Human Rights Watch Student Task Force Launches Campaign to Protect DACA Recipients

Since 2012, more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children were allowed to go to school and work without fear of deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On September 5, 2017, President Trump rescinded the program and gave Congress six months to determine the fate of DACA recipients. Human Rights Watch has said, “Trump’s repeal of DACA will expose hundreds of thousands of people to deportation by a cruel and unjust immigration system.”

Moved to protect the human rights of DACA recipients, more than 80 Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (STF) leaders, teachers and guests launched the fall STF campaign at their 2017 Leadership Workshop in Playa Vista, California. Alex Alpharaoh, a DACA recipient and spoken word artist, helped the audience understand the human cost of losing the DACA program by sharing his story of being undocumented in the U.S., the country he has lived in since he was three-months-old, and the only home he knows. Participants discussed the importance of home and asked themselves, “What is our role in Alex’s story?”

Paul Mandabach
At the STF Workshop, Alex Alpharaoh performed his spoken word show, “WET: A DACAmented Journey,” to personalize the fears and struggles DACA recipients face.      Photo by Patricia Williams.

To help STF discuss human rights, Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, a Congolese-Iranian human rights lawyer, and Ishmael Beah, a longtime friend of STF who is a best selling author of his memoirs as a boy soldier, led some of the breakout groups.

STFers are organizing plans to bring Alex to as many schools as possible to raise awareness and stand up for the human rights of DACA recipients.

>> Check out the Event Slide Show

NCSS Addresses LGBTQ+ Issues in Social Education

The October 2017 issue of Social Education, published by the National Council for the Social Studies and guest edited Gloria T. Alter, highlights “LGBTQ+ Issues in Social Education.”  A human rights perspective underlies the articles, which help teachers to engage in LGBTQ+ curriculum inclusion, incorporate media and children’s literature, meet LGBTQ+ student needs, prevent and respond to bullying, and address legal issues.  The issue specifically cites the NCSS Human Rights Education Position Statement and uses human rights to contextualize the topic and notes that NCSS also recently passed a resolution to support the integration of LGBTQ+ content and issues in the social studies curriculum. Both the position statement and resolution are strong arguments for inclusion in social education.

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2018 CTAUN Conference

When: Friday, April 6th, 2018   9:30 – 4:00 pm
Where: United Nations Headquarters, First Avenue and 45th Street, New York,  NY 10017
Cost: $65

Registration is now open for the 2018 Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Stepping Up to Protect the World’s Children.”  This all day conference This all-day conference will shed light on some of the serious challenges faced by children worldwide, has well as by children in our own communities. We will look at what can be and is being done at the UN, by NGOs, by educators and others, including children themselves, to help them overcome and rise above these most difficult circumstances.

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>> Register for event

Thematic Discussions on HRE in Higher Education

Interested in exploring how to advance human rights education across university and college communities?  Join this online discussion entitled, “Education for Human Rights: Attitudes, Values and Activism” hosted by the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE).

When: Monday, November 13th @10 am EST
Topic: Education for Human Rights: Attitudes, Values and Activism

How to Join Zoom Meeting

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,,2307940030# or +16465588656,,2307940030#
Or Telephone:Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 230 794 0030
International numbers available

Facing History Webinars

Facing History and Ourselves has a full list of interesting webinars this month. Sign up today to get introduced to new content and teaching strategies and to engage with other educators and Facing History staff.

Identity, Race, and the Classroom
One of the greatest challenges facing educators today is how to navigate conversations about race in this volatile social and political moment. Central to the conversations are issues of identity, both for educators and their students. This webinar is held in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Holocaust and Human Behavior Webinar Series 
Facing History recently published a major revision of our seminal case study, Holocaust and Human Behavior. The new edition offers full digital access to a vast array of new scholarship, primary source material, images, videos, and audio never before compiled in a single resource. Join us for a three-part webinar series to learn more about teaching with the new edition!
Teaching about UNESCO
This webinar will focus on teaching about UNESCO and understanding its mission, its relationship to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the implications of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the organization.
Navigating Difficult Conversations: Gender Identity and the Classroom
In this webinar, we will discuss how to facilitate thoughtful classroom conversations about gender identity so that open and respectful dialogue can happen in your classes.
Teaching the Atrocities at Nanjing: Commemorating the 80th Anniversary
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Atrocities, Facing History and Ourselves will offer a webinar introducing our resource: The Nanjing Atrocities: Crimes of War. The same webinar will be run twice, at two different times of the day, in an effort to support educators in different time zones.

2017 Winners of Edward O’Brien Award in HRE

Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Edward O’Brien Award for Human Rights Education.

Mariana Leal Ferreira
Mariana Leal Ferreira
Cliff Mayotte
Cliff Mayotte


Mariana Leal Ferreira of San Francisco State University is the recipient of the award for individual achievement inthe field. Cliff Mayotte will accept the organizational award on behalf of the Voice of Witness Education Program.

Established in 2015 in memory of Ed O’Brien, pioneer human rights educator, the O’Brien Award honors an individual and an organization that have made an outstanding contribution to human rights education in the United States. This year’s awards will be formally made Saturday, November 18 during the annual conference of the National Co­uncil for the Social Studies in San Francisco.

Nancy Flowers given HRE USA Lifetime Achievement Award

November 16, 2017

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.

Furthermore, in honor of Nancy Flowers, HRE USA established the Flowers Fund. Under her guidance, the fund will be used continue Nancy’s legacy of innovation and mentorship in human rights education.

Please consider contributing today to help us advocate for and further develop programming that supports human rights education and our ultimate goal of making human rights a reality in each community.

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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.