2018 Flowers Fund Grantees

GRANTEE: The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) District of Columbia (DC) – Human Right Learning Program

AFSC-DC Human Rights Learning Project 2018 staff and interns

In 2008, AFSC DC led community partners in efforts to declare DC the first Human Rights City in the United States. During that time, AFSC staff surveyed students from seven public and private DC schools to determine their knowledge about human rights. An overwhelming majority (87 of 89) responded that they had never heard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); however, every single respondent also indicated they were interested in learning more about human rights. Since that time, AFSC’s Human Rights Learning Program has offered human rights education workshops to over 800 DC students at public, private, and charter schools across the city. Through this work, AFSC has helped young people learn and discuss the meaning of human rights in their lives and their communities.

In 2018, AFSC DC’s human rights learning curriculum was formally adopted as a high school social studies elective course in DC Public Schools. This elective culminates in a social action project, where students are asked to identify and organize around human rights violations in their own communities, following a semester’s worth of human rights education. The Flowers Fund grant will support students in the implementation of their action projects. As students identify local human rights violations they want to address, these funds would help them achieve positive, lasting, and transformative change in their community.

GRANTEE: Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Gettysburg College

Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams

In response to the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to support human rights education in his community, Dr. Williams will use the grant to provide a free, half-day workshop to local teachers (and student teachers) in the Gettysburg area. Entitled, “Teaching Human Rights: From Gettysburg to the World,” the workshop will provide increase participants understanding of the UDHR, human rights theory, and how to implement human rights into their already existing curricula. Participants will also be asked to track how they implement their new learning.

Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, a native of Laventille, Trinidad & Tobago, is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Director of Peace and Justice Studies, and an affiliate in Education, Globalization Studies, and Public Policy at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania. At Gettysburg, he teaches on: human rights; postcolonialism, race, gender and identity; education for social change; Caribbean studies; and globalization. He adjuncts in the conflict resolution/mediation program at the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University, and is the NYC faculty for the SIT International Honors Program’s human rights study-abroad course.

He completed his B.A. in Psychology at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, and his M.A., M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Comparative and International Education/ International Development, with foci in philosophy of education and peace education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research centers on school/structural violence, educational inequities, and youth and community empowerment. He has given over fifty academic conference presentations and other talks was a 2016 Visiting Scholar at AC4 (Earth Institute), and is an Associate Editor of Anthropology and Education Quarterly. He has conducted many workshops and trainings in restorative circles in diverse settings and hopes to be part of an educational revolution across the Caribbean.