AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting will focus on “STEM Education and Human Rights”

EVENT DETAILS:

When: January 25 – 26, 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Where: AAAS Headquarters, 1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC
Cost: $50 (General) $10 (Student)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Coalition on Science and Human Rights invite you to their next coalition meeting that will focus on the use of human rights in STEM education. At a time when many educators say their students crave new ways to apply what they learn in class to global challenges, a growing number of STEM educators are finding that integrating human rights into their teaching sparks their students’ interest in applying research theories and methods, engages them in research on issues of relevance to their community or society more broadly, and gives practical context to scholarly debates around ethical responsibilities, and the roles of stakeholders.

Can a broader adoption of these experimental approaches improve STEM education, including learning outcomes, retention, and diversity? What resources can be drawn from the human rights education movement’s practices and pedagogies? What are the opportunities for collaboration across disciplines to strengthen these efforts? Meeting participants will learn from case examples and contribute to discussions aimed at identifying key challenges, considering potential models for integrating human rights into STEM education, and articulating needs and opportunities for mentoring and other types of support.

A live stream of the sessions on January 25 will be available on their website.

>> Learn more and register

Human Rights Training Series @ Columbia University

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University is holding two workshops as part of its Human Rights Training Series!


Human Rights Advocacy, Campaign Development, and Engagement Strategies

EVENT DETAILS:
When: Saturday, January 20th and Saturday, January 27th
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Where: Columbia University, International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027
Cost: Early bird rate of $295 for those who register by December 21st.  Regular rate of $345.

This two-part interactive workshop is designed to help practitioners strengthen their ability to conduct effective human rights advocacy and develop successful campaigns.

>> Learn more and register


Human Rights Research and Documentation

EVENT DETAILS:
When: Saturday, February 10th and Sunday, February 11th
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Where: Columbia University, International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027
Cost: Early bird rate of $295 for those who register by December 21st.  Regular rate of $345.

This two-day interactive workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ human rights research and documentation skills, primarily for the purposes of human rights policy and advocacy.

>> Learn more and register

Using HRE to Address Stress in Students

A recent national survey released by UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access, Teaching and Learning in the Age of Trump:  Increasing Stress and Hostility in America’s High School, found that the president’s political rhetoric and policy decisions have spilled into classrooms at public high schools in significant ways, causing stress, polarization and hostility among students. (See also NPR article).

The report, shows that nearly 80 percent of teachers said some students had expressed concern for their well-being because of the charged public conversation about issues such as immigration, health care, the environment, travel bans and LGBTQ rights.  Furthermore, 40 percent said concerns over key issues — such as Trump’s ban on travelers from eight countries, most with Muslim majorities; restrictions on LGBTQ rights; and health care — are making it harder for students to focus on their studies and making them less likely to come to school.

In response, Sandy Sohcot, the Director of The World As It Could Be (TWAICB), suggests HRE as one approach that could effectively address heightened stress in the classroom.  She states, “I’d like to offer using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a tool to teachers to guide discussion that could help students better bridge divisive feelings, grasp how derogatory language and actions affect others, and help express the human rights affected by language and policies of their government representatives.”

In her recent blog post entitled, If You Get Confused, Listen to the Music Play, Sohcot further explores how the UDHR could help address not only the issues causing so much youth anxiety, but also the increasingly confusing social-political environment we’re in, and the floating anxiety it generates.

>> Access UCLA Report and key findings
>> Read Sohcot’s blog post

The Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated the United States

By Richard Rothstein

We share a national myth that residential segregation is de facto. It is a myth embraced not only by conservatives, but by liberals as well. It is perpetuated by our standard high school history curriculum, in which commonly used textbooks routinely describe segregation in the North as de facto, mysteriously evolved without government direction. Yet, as The Color of Law recounts, the myth is false. Federal, state, and local governments deliberately segregated residential areas of every metropolitan area of the nation, designed to ensure that African Americans and whites would have to live separately.

 >> Continue Reading

Support HRE for Human Rights Day

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY was yesterday, December 10, the anniversary of the date when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Human rights education is as important today as it has ever been in promoting peace, dignity, freedom, equality and respect for all peoples here at home and around the world. This year, in celebration of human rights day, please consider investing in HRE by donating to HRE USA’s newly established Flowers Fund.

flowers fund with taglineThe Flowers Fund supports innovation and mentorship in human rights education in the United States. Your tax-exempt donation will enable HRE USA to cultivate the next generation of human rights educators by underwriting a variety of creative activities such as internships with member organizations, research, artistic expressions, and collaborative projects among students, teachers, and activists.

The Flowers Fund was created in honor of human rights educator, Nancy Flowers to continue her legacy of innovation and mentorship in human rights education.

>> Donate here

 

Exhibit – Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education

transforming livesWhat can we do to contribute to creating a society that promotes human dignity and works to embrace equality, inclusion and respect for diversity?

The exhibition “Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education” raises awareness of the vital role of human rights education in promoting dignity, equality and peace and in preventing human rights violations and abuses. It was created to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training.

As well as exploring the concepts of human rights and human rights education, the 25-panel exhibition presents stories of how human rights education has led to transformation and empowerment in the lives of individuals and communities in Australia, Burkina Faso, Peru, Portugal and Turkey. The exhibition also examines what ordinary citizens and civil society organizations can do to nurture a culture of human rights.

The exhibition was co-organized by the SGI together with HRE 2020, the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning and the Platform for Human Rights Education and Training, with thanks to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The exhibition is currently available in English and French.

>> Learn More

Immigrant Activist Profile – DULCE

As part of HRE-USA’s commitment to defending DACA and advocating for a Clean Dream Act, we will be interviewing a series of Immigrant Rights activists and sharing ways that educators can support the #HeretoStay movement.

“There is Power in Numbers” – An Immigrant Rights Activist’s Journey

img_20161101_152414.jpgDulce (above center) an immigrant rights activist and college student currently based out of Washington, D.C., remotely working with an organization called Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) and also United We Dream. While her dedication to the #HeretoStay movement is clear-cut and straightforward, her personal journey has taken her across thousands of miles, across the border of two countries and through three different U.S. states.

Dulce was born in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in the southern region of Mexico. Given that her family found it poverty-ridden and infested with crime at the time, her parents decided to leave her community in search of better opportunities in the United States. She crossed the border exactly on her ninth birthday, which she considers her “birthday gift.”

The arduous journey with her grandmother, aunt, mother, and other family members spanned across three days and three nights. Dulce shares that during that journey into the United States, her mother unfortunately was caught by U.S. border agents, forcing her mother to attempt the journey four other times, one of which where she was kidnapped.

Dulce herself ended up living in South Carolina and started third grade there where she learned English and eventually successfully completed middle and high school. As her high school graduation date loomed ahead, she realized that she wanted to go to college. However, this proved difficult, given that South Carolina did not pride itself in welcoming immigrant communities and was known for its anti-immigration legislation, essentially banning immigrant students from attending college.

When DACA came out, Dulce was still in high school and had applied and been accepted into three different universities. Despite this being an incredible accomplishment, for Dulce it was a huge let down, as all of these schools did not offer financial aid / in-state tuition for individuals with her immigration status. Eventually, Dulce was forced to give up on her dream of going to college for a whole year.

During that year, Dulce found a job, attempting to save as much money as possible in order to achieve her dream of eventually going to college. She attempted everything to achieve her goal of getting her higher education paid for, including going to a military recruitment office. At the time, she found it to be her only solution, yet she found that nothing came out of it, and given her immigration status, she wasn’t able to join the military either. While Dulce struggled to make something out of her life, she found that all of the doors of opportunity were closed to her.

Moving forward, through internet research, Dulce eventually found a scholarship over Facebook for DACA recipients through TheDream.US Even though it was a week before the deadline, she applied and by December, she learned she received the educational scholarship. Ever persistent, learning that only students who were eligible for in-state tuition could receive the scholarship, Dulce moved to Florida not knowing anyone, with her dreams in her suitcase, to attempt to receive an out-of-state tuition waiver.

Having moved to Florida, Dulce soon learned that she was ineligible for in-state tuition waiver, having needed to spend three years of high school in the state, but stayed there for two years. She cobbled together her savings from the year and a half that she had worked, got a job on campus, but the scholarship she received only covered one-third of her tuition. Given that she had to still pay for her housing, it got to a point where she couldn’t afford college.

Despite all of the setbacks, Dulce refused to give up and eventually moved once again to Washington, D.C., where she currently attends Trinity Washington University, where with the support of TheDream.US, she is able to complete her education and she finds a community that is welcoming of immigrants and DACA recipients.

In Washington, D.C., she continues her activism, as she understands how important it is to speak out and fight not only for yourself, but for other people as well. Before she became involved in activism, she herself didn’t know the origins of DACA and realized it was a program made possible by activists that came before her, who paved the path for people like herself. In turn, Dulce hopes to pave the path for others who will come after her.

linda sarsour-SWER and UWDFor this reason, alongside SWER, she also works with the immigrant rights organization, United We Dream and connected with them immediately when she arrived to D.C. to be as much help as possible. As of November 2017, she has been helping to organize the walk-out at Trinity Washington University, in support of the passing of Clean Dream Act.

For Dulce this work is important because she feels her community, and other communities (for instance the Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Haitian communities in the Temporary Protection Status program) are under attack under the current administration. Furthermore, future immigrant communities will be affected, as the administration seeks to terminate programs that will directly impact immigrants. For this reason, Dulce lobbies and calls her senators and representatives, and aggressively advocates for them to pass the Clean Dream Act, legislation that she will provide protection for herself, her community, and also her mother, whom she considers the original DREAMer.

Through her multiple journeys and dream to pursue a college education, Dulce remains hopeful and feels that she receives a lot of support from allies and strangers who support this cause. Recently, students at Trinity Washington University organized information sessions, where many non-DACA recipients came out to show their support of immigrant communities and to learn more about how how the DACA and TPS repeals were negatively affecting the immigrant community.

Alongside her activism, she continues to study at Trinity Washington University, as she is double-majoring in Communications and International Relations. While her future career is still uncertain, she has a desire to possibly involve herself with immigration law, work for a non-profit, or get into politics. She has a deep desire to make a positive change in her community. Even on her free time, she is very active on social media, following and arguing with politicians, and reading through Facebook posts of individuals with different ideological points of view, including those that might be hateful. In spite of much of the ignorant rhetoric online, she believes that while some people may never change their mind, she believes that you can at least change their attitudes. Even on her downtime, Dulce can be found online, explaining the basics of U.S. immigration and debunking the misinformation around immigrants and crime to strangers.

walkout-nov-9th-e1512084357836.jpgDulce continues to fight and reminds others to only for the current DACA recipients, but also for every generation, including her mother. She believes that the original DREAMers are not herself and her fellow DACA recipients, but rather the parents of current DACA recipients, those that left everything behind so that their children could have a better life.

Action Steps: Click here to take a look at some resources educators and their communities can do to support the Clean Dream Act. Also check out this toolkit created by United We Dream to use in the classroom.