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May 2020
A national network dedicated to building a culture of human rights.

Join the HRE USA Steering Committee

Interested in helping shape the future of human rights education? Then consider nominating yourself or a colleague to join HRE USA’s Steering Committee. 

Our rules call for the election every summer of new Steering Committee members to replace retiring members. This year there are TWO open seats to be filled, and we invite all members to make nominations for their replacements. You may nominate anyone who fits the criteria for membership and can fulfill the responsibilities of Steering Committee members, including nominating yourself!

Brief biographies of current Steering Committee members can be viewed here. A ballot will be sent to all HRE USA members in July.

Elected Steering Committee members will serve a three-year term beginning in August 2020.

>> Learn more
>> Nomination Form

For further inquiries, please contact Kirby Edmonds



  Flowers Fund Grants
  HRE Award Nominations
  Join the Steering Committee


  Ensure PPE for ESPs


  COVID-19 & Human Rights
  TT Podcasts
•  Rosa Parks Lesson Plan


•  USHRN HR Report


  People's Historians Series
  Climate Education Institute
JOIN or RENEW your Membership Today

Apply for a Flowers Fund Grant

Do you have an idea to advance human rights education in the United States?  Need support?  Applications are now being accepted for 2020 Flowers Fund Grants.

Grants of up to $1000 will be made for projects to individuals and organizations that are members. All applications should have direct relevance to human rights education in the United States and be completed during the 2020/2021 Academic year.


>> Learn more and apply

HRE AWARD - Call for Nominations

Do you know someone who has made a difference through Human Rights Education?  HRE USA invites nominations for the 2020 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education Awards.

Nominations may be for: 1) An individual who has made a significant contribution to human rights education in the United States; 2) An organization, institution, or program that has made an outstanding contribution to human rights education in the United States

One organization and one individual will be awarded. Winners will be announced on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2020.


>> Learn more and participate

Ensure PPE for Frontline Educators and Workers


The next COVID-19 legislative package should include at least $56 million for personal protective equipment (PPE) for education support professionals (ESPs) and educators in direct contact with students. They should be considered frontline workers whose jobs are essential, and that means having PPE to protect themselves, as well as their families and communities, from infection. Email your members of Congress and tell them the next COVID-19 bill should include at least $56 million for PPE for educators.

>> Take action

COVID-19 and Its Human Rights Dimensions

The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency — but it is far more. It is an economic crisis.  A social crisis.  And is fast becoming a human rights crisis.

We have seen how the virus does not discriminate, but its impacts do — exposing deep weaknesses in the delivery of public services and structural inequalities that impede access to them. 

We see the disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups, and the risks of heavy-handed security responses undermining the health response.

Against the background of rising ethno-nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and a pushback against human rights in some countries, the crisis can provide a pretext to adopt repressive measures for purposes unrelated to the pandemic. 

This is unacceptable.

In response, the United Nations has released a policy brief provided specific COVID-19 Guidance for States to ensure that their pandemic response provides protection for the most vulnerable and respect for the human rights of all.  A human rights lens puts everyone in the picture and ensures that no one is left behind.  Human rights responses can help beat the pandemic, putting a focus on the imperative of healthcare for everyone. As the UN Secretary-General António Guterres states, "The virus threatens everyone.  Human rights uplift everyone. By respecting human rights in this time of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery for tomorrow."

>> See Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Human Rights - We are all in this together
>> See UN COVID-19 Guidance

Teaching Tolerance Podcasts

If you’re catching up on podcasts, check out these podcasts from Teaching Tolerance (TT)! Each series explores an aspect of a TT topic or framework and is produced with educators in mind. You’ll learn about digital literacy with The Mind Online, the history of American slavery with Teaching Hard History and LGBTQ history with Queer America. Download, listen and subscribe via Apple iTunes, Google Music or Spotify.

>> Download and listen

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

By the Zinn Education Project

In this new lesson by Bill Bigelow, published by the Zinn Education Project, students are exposed to the rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks through a mixer role play. 

Instead of students representing different individuals as they do in other mixers, every student portrays a different rebellious moment in Rosa Parks' life. And through meeting one another, students surface the patterns of defiance on behalf of justice that coursed through her life. By sharing stories with each other, students are able to pry behind the "she was just tired" myth and hear stories ranging from when she was  6 years old, sitting on her grandpa's porch waiting for the Klan to show up, to marching against South African apartheid in her 70s. 

At a time when inequality based on race, wealth, and power grows wider and wider, our students desperately need models of people who dedicated their lives to making the world a better, fairer place. Mrs. Rosa Parks' life offers students just such an example.

>> Download lesson

USHRN Human Rights Report

The US Human Rights Network recently released its annual human rights report.  This year's report takes an entirely new form from previous years, spotlighting nearly a dozen member organizations and members from the communities they serve. The report strives to bridge the gap between the human rights framework and the lived reality of people directly impacted by human rights violations. By focusing on the voices of their members, the report serves as a platform for them to tell their stories. 

>> Access Report


People's Historians Online Mini-Classes

When: Fridays throughout May and June
Time: 11 am Pacific, 1pm Central, 2pm Eastern
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

Every Friday, as part of their People's Historians Online Series, the Zinn Education Project presents a 75-minute mini-class featuring phenomenal teachers, authors, and professors from around the United States. 

Participants can look forward to learning through stories about people’s history, meeting other educators, and finding a road map forward in the midst of this pandemic. As one participant said, “Thank you for getting us together and giving me hope that we are not alone and that we can think and act ourselves out of this pandemic.”

The sessions are designed for teachers and other school staff, however, parents, students, and others are welcome to participate. ASL interpretation is provided. Upcoming sessions include: 

  • May 29: Black Feminist Organizing: 1950s to the 21st Century - Barbara Ransby in conversation with Jesse Hagopian
  • June 5: Reconstruction and Issues of Citizenship, Suffrage, and Movement Building in the 19th Century: Part 1 - Manisha Sinha in conversation with an educator
  • June 12: Reconstruction and Issues of Citizenship, Suffrage, and Movement Building in the 19th Century: Part 2 - Martha Jones in conversation with Tiffany Mitchell Patterson
  • June 19: Reconstruction and Juneteenth - Greg Carr in conversation with Jessica Rucker
  • June 26: Women in the Black Freedom Struggle - Jeanne Theoharis in conversation with Jesse Hagopian

>> Learn more and register

Stay-In-Stitute for Climate Change Education

When: July 22-24, 2020
Where: Virtual conference
Cost: $150 (scholarships available)
Credits: 20 hours of Continuing education and 2 graduate credits available

Climate change solutions are made in the classroom, at home, and within our communities. Let’s make the most out of our current situation by reimagining what education can be and how we can build opportunities for climate change solutions together! Virtual learning experiences offer a unique opportunity to make connections across our public and at-home learning spaces that don’t exist in the traditional system.

This three-day experience will take you beyond your computer screen, and into your backyard and neighborhood to do authentic scientific and social data collection, move your body, and make observations of the world around you. On-screen time will be segmented into at most two-hours at a time, and small group online experiences will occur daily, as well as optional evening events.

>> 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 © 2020 Human Rights Educators USA, All rights reserved.

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