About Us

Founded in 2011, Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) is a growing network dedicated to building a culture of human rights by providing an innovative forum for HRE practitioners and supporters to learn, network, and exchange professional expertise and better serve our growing HRE community.

Our Mission

To promote human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for human rights education (HRE) within the United States.

To fulfill our mission we facilitate mutual collaboration and support to maximize our members’ efforts to:

  • integrate international human rights standards into formal and non-formal educational settings
  • promote national and regional policies that support HRE
  • advocate for the inclusion of HRE in national and state education standards, curricula, and pedagogy
  • develop resources and training for educators
  • contribute to global research and scholarship on HRE
  • empower educators and learners
  • participate in global networks and forums to share best practices

What is Human Rights Education?

Human Rights Education is a lifelong process of teaching and learning that helps individuals develop the knowledge, skills, and values to fully exercise and protect the human rights of themselves and others; to fulfill their responsibilities in the context of internationally agreed upon human rights principles; and to achieve justice and peace in the world.

Our History:

Over seventy-five educators, students, higher education faculty, members of non-profit organizations, representatives from national teacher unions, and other stakeholders participated in the “Building a Human Rights Education Strategy for U.S. Schools,” which took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 16-17, 2011. This event was co-sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), the National Education Association, and the University of San Francisco’s School of Education.

The sharing and planning work of the conference resulted in the development of a national strategy draft for human rights education. Moreover, a decision was taken to initiate a new network for human rights education in the USA. The work of this new network, Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA), was given great inspiration in December 2011 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, underscoring the importance of human rights to every child’s education.

Our Values:
HRE USA Is committed to the basic human rights principles of human dignity, equality, and non-discrimination as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In all our undertakings we value diversity, inclusiveness, transparency, integrity, accountability, responsibility, and respectful, honest communication and sharing. Regardless of varying perspectives, HRE USA expects that its members will operate from the same values in their dealings with each other.

Decision-Making Policy
HRE USA uses a consensus-based framework for decision-making.  The Steering Committee and other working groups can choose other decision-making approaches when time constraints do not permit full discussion of issues.  The vision and mission of the network guide our decisions.