HRE USA TAAS Series: Children’s Rights & Youth Activism


Monday, November 7, 2022

7pm–9pm ET

Virtual Zoom Session

Speakers and Facilitators:

Hallie McRae is a rising junior studying Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about human rights and social justice advocacy, participating in programs and organizations dedicated to each. On campus, she is involved in UC Berkeley’s ACLU club, leading the Know Your Rights project team under the Criminal Justice Reform committee. Here, students inform the community about the rights they hold surrounding police and immigration forces through the creation of handouts, presentations to local high schools, and general education campaigns. She is also involved in student government, coordinating educational outreach and support for survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment, and is a member of the Repair The World Campus Corps, targeting food insecurity by mobilizing community members each week to pack and deliver bags with essentials to unhoused folks. Engaging with Human Rights Watch Student Task Force throughout high school, Hallie benefitted largely from human rights education and advocacy in academic settings, and is thrilled to continue the work of expanding human rights education and organizational work in schools and communities nationwide with HRE USA. 

Maddy Wegner is an educator and communications specialist who enjoys building teams, developing new approaches to and resources on education issues, and engaging others — especially young people — in these processes. She has served as the National Youth Leadership Council’s (NYLC’s) Director of Content and Engagement, developing resources for service- learning practitioners that bring research to practice and integrating human and child rights frameworks, for the past five years. She also has served as NYLC’s Director of Communications, overseeing strategic communications including policy, marketing, research, and curriculum development.

While the roots of her teaching trace back to teaching middle and high school English Language Arts, her interests in peace-building and conflict resolution have led her to more informal education settings. Through work with a number of nonprofits she has helped inspire young people to action through the lives and work of Nobel Peace Prize laureates by co-developing a series of iBooks entitled Being the Change as well as another series rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A member of the Executive Committee for Minneapolis’ Child Friendly Cities designation, she is a recipient of the Stellar Service-learning Award and an “Outstanding Contributions to Service-Learning” award from the Minnesota Department of Education. She received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, her teacher training through the University of California, Berkeley’s Bay Area Writing Project and an M.S.J. from Northwestern University.

Adrianna Zhang (she/her) is a first-year student at Stanford University. She is the Founder & Executive Director of San Francisco Communities who Help Advance the New Generation of Education, or SF CHANGE, a nationwide organization that has presented free educational workshops to over 30,000 students around the United States. Passionate about education equity, she has spearheaded children’s rights workshops for thousands of students in partnership with UNICEF’s international Child-Friendly Cities initiative, brought children’s rights workshops to 200+ classrooms, and integrated rights education into school curriculums around the nation. 

Adrianna also serves as the Chair of the San Francisco Youth Commission where she led the Vote16SF ballot measure to 207k+ votes, secured free public transportation for youth in San Francisco, and wrote legislation on affordable housing, Title IX reform, and more. She is also an active member of the National Vote16 Advisory Board.

Adrianna was a speaker at TEDxCity of San Francisco 2021 where she discussed youth civic engagement to an audience of 10k+ people. She was a guest panelist at the University of Warwick’s panel on Children’s Rights in Literature and a speaker at the Children’s Rights in the USA conference hosted by Salem State University.

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