American leadership in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

When: Wednesday, September 16m 2020
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

The Brookings Institution and the UN Foundation are co-hosting a high-level virtual event to showcase the power of the SDGs in the United States against the backdrop of the SDGs. The devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed and exacerbated stark inequalities and vulnerabilities in the United States. At the same time, protests sparked by the tragic killing of George Floyd have put the spotlight on America’s long history of racial injustice. The commitment to equity, justice, and environmental preservation reflected in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is more critical today than ever, a foundation to respond to these crises and to build a future that leaves no one behind. Building off a successful first gathering last year on the margins of the UN General Assembly, this event will showcase local innovation, leadership, actions, and commitments from all parts of the American society, including cities, businesses, universities, philanthropy, and youth activists. Their leadership is crucial to a recovery that advances equity and sustainability here at home, and provides a fundamental basis for U.S. credibility and leadership abroad on the defining issues of our day.

Viewers can submit questions by emailing or via Twitter using #USAforSDGs.

>> Learn more and register

2020 Election Speaker Series

When: September 13, 18, 25 & October 2, 9, 16, 23
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

The University of Dayton School of Law and Human Rights Center are hosting a 2020 Election Speaker Series. The series will consist of political experts and officeholders discussing the most pressing issues leading up to the 2020 Election. The sessions will be available on Zoom and are free. You can attend all of them or just specific sessions. Please view the sessions below and register using the link provided for each session you wish to attend.

>> Learn more and Register

Civic Engagement – Monday, September 14, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This inaugural session focuses on how to get engaged in the 2020 election on the local, state, and national levels. 
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Shelley Inglis, Executive Director, University of Dayton Human Rights Center
  • Speaker:
    Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State
  • Panelists
    Ifeolu A.C. Claytor, All Voting is Local, Ohio Campaign Manager
    Jo Lovelace Hill, Vice-President of Voter Services, League of Women Voters of Greater Dayton
    Christopher Devine, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Dayton
  • Presentation
    UDayton Votes Removing Barriers and Striving to Empower All to Participate – Rep. Charles Booker – Friday, September 18, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Removing Barriers and Striving to Empower All to Participate – Friday, September 18, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will feature Rep. Charles Booker with the Kentucky State House of Representatives.
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Joel Pruce, University of Dayton Human Rights Center
  • Keynote:
    Rep. Charles Booker, Kentucky State House of Representatives
  • Student and Community Panel: 
    Zion Savory, President, Black Law Students Association, University of Dayton School of Law
    Darius J. Beckham, Legislative Aide to Mayor Nan Whaley, City of Dayton

Race and Gender in the Elections – Friday, September 25, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine issues of race and gender that impact elections in the United States. It features a special appearance and address by Ohio House Minority Leader Emelia Strong Sykes starting at 4:30 pm.
Register Now

  • Introductions:
    Khandice Lofton, Vice-President, Black Law Students Association, University of Dayton School of Law
  • Moderator: 
    Tiffany Taylor Smith, Executive Director for Inclusive Excellence Education and Professional Development, University of Dayton
  • Speaker:
    Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, Ohio House Democratic Leader
  • Panel:
    Reverend Peter Matthews, Pastor, Historic McKinley United Methodist Church and Director of the Center for Global Renewal and Missions at United Theological Seminary
    Professor Neil G. Williams, Nathaniel R. Jones Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law

Voter Participation and Suppression – Friday, October 2, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine structural problems that undermine full enfranchisement in the United States. 
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Bob Taft, University of Dayton, Distinguished Research Associate
  • Panel:
    Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director, Common Cause
  • Benjamin Cover, Associate Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law

Technology and Voting in 2020 – Problems and Promise – Friday, October 9, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine how new technologies are affecting the 2020 elections.
Register Now

  • Introductions:
    Wm. David Salisbury, Sherman-Standard Register Professor of Cybersecurity Management & Director, UD Center for Cybersecurity & Data Intelligence    
  • Moderator:
    Aquene Freechild, Co-Director, Democracy Is For People Campaign
  • Panel:
    Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science, MIT
    Dan Wallach, Professor, Rice University Department of Computer Science
    Elizabeth Howard, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center’s Democracy Program

Campaign Finance and Other First Amendment Issues – Friday, October 16, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine the current law and practice of financing and conducting political campaigns in 2020. 
Register Now

  • Panel:
    Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law, Stetson University
    Ann Southworth, Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law; Co-Director, Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession
    Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

Expectations, Emergent Issues, and Breaking News – Friday, October 23, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This final session is devoted to a final review of the election-related issues facing the nation and our community in the final days running up to Election Day.
Register Now

SIMA 2021 Film Awards – Call for Entries

Each year, the annual international SIMA Awards honor the best independent impact storytelling that stands out in it’s creativity, integrity, and merit to inspire social change. Now in its 9th year, #SIMA2021 opens for entries on September 8, 2020

SIMA is looking for original, wise, brave, eye-opening and creative productions that increase the awareness of viewers to local and global issues, to the resilience of humans facing deprivation, to the politics and movements of human rights, environmental and social justice, and to efforts and agents of change worldwide. Entry Categories include: Feature Documentaries, Short Documentaries, Virtual Reality (VR) Films, Impact Videos, Production Companies and Funders.

Finalists will be announced on January 12, 2021 and Winners on February 10, 2021.

>> Learn more

Teaching About the Pandemic

As remote instruction continues into the new school year, The Zinn Education Project shares resources for teaching in these challenging conditions including a new lesson for students, Who’s to Blame? A People’s Tribunal on the Coronavirus Pandemic as well as articles, films, and resources on teaching about the history of pandemics and the connection between climate change and the coronavirus.  

The summer issue of Rethinking Schools is a special, longer issue that focuses on teaching and learning in the pandemic. In their editorial, “The Fight of Our Lives,” Rethinking Schools editors describe the summer issue as “a lamentation, but it is also a celebration — and a call to action.”

This edition includes articles about what it means to show up for students at this time, the history of anti-Chinese racism and its intersection with disease in the United States, and how 12 teachers cope and think about what it means to be an educator right now.

>> Learn more

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Virtual Teach-In: Food and Water Justice

When: Wednesday, September 12
Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Where: Live Stream
Cost: $15

Join the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and Teaching for Change for keynote speaker, Winona LaDuke and curriculum workshops. The focus of the teach-in is Indigenous peoples’ histories and experiences around food and water justice today. The keynote speaker and interactive workshops will feature classroom resources from the NMAI’s Native Knowledge 360° and the Zinn Education Project’s Teach Climate Justice campaign. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom. CEU’s will be available by request and closed captions will be offered for the keynote and selected sessions. 

>> Learn more and Register

Welcome New Steering Committee Members

HRE USA is excited to welcome two new members to our Steering Committee. Congratulations to Angelica Brooks and Jessica Evans!

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the election. We look forward to serving our membership and continuing to carry out the mission of HRE USA to build a vibrant base of support for HRE in the United States.  

Angelica Brooks 
(Montgomery, Alabama)
Executive Director and Founder,
The Silent Voices Project
>> Read more

Jessica Evans
(Murray, Kentucky)
Director of Assessment and Accreditation, College of Education and Human Services, Murray State University
>> Read more

Refusing to ‘go back to normal’: Addressing structural racism in policing, healthcare, and other institutions

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:15 pm CT / 2:00-3:15 pm ET
Where: Live Stream on Zoom
Cost: FREE

This session builds upon our previous event, “Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Outcomes During COVID and Beyond,” by delving further into the impacts of systemic racism, and suggesting alternative social and policy paths for improving lives and health by respecting the rights of Black people in the United States.

Distinguished presenters include Dr. Tendayi Achiume, U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Dr. Rachel Hardeman, from the University of Minnesota and  Dr. Sirry Alang from Lehigh University.  The panel will be moderated by Dr. Shailey Prasad, Director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.

>> Register

Amid Crises, UNICEF USA Launches Program to Help Kids in US

NEW YORK (August 12, 2020) – on August 12, 2020,  International Youth Day, an annual observance to celebrate young peoples’ voices, actions and meaningful, equitable engagement, UNICEF USA announced the launch of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) in the United States. Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Minneapolis, MN and Prince George’s County, MD will serve as the first cohort of cities and the first country to implement an ambitious, two-year process toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.  

Originally created in 1996, UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative uses a child rights-based framework to build a roadmap for establishing safer, more just, equitable, inclusive and child-responsive cities and communities around the world. Since its inception, CFCI has been adopted in over 3,000 municipalities in 40 countries. UNICEF USA applauds these municipalities for their commitment to using this framework to build better communities for children. 

“This year has seen so many challenges that have deeply impacted children and families, and also shown the important role that local governments play in supporting them,” said UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “As an organization that has dedicated nearly 74 years to protecting and supporting children around the world, UNICEF USA is proud to use this moment to help build better communities for children here in the United States alongside Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Prince George’s County.” 

In its pursuit of recognition as a Child Friendly City, government officials and community leaders in Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Prince George’s County will conduct a situational analysis of child well-being in each city. Based on these findings, the cities will implement an action plan that prioritizes the best interests of children and youth within their local policies. CFCI will empower leaders to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism on children, work to combat discrimination and elevate their voices in local governance and decision-making.

>> Read full article
For more information about Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the Unites States, visit
To take action and encourage cities across the United States to become more child friendly, visit

Support the Breathe Act

The BREATHE Act is the modern-day Civil Rights Act that we deserve. The Act offers a radical reimagining of public safety, community care, and how we spend money as a society. We bring 4 simple ideas to the table:

  • Divest federal resources from incarceration and policing.
  • Invest in new, non-punitive, non-carceral approaches to community safety that lead states to shrink their criminal-legal systems and center the protection of Black lives—including Black mothers, Black trans people, and Black women.
  • Allocate new money to build healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities.
  • Hold political leaders to their promises and enhance the self-determination of all Black communities

Get to know and share out the 17 demands by Black Lives Matter that address COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on black and brown communities. Study and support the Breathe Act authored and organized by the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives and over 150 organizations.   

>> Learn more and take action

The Conscious Kid

The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. They support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in young children. They equip parents and educators with tools they can use to support racial identity development, critical literacy, and equitable practices in their homes and classrooms. The Conscious Kid is an exceptional resource for teachers across the country who are aspiring to build more inclusive classrooms by including books that affirm diverse identities.  

The Conscious Kid was recently asked by Google to curate a list of teacher-facing reading materials as well as evaluation criteria to consider when bringing new resources into the classroom. Suggested by grade level, these resources are intended to help facilitate important conversations about racism, equity, and belonging. The Conscious Kid’s selections are informed by intersectional race-centered approaches including Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Media Literacy, which examine representation in the content, as well as the power dynamics behind the ownership, production, and creation of it.

>> Learn more
>> Bookshop
>> Resource: Books to Build Inclusive Classrooms