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

HRE USA 2017 Annual Report

In 2017, HRE USA continued its work to advance human rights education in the United States. We encourage you to take a look at what we've been up to over the past year. We especially want to thank our members, supporters, partners, and volunteers for helping us to achieve the goals outlined in this report and for the countless ways you help to promote human dignity, justice, and peace through human rights education.  

While we’re proud of these achievements, as we look forward to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we know we’ve got a lot more work to do and we need you to help reaffirm the enduring human rights principles and standards the UDHR has helped establish. Please join us in our efforts by becoming an individual or institutional member of HRE USA today. Together, we can create a culture of respect for human rights among our fellow Americans - a legacy that will resonate both here at home, and abroad.

>> Read full report



  HRE USA Annual Report
  HR in State Standards
  HR in DC Report


  March For Our Lives
  Youth Activism Resources


  Facing History Essay Contest
  POP TV by EOTO World


  Its Gets Better Educ. Guide
  Girls Rights Platform
  MOOC on Memory sites & HR
  Human Rights Funding
  Teaching Empathy


  HRE 1-day Institute
  HR in Times of Populism Conf.
  CTAUN Conference
  Teaching the World Forum

Promote Human Rights in Social Studies Standards!

HRE USA continually advocates for the inclusion of HRE in national and state education policies, standards, curricula, and pedagogy. We have successfully worked on campaigns in multiple states over the past few years.  HRE USA is currently providing support to HRE USA members/stakeholders in Massachusetts and you can help!

The Massachusetts Department of Education is inviting educators and members of the public to participate in the public comment period via a Public Survey. The comments will inform additional revisions to the framework. 

Public Comment Deadline: April 2, 2018

>> Learn More
>> View Proposed Standards
>> Provide Comments

Want to advocate for HRE in your State?

Multiple states will be coming up for revision of their social studies curriculum in the next few years.  To learn more about what is going on in your state and join in this effort, please contact the coordinator of our Advocacy Committee, Adam Stone.  

HRE USA members Co-author Report on Human Rights in D.C.

In 2008, at the urging of a broad range of DC grassroots organizations led by the American Friends Service Committee, the District of Columbia was declared a Human Rights City by a City Council Resolution (CER 17-­461), the first in the United States. Consequently, a Human Rights City Steering Committee decided to grade the City’s commitment to human rights values by issuing a regular report named “State of Human Rights in a Human Rights City.”

HRE USA members, Claudia Concha and Karen Hopkins contributed to the latest report under the leadership of AFSC’s D.C. Human Rights Steering Committee. Other contributors included Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana, director of the D.C. Human Rights Learning Program and HRE USA member; Mai Abdul Rahman, researcher at Howard University’s School of Education; Jim McCabe; and David Schwartzman, Professor Emeritus at Howard University.

The report, examines 10 factors affecting human rights in D.C., such as income inequality, public education, health status and discrimination. The report ultimately concludes that D.C. government and services fail to address human rights violations in numerous contexts. However, the report also offers recommendations for solutions to these problems.

The authors stated, “In developing these reports, we strive not to simply catalogue the failures of our limited government, but to illustrate for our fellow D.C. residents what we should be striving to achieve,” 

>> Read full report

Marching for our Lives

Everyone has the right to be safe and secure, and live without fear. But in the U.S., gun violence is an epidemic that directly threatens these human rights. Whether you’re walking down the street, in a school or at church no place is truly safe. In fact, 30,000 people are killed with guns each year in the U.S. and 80% of all gun deaths in the world take place in the U.S. (Amnesty International)

According to International Law, the U.S. government has clear and urgent obligations to protect the people living in this country from gun violence. But the U.S. has a patchwork of inconsistent and inadequate federal and state gun control laws and has failed to take all measures necessary to prevent gun violence as evidenced by the most recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida where 17 students were killed.

Today,  March 14, The National School Walkout will occur at 10:00 a.m., no matter your time zone. Organized by individuals behind the Women's March, this walkout will last 17 minutes—one minute for each victim of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. 

On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives and communities across the nation will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.  

On April 20, a second nationwide school walkout has been planned, which marks 19 years since two teens killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado. Started by a Connecticut student who lives within 30 minutes of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Like the previous walkout, at 10 a.m. students will gather outside, where 17 minutes of silence will honor the victims in Florida. 

Stoneman Douglas survivors have also spearheaded initiatives that do not require walking out of school, such as their Vote For Our Lives campaign and #NeverAgain: Pick Up a Pen, which asks students, teachers and concerned citizens to write to lawmakers.

The lack of legislative action to reduce this man-made epidemic continues to hold our country at gunpoint and prevent us from exercising our human rights. Of course, a key challenge is how to enforce these human rights obligations and that’s where activism ,  like the above youth-led initiatives,  play a critical role. We the people must demand that our elected officials respect, protect and fulfill our human rights — including those of people most impacted by gun violence: youth, women and people of color. 

Resources for Youth Activism

All around the country, inspired by activists from Ferguson to Parkland, a generation of young people are considering participating in their first political action or protest. They have questions. What’s the point of a walkout? Will I get in trouble? What happens after a march? Youth in Front is an online resource launched this month that will provide information and guidance on leading change from youth activists, adult allies and educators from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and MIT.

>> Learn More

Facing History Student Essay Contest

The 2018 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest will award over $25,000 in scholarships and prizes to students and teachers. Presented by Facing History in partnership with WGBH, sponsored by Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project and The Allstate Foundation, and with support from Citizen Film and WTTW, the contest will highlight themes in the PBS documentary film, American Creed.

Submissions Due: March 28

>> Learn more and submit an essay


EOTO World's People of Peace (POP) Program empowers individuals with education and tools to implement a culture of peace. Through their POP Portal users can access a variety of resources for peace building including free online peace education training webinars (POP TV), a virtual library, free to low cost access to custom community peace resources, and a social networking forum.  This year, the theme for POP TV is:  Creating a global consciousness of peace  through innovative ways to end poverty and promote quality education.

Sessions are held on Thursdays from 3:00 pm-4:00 pm UTC. Sessions are based on Goals 1 & 4 of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development  Registration for each session is FREE. 

>> View  POP TV schedule
>> Register for free

It Gets Better Project - Education Guide

The It Gets Better Project is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that uses digital media and more to help uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. They recently launched a new education initiative, one that centers on free-for-download EduGuides that accompany some of their best films, video series, books, and more. The resources are meant for the classroom, as well as any space where learning occurs and where empathy and inclusivity of LGBTQ+ youth are encouraged. 

>> Learn more

Girls Rights Platform

Plan International has developed a new Girl’s Rights Platform that consists of a vast searchable database of a variety of human rights documents and conventions by the UN and regional bodies. There’s also a UN debate tracker planned. That platform has been developed for human rights activists, NGO staff, and academics and is also a useful resource for educators who work with girls and on human rights. The platform includes an online learning experience with modules on different aspects of girls’ human rights. To find the modules, follow the link to the quiz section where you can test and increase your knowledge. 

>> Visit website

MOOC - Memory Sites & Human Rights

The Global Campus of Human Rights continues to grow its Open Learning Series with a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Memory Sites and Human Rights. The course will be released on 12 March 2018 and is completely free.

The contribution of this Global Campus MOOC is to provide participants with multiple perspectives and examples of memorials that can help them develop and reinforce their critical understanding of a topic that is at the crossroads of history, arts, architecture, design, social justice and human rights studies.

The MOOC is led by a team of Global Campus Professors from the Regional Programs in South-East Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. They are joined by an international faculty of academics, experts and practitioners.

The MOOC is funded by the European Commission. For general queries about the MOOC on Memory Sites and Human Rights email to

>> Learn more and enroll for free

Human Rights Funding

Ben and Jerry's Foundation is seeking proposals for social and economic justice projects. One year grants of up to $25,000.00 will be awarded to organizations that promote social justice, including environmental justice, and whose operating budgets are under $500,000.00 annually. Their broad goals are to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. Click here for a list of 2016 grantees.

Pre-Proposals Due: April 18

>> Learn more and apply

Teaching Empathy

Check out these two new lessons created by the grand finalists of the Facing History and Ourselves 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants. Today’s world calls for more empathy and these two winners have worked hard to develop approaches that help your students understand empathy and how to consider other points of view that may differ from their own.  Explore them today and see how you can create a more compassionate world with your students.

>>  Download Lessons

The World As It Could Be In Small Places Close to Home

When: Saturday, March 17th
Time: 9:30 - 4:30 pm
Where: Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Oakland, CA 
Cost: Free. Registration Required.

A day-long Institute by the World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program. Participants will learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and how to utilize the UDHR to take positive action to address issues of concern. Modeled after their successful 3-day Institutes, the program will combine fun and meaningful experiences with creative arts to encourage different ways to communicate and express ideas about human rights in our most immediate circles.

>> Learn more and register
>> Download flyer

Organizational Leadership for Human Rights & Social Justice

When: March 17th - March 18th
Time: Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday, 10 am - 1 pm
Where: Columbia University, New York, NY

Cost: $250

A two-day interactive workshop designed to strengthen participants’ professional leadership skills for work in the fields of human rights and social justice. Designed for staff and organizational leaders (including board members) in NGOs, grassroots organizations, networks, social movements, and donor agencies.  

The workshop begins with ecosystem analysis in order for participants to identify and understand opportunities and challenges for effective action within their own organizations and other actors within broader social movements in human rights and social justice. It then moves into a more nuts and bolts focus on how to best design and implement human rights work. Covered topics include mission and goals, strategic planning, governance, horizontal management, organizational structures, working with donors and fundraising, partnerships, models of revenue generation, and measuring success.

Prior knowledge and experience in human rights is an asset, but not required to benefit from this workshop. Participants should have some previous professional experience, but current students are also welcome.

>> Learn more and register

Conference: Human Rights in a Time of Populism

When: March 23rd - March 24th
Time: Friday, 12-5 pm and Saturday, 9-5 pm
Where: Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138
Cost: Free and open to the public.

 On March 23 -24, 2018, Harvard Law School will host a conference, Human Rights in a Time of Populism. The  multidisciplinary conference will discuss the challenges that current developments characterized as populist pose to the goals of the international human rights system, and more broadly the relationship between human rights and populism, and strategies for dealing with the current challenges.

>> Learn more and register

2018 CTAUN Conference

When: Friday, April 6th, 2018   
Time: 9:30 - 4:00 pm
Where: United Nations Headquarters, 1st Ave
and 45th St, 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

Teaching the World Forum and Urban Teaching Matters Conference

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Where: The Academic Building,15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 
Cost: $25 

This ​year ​Teaching ​the ​World ​Forum ​is ​partnering ​with ​the ​GSE ​Urban ​Teaching ​Matters ​Conference ​and ​focusing ​on ​issues ​of ​education ​and ​equity ​in ​urban ​education ​and ​global ​education. ​ ​The ​2017-2018 ​academic ​year ​marks ​the ​inauguration ​of ​Rutgers ​GSE's ​Urban ​and ​Social ​Justice ​Education ​Program, ​designed ​to ​develop ​teachers ​to ​be ​engaged ​in ​and ​committed ​to ​excellence, ​equity ​and ​social ​justice ​in ​their ​teaching ​practice. ​ ​As ​such, ​we ​decided ​to ​link ​our ​two ​conferences ​to ​offer ​exciting ​professional ​development ​opportunities ​aimed ​at ​fostering ​global ​citizenship ​within ​a ​social ​justice ​framework. 
>> Learn more
>> Register for conference

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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