Children’s Rights Teaching Manual

LEARN | RIGHT has developed a manual with tools, planning sheets, and activities for teachers to plan learning programs on children’s rights and create a learning environment that respects and promotes children’s rights in class and society.

The manual is generic allowing it to be applied to different national and cultural contexts, languages, and school systems as well as age groups.

We developed the manual to give a broad audience access to the approach and resources developed in the authors’ two previous manuals on teaching children’s rights in Greenland and Belarus, respectively, and in The Human Rights Education Toolbox

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Human Rights and the Climate Crisis

By the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force

As part of HRW Student Task Force’s (STF) advocacy to transition high schools across Southern California to 100% renewable energy, commit to energy efficiency plans, and engage in climate justice education, the STF hosted over 150 students, teachers, administrators, and community members at the “Human Rights and the Climate Crisis” Virtual Town Hall on Earth Day 2021.

“The climate crisis is the defining issue of our generation and we are at a monumental moment,” said one STF representative. “We are protecting our human rights to life, liberty, and personal security, to survival and development, and our right to health, to clean water – and a future! We are demanding public officials take action to protect our human rights and fight climate change.”

Students representing 18 high schools shared their personal climate stories, illustrating how climate change is impacting their lives. Several had experienced fire-threat evacuations and pollution-induced asthma, which further motivates them to take action. STF leaders also described using HRW’s methodology “Investigate, Expose, Change” to frame their advocacy as they engage school administrators and public officials.

Featured speaker, Christos Chrysiliou, LAUSD’s Director of Architectural and Engineering Services for the Facilities Division, discussed LAUSD’s steps to increase its energy and water efficiency, improve sustainability, and engage students in the decision-making process. “We cannot achieve all the things that we’re doing without your [students’] help… We need you in the process,” Mr. Chrysiliou said, “because that’s the only way to fight climate change.” Afterward, attendees participated in a spirited Q&A session with Mr. Chrysiliou. (Listen at 47:43 on the recording.)

Closing STF student speaker, Nathalia Wyss, quoted Greta Thunberg: “Act like your house is on fire, because it is – continue to take action against climate change and inform others, and please, keep fighting to turn our schools green.”

>> Learn more about the HRW Student Task Force
>> View the “Human Rights and the Climate Crisis” Virtual Town Hall
>> Download the Human Rights and Climate Crisis Toolkit

Toolkit on Mental Health in Schools – Demystifying the Mind

“Demystifying the Mind,” is a toolkit from Learning for Justice that addresses new ways schools are addressing trauma and promoting mental health. Even if your school isn’t yet teaching about mental health in the curriculum, you have the opportunity to foster nurturing relationships with your students. This toolkit offers ways to 1) help young people move toward healing after experiencing trauma and 2) build resilience in your students, your colleagues, and yourself.

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Webinar: When South African Apartheid Was Overthrown – Lessons for BLM

When: Monday, June 7, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm ET  
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

Gerald Lenoir, a veteran organizer of the anti-apartheid movement in the United States and an organizer for racial justice today, will share lessons from the movement that helped bring down apartheid to help us better understand how to teach — and participate in — the ongoing Black Freedom Struggle.

This webinar is part of the series entitled, “Teach the Black Freedom Struggle” is hosted by the Zinn Education project and features leading historians from across the country. The classes are held at least once a month on Mondays at 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET for 75 minutes. In each session, the historian is interviewed by a teacher and breakout rooms allow participants (in small groups) to meet each other, discuss the content, and share teaching ideas.

>> Learn more and register

Pledge to Teach the Truth

Lawmakers in at least 15 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.

More than 1,500 teachers have signed a pledge: “We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law.” Read more pledges and add your name today.

To raise public awareness about the danger of these state bills, teachers, educators, and allies are invited to take a public stand at historic sites on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

Hosted by the Zinn Education Project and Black Lives Matter at School.

>> Join the day of action
>> Sign the pledge to teach the truth

Rethinking Schools Spring Issue

The spring issue of Rethinking Schools has a cover story that features one union’s journey toward disability justice and has a special “Educators Speak Out” section uplifting the voices of special education teachers, students, and parents.

The issue’s editorial focuses on the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre, and argues for reparations.

Rethinking Schools editor Jesse Hagopian also has an obituary of the late Karen Lewis, and editor Linda Christensen has an important article about teaching the “unbound” essay.

The labor writer Sarah Jaffe writes about how some social justice teachers have reinvented the pandemic classroom and Jessica Lovaas and Adam Sanchez describe how they teach a people’s history of the March on Washington.

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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 2021 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 2021/2021 Academic year.


>> Learn more and apply

Human Rights Education Review – Seeking Editors

HRER is looking to strengthen and expand its Editorial Team and move from 2 to 3 editions per year in 2021.  HRER invites colleagues working in higher education, with appropriate experience in research and publications. Editors will be involved in the processes of peer review and have opportunities to help shape HRER’s future development. This is a great opportunity to extend your professional networks and to work internationally. Applications are welcomed from scholars at various career stages, including those ready and willing to take on a leadership role in the journal’s ongoing development.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2021

>> Learn more and apply