HRE USA Special Recognitions

2022 Impact Award – International Indian Treaty Council


Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) announces its first Human Rights Educators USA Impact Award honoring the nearly 50 years of extraordinary contribution of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) to human rights education in the United States and around the world. 

The IITC, an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, works for the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of their human rights, treaties, traditional cultures, and sacred lands. The IITC brings Indigenous Peoples together to share information and develop collective strategies to defend their rights, and ways of life at International Indian Treaty Conferences hosted by Indigenous Nations in South Dakota, Oklahoma, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Since its foundation in 1974, the IITC and its many leaders have worked in numerous capacities to further human rights training and education throughout the United States and in global arenas, including at the United Nations. In 1977, the IITC was the first Indigenous organization to receive Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In recognition of its long-standing and wide-ranging work within the UN system on behalf of Indigenous Peoples January, in 2011, the IITC became the first Indigenous organization to be granted full General Consultative Status at the UN. 

IITC provides training, capacity-building, and access for Indigenous Peoples to utilize a human rights framework to advance the struggles of their Nations and communities and to engage effectively in UN human rights bodies and mechanisms, especially after the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the UN in 2007. Key human rights focus areas for IITC include cultural rights and protection of sacred sites, prisoners’ rights, access to justice, right to health, racial discrimination, rights of Indigenous women and children, water and land rights, Free Prior and Informed Consent, Truth in History, decolonization and protection for Human, Treaty and Environmental rights defenders. IITC will be recognized at the HRE USA Training As Action Series workshop on “Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights & Climate Change” session on Monday, October 24, 2022 at 7:00 pm ET. On behalf of IITC, IITC Executive Director Andrea Carmen and IITC Board members, Bill Means and Lisa Bellanger, will share words about its founding and current human rights education initiatives. In addition, IITC will be recognized at the formal HRE USA Human Rights Day Celebration event on December 9, 2022, at 4 pm ET.

2019 Youth Engagement Award – The Human Rights Watch Student Task Force

HRE USA Honors Human Rights Watch Student Task Force

Human Rights Educators USA honors Human Right Watch’s LA-based Student Task Force (STF) with a special Youth Engagement Recognition. The youth leadership-training program, which engages high school students and educators from the Los Angeles area and empowers them to advocate for human rights issues, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA), a national network promoting human rights education in the United States, makes this award in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. HRE USA recognizes STF’s leadership in the promotion of children’s rights and its youth activism locally, nationally, and internationally. As STF Founder and Executive Director Pam Bruns said, “This recognition will mean so much to our teachers and students. It is a strong affirmation of our mission and the dedicated work by our LA youth.” Read more.

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award – David Shiman

Now professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, David Shiman was a leader in human rights education when few scholars acknowledged it as a field of study and professional practice. His publications unite scholarly inquiry with practical classroom applications, benefiting from his years as both a teacher educator as director of the Center for Global and Peace Education and as a human rights activist with Amnesty International. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA and was critical in the establishment of its National Educators Steering Committee. His service as a founding member of Human Rights Educators USA is a testament to his lifelong commitment to making human rights education a central focus of K-university programs nationwide.

As well as working in the United States, Professor Shiman has conducted human rights research and educational endeavors internationally, including in China, South Africa, Israel, and Occupied Territories, and many other countries in Africa, South America, and Europe. Also reflecting this broad understanding of social justice, his publications cover topics as varied as teaching about the holocaust, challenging stereotypes, confronting prejudice, global education, and reforming teacher education. He is the author of some of several groundbreaking curricula in human rights education including Teaching About Human Rights: Issues of Justice in a Global Age (University of Denver, 1988), The Prejudice Book: Activities of the Classroom Teacher (ADL, 1994) and Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective (Univ. of Minnesota Human Rights Center, 1999).

Shiman has significantly shaped the design and delivery of HRE in the United States. The cumulative impact of his work marks him as one of the few indispensable leaders in the field.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award – Nancy Flowers

Nancy Flowers Receives HRE USA Lifetime Achievement Award

On Thursday November 16th, at the HRE USA’s annual reception and awards ceremony, Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) presented Nancy Flowers with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her decades of dedication, innovation, and mentorship in advancing human rights education in the United States and around the world.

Nancy was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues many of whom shared their own personal stories and thank you messages attesting to the impact Nancy has made on their lives through her human rights work.

Nancy Flowers is a writer and consultant for human rights education. She has worked to develop Amnesty International’s education program and is a founding member of Human Rights Educators USA, a national human rights education network. As a consultant to governments, nongovernmental organizations, and UN agencies, she has helped establish national and international networks of educators, develop materials, and train activists and professionals in many countries. She is the author and editor of articles and books on human rights education, most recently Towards a Just Society: The Personal Journeys of Human Rights Educators (Minnesota, 2016); Human Rights. YES! Action and Advocacy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2nd Edition, Minnesota, 2013), Acting for Indigenous Rights: Theatre to Change the World (Minnesota, 2013); and Local Action/ Global Change: A Handbook on Women’s Human Rights (2nd edition, Paradigm Press, 2008). She lives in Palo Alto, California.