International Day of Education 2021 Symposium

When: Monday, January 25, 2021
Time: 9:30 am CST
Where: Live Stream
Cost:  Free

Description: Education: A Human Right, a Public Good, and a Public Responsibility
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, a majority of countries announced the temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 91% of students worldwide. As International Day of Education focuses global attention on this issue, what actions can we take to improve outcomes for all?

Even before the pandemic struck, 258 million children and youth did not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents could not read or do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa completed lower secondary school; and some four million children and youth refugees were out of school.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge all nations to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by the year 2030. Join this event and mark the International Day of Education 2021 with local and international experts who will discuss how inclusive, quality education will be critical in supporting our most vulnerable populations post-COVID, in achieving gender equality, in breaking the cycle of poverty, and in securing a peaceful and prosperous future for everyone.

Learners of all ages are invited to join and hear from the leaders who are shaping the future of education.

Featured Speakers

  • Audrey AzoulayDirector General, UNESCO
  • David EdwardsGeneral Secretary, Education International
  • Neel KashkariPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
  • Justice Alan Page (retired)Founder/Chair, Page Educational Foundation
  • Atul TandonCEO, Opportunity International
  • Sondra SamuelsPresident/CEO, Northside Achievement Zone
  • Dr. Linda Darling-HammondPresident of the California State Board of Education, Head of Education Transition Team for President-elect Joe Biden
  • Jack DangermondFounder and CEO, Esri

>> Learn more and register

Celebrate Human Rights Day with HRE USA – December 10!

When: Thursday, December 10, 2020
Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: Live Stream
Cost:  Free

Join HRE USA, the nation’s network of human rights educators, as we celebrate Human Rights Day and commemorate the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948.

The event will feature keynote speaker, Loretta Ross, a nationally-recognized women’s rights and human rights leader whose work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this transforms social change.

HRE USA will also honor the 2020 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education Award winnersPam Bruns of Human Rights Watch Student Task Force and the ACT Center for Disability Leadership.

We are also excited to include youth voices from around the world speaking on the significance of the UDHR through multimedia and poetry, introduce you to HRE USA’s 2020 Flowers Fund grantees, and announce the new Edmonds Summer Fellowship.

We hope you’re able to join us!

This event is hosted by Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA), a project of the Center for Transformative Action, with special thanks to the Puffin Foundation for their continued support. For further questions, please contact us at

Teach Human Rights on Human Rights Day – December 10

Every year on December 10th the world celebrates Human Rights Day – the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

A milestone document in the global history of human rights, the UDHR is infused with values and ideals drawn from the world over. Drafted by UN representatives from diverse cultural and technical backgrounds, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The UDHR – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages — is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was proclaimed.

HRE USA has put together an online resource kit to help you celebrate the gift of the UDHR in your classroom and re-affirm the enduring human rights principles and standards that it helped establish.

Be sure to also check out our UDHR posters and our  Human Rights booklets on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

>> Learn more

Support Human Rights Education #GivingTuesday

Human rights education is as important now 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 #GivingTuesday, please consider supporting Human Rights Educators USA.

Your 100% tax-deductible donation will not only enable us to further develop programming that supports human rights education across the United States but also help us ensure that everyone has the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and values to fully exercise and protect the human rights of themselves and others.

Learn more about the projects, partnerships and advocacy work that HRE USA engages in on behalf of our members and human rights educators in the United States. 

Ripple of Hope Awards Virtual Gala

When: Thursday, December 10, 2020
Where: Live Stream
Cost: $100

Don’t miss the RFK Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards to honor this years’ 2020 Ripple of Hope Laureates: Dr. Anthony Fauci (Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Dolores Huerta (President and Founder, Dolores Huerta Foundation; Co-Founder, United Farm Workers of America), Colin Kaepernick (Human Rights Activist, Co-Founder of Know Your Rights Camp, Super Bowl Quarterback), Dan Schulman (President and Chief Executive Officer, PayPal), and Dan Springer (Chief Executive Officer, DocuSign). 

The Ripple of Hope award celebrates leaders of the international business, entertainment, and activist communities who have demonstrated a commitment to social change and reflect Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, and his belief that each of us can make a difference. 

>> Learn more and get your tickets

Human Rights High School Essay Contest

This is the 20th year of the Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation’s human rights essay contests for high school students. Winners are awarded $1000 and runner ups $500. Never since World War II have human rights been so threatened as they are today by the coronavirus pandemic. Never since the end of the war has it been more important to motivate students to write about ways to right rights.

Essays should be between 1000 and 2500 words and will be judged according to how clearly and well they answer the question posed and the extent to which they are supported by research. Click the link below for further information on the essay question, criteria, and eligibility. 

Submission Deadline:  December 10, 2020

>> Learn more

Black Lives Matter at School – Year of Purpose

Join the Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose and Week of Action in the fight for racial justice in education. The Year of Purpose has two major components:

  • Reflect. Educators and parents who have been pressed into educating their kids at home due to COVID-19 — are called on to answer a series of reflection questions that help them better analyze their pedagogy with respect to anti-racist practices.
  • Take Action. Educators, students, parents, and community members are called on to organize for a day of action during every month of the school year that will highlight different aspects of the BLM at School movement

 >> Learn more and get involved

Pedagogies for Human Rights Education and Intercultural Competence

When: Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Where: Live Stream
Cost:  Free

Please join the University of Connecticut’s’ Human Rights Institute for a lunchtime seminar with Sandra Sirota and Manuela Wagner entitled: “Pedagogies for Human Rights Education and Intercultural Competence.”

Sirota and Wagner will share how they planned and implemented a collaborative course on human rights education and intercultural citizenship in which students created educational projects for implementation in formal and non-formal settings. Topics will include main themes, examples of students’ projects, opportunities for collaboration and online course design, and challenges of online course design and implementation.

>> Learn more
>> Register

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Institute and the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education. 

Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference 2020

Date: Friday, October 22-23, 2020
Time: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm EST
Where: Virtual
Cost: $15-$50

On October 22-23, 2020, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition will host its first-ever virtual conference. Open to all who are interested in building connections across science, technology and human rights, the virtual format will include new opportunities for engagement. Join the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition as we take stock of progress made towards building effective partnerships between the scientific community and human rights communities.

>> Learn more and register

Human Rights Classrooms & Elections: Teaching the Day After

Date: Friday, October 16, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Where: Zoom Call
Cost: Free

During this event, human rights educators will discuss how they plan to address anticipated challenges and opportunities with respect to teaching after the 2020 U.S. elections. They will also share techniques for ensuring an inclusive and respectful environment around teaching and discussing contentious issues.


  • Moderator: Sandra Sirota, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut.
  • Natalie Hudson, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Dayton
  • Rachel Wahl, Associate Professor in the Social Foundations Program, Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia
  • Kendall Thomas, Nash Professor of Law and Director, Center for the Study of Law & Culture, Columbia University in the City of New York

>> Register

Organized by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education.