the two open seats will be sent out and voted upon by membership in early July.  For questions, please contact Karen Robinson


Welcome to new Communications Specialist
HRE USA is pleased to welcome Emily Farell as our new part-time Communications Specialist.  Ms. Farell comes to us with an extensive background in human rights education and training and a strong portfolio in graphic design as well as web and social media management. Welcome Emily!

HRE MOOC in Development - Feedback needed!
Amnesty International and edX are partnering together to offer a brand new series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) establishing the largest online platform for human rights education globally.  They want your feedback to provide the best possible learning experience.  For more information see this press release.

10 Best Human Rights Videos
Check out this list compiled by Amnesty International from their global Network’s recommendations of the 10 Best Human Rights Videos. They can be used by teachers and educators and people who want to learn more about human rights.
>> Learn more

New Publications
  • "Human Rights Education, Postcolonial Scholarship, and Action for Social Justice." 
    By Audrey Osler, Published in Theory and Research in Social Education 43 (2) 
    About the article:  In our global age, educational researchers and practitioners need tools that can be applied in a range of contexts and scales: local, national and international. This paper argues that human rights education (HRE) is a site of struggle in which human rights and democracy need to be constantly renewed.  It contextualizes HRE within a critical, reflective postcolonial framework that nonetheless recognizes modernist principles of universal rights. It focuses on two concepts, universality and recognition, so as to develop a theory of HRE which meets the needs of multicultural, multi-faith, yet secular societies which are characterized by asymmetrical power relations and anti-democratic political movements. An evolving theory of HRE needs to embrace the ethics of recognition, by extending this concept beyond that expounded in human rights instruments and building on learners’ experiences. Individual narratives are starting points for new collective narratives to enable the strengthening of human rights and social justice.
    >> See publication
  • Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms: Exemplary Models from Elementary Grades to University 
    Edited By Susan Roberta Katz and Andrea McEvoy Spero
    About the book: Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms presents ten research-based human rights projects powerfully implemented in a range of US classrooms, from elementary school through community college and university. In these classrooms, the students—primarily young people of color who have experienced or witnessed human rights abuses such as discrimination and poverty—are exposed for the first time to thinking about their own lives and the world through an empowering human rights lens. Unique in integrating theory and classroom practice, and in addressing human rights issues with special relevance for communities of color in the US, Katz and Spero provide indispensable guidance for those studying and teaching human rights.  Discount offered until June 30th with this flyer!!
    >> See publication

Conferences and Trainings
  •  The World as it Could Be Human Rights Education Program Summer Institute 
    This highly acclaimed 3-day Summer Institute will be held Tuesday-Thursday, August 4-6, 2015 at Balboa High School in San Francisco.  The Institute is being presented in collaboration with the University of San Francisco School of Education. 
    >> Learn more and register
  • Speak Truth to Power NYC Summer Institute for Teachers
    A free 3-day training for teachers on how to teach about issues of human rights and social justice through the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights' Speak Truth To Power curriculum.  August 18-20, 2015 at the United Federation of Teachers Office, 52 Broadway, New York, NY.  There is no fee to attend. Travel and housing assistance is available on a case-by-case basis. For more information, email Karen Sklaire.
  • National Council For Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference
    Online registration is now open for the the 95th NCSS Annual Conference, November 13-15, 2015 in New Orleans. Join more than 3,000 participants and support your fellow HRE USA members, many of whom will be presenting, at the biggest gathering of social studies education professionals this year!  
    >> Learn more and register

  • UCEA Annual Convention
    The 29th annual UCEA Convention will be held November 20-23, 2015 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. The convention theme “Re-Imagining the Frontiers of Education: Leadership With/In Transnational & Transcultural Spaces,” highlights this year’s location near the California-Mexico border and intends to draw attention to the border spaces that exist within our field, between both scholars and practitioners and among communities present in and around schools. 
    >> Learn more
Job Opportunities
  • Human Rights Director of Community Engaged Learning - Stanford
    The Haas Center for Public Service together with the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights at Stanford are currently recruiting for a Human Rights Director of Community Engaged Learning to expand and strengthen community engaged learning opportunities for Stanford undergraduate students in the area of Human Rights. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone with a background in human rights who is committed to bringing the important work of the human rights community to courses, research and internship opportunities at Stanford. 
    >> Learn more and apply
  • International Human Rights Law Legal Advisor - American Red Cross
    The American Red Cross (ARC) International Services Department (ISD) is hiring a Legal Advisor in the area of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The Legal Advisor will work as part of the IHL team where he/she will teach an IHL CLE/professional course; assist with research, writing and analysis on IHL and conflict-related issues; and will support the team in complementing and revising educational materials on IHL to highlight the contemporary relevancy of humanitarian issues. Knowledge of international humanitarian law required and a strong interest in international issues, public international law, human rights and international relations or related fields is essential. This position will report to the Director, International Humanitarian Law.
    >> Learn more and apply

  • International Journal of Social Studies Column Editor - NCSS
    The International Journal of Social Studies, published by the International Assembly of the National Council for Social Studies, is looking for someone interested in editing their Social Justice Column.  The journal is published twice per year online. The column editor would be expected to secure and edit the manuscripts for each issue.  Appropriate academic credentials and IA-NCSS membership are expected. If interested, please contact Gloria Alter.



HRE in San Francisco
Undaunted by outrageously costumed runners from the annual Bay-to-Breakers race streaming past the window, HRE USA members in the San Francisco Bay region gathered for lunch in May to share ideas and experiences. Afterward everyone went on to attend the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the International and Multicultural Education program at the University of San Francisco School of Education. One of the founding organization of HRE USA, the USF School of Education has pioneered concentrations in Human Rights Education as part of its MA and Ed.D. degree programs: the first in the nation!

New York Theater Camp for Teens
This free camp challenges high schools students to explore social change and human rights through performing the play Speak Truth to Power by Ariel Dorfman based on Kerry Kennedy’s interviews with over fifty human rights activists from around the world. August 3-7, 10am-3pm, The Intar Theatre 500 W. 52nd Street, 4th Floor New York, NY.  For more information, email Karen Sklaire.

Become a Regional HRE USA Representative!
Strengthening our regional presence across the country is a priority goal of HRE USA. We currently have regional representatives in 19 locations and 1 who who communicates with our international members. (See this map for locations of our current regional representatives). However, we welcome additional regional representatives, especially in the Northwest, Mountain States, and the Chicago and Atlanta areas. 

The job is not onerous (no meetings! no reports! no homework!). HRE USA Regional Representatives:
  • Welcome new HRE USA member in their region with a personal message
  • Serve as a "live-and-in-person" contact
  • Seek opportunities for adding new individual and organizational members 
If Interested, please contact Nancy Flowers.

The Dorothy Cotton Institute (DCI)
(Kirby Edmonds)

The Dorothy Cotton Institute (DCI) honors the legacy of an important Civil Rights leader, Ms. Dorothy Cotton. As Education Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dorothy Cotton’s leadership of the Citizenship Education Program helped ordinary people identify what was intolerable in their circumstances, envision the changes they desired, learn their civil rights, prepare for democratic engagement, and craft courageous strategies for organizing communities and speaking truth to power.

Ms. Cotton’s lifework – based on the philosophy and practices of nonviolence, reconciliation and restoration, and grassroots leadership development – offers valuable models for human rights education, practice, and leadership, upon which the Dorothy Cotton Institute builds.
DCI envisions the full realization of a just and peaceful Beloved Community in which all people understand, respect, protect and exercise full human rights. As an education and resource center, DCI
1) develops, nurtures, and trains leaders for a global human rights movement;
2) works on building a network and community of human rights leadership; and
3) explores, shares, and promotes practices that transform individuals and communities, opening new pathways to peace, justice and healing.
The DCI through training and education programs, gatherings, youth leadership and fellowship programs, provides an integrated approach to developing a global network and community of human rights leadership. These programs are also designed to foster and encourage a well-informed and inspired critical mass in the public, particularly in the United States, to contribute to the global human rights movement toward the achievement and exercise of human rights for all people.
To learn more, please visit the DCI website or contact Kirby Edmonds.


Please 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.


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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