70th Anniversary of the UDHR – Resource Kit

The UDHR is turning 70 on December 10th! Find ways to celebrate, teach, and more with HRE USA’s online resource kit or participate in our UDHR poster contest.

December 10th, 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of 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. 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.

Join HRE USA in celebrating the gift of the UDHR and re-affirm the enduring human rights principles and standards that it helped establish.

Celebrate National Voter Registration Day #UseMyVoice #UseMyVote

Today is National Voter Registration Day! 

To help celebrate and encourage students and adults to register, Teaching Tolerance (TT) has put together some greater resources on their “Register Voters” page.

If you’re already supporting voter-registration efforts at your school, share it here and add your name to the Voting and Voices map.  Also be sure to spread the word on Twitter using #UseMyVoice and #UseMyVote.

Even students who are ineligible to vote can pledge to participate in the democratic process with these two pledges you can share with students—and their families—to empower them to use their voices or their votes in the 2018 midterm elections.

The health of our democracy depends on the next generations of voters and voting advocates. There is no better time to commit to helping students register to vote and identify as agents of civic change. For further resources,  see TT’s  Voting and Voices page to give your students the tools—and the support—to participate in the democratic process.

Abolish Columbus Day

Celebrating Columbus means celebrating colonialism, celebrating racism, celebrating genocide. It’s time that instead we paid tribute to the people who were here first, who are still here, and who are leading the struggle for a sustainable planet.

It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day. Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights.

To encourage schools to petition their administration and for communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, The Zinn Education Project has compiled a 14-page packet that contains articles, sample resolutions, a resource list, and a poster.

>> Learn more

 

Never Forget – Teaching 9/11

Each September brings a flurry of excitement and anxiety for parents, teachers, and students. Beginning in September 2002 another factor was added to the list: how and what to teach about 9/11.

“Never forget” became a national rallying cry after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet America’s schools — where collective memory is shaped — are now full of students who never knew. Because they weren’t alive 17 years ago.  In fact, most individuals under the age of 30 have limited or no memories of the world before the attacks of September 11,2001 and were certainly not old enough to fully understand how the subsequent U.S. response, including the so-called “War on Terror” and its resulting policies, impacted human rights.

As such, many teachers struggle with whether and how to teach the attacks and their aftermath, but, in order to never forget, our children need to be taught about 9/11. More importantly, they need to understand how changes in U.S. national security policy post-9/11 continue to manifest themselves in new and different ways today, even as public and media attention wanes. These trends are especially apparent among young people, who reportedly demonstrate low rates of awareness of issues such as indefinite detention or drone strikes, and often exhibit lower levels of civic participation around national security and human rights issues.

That’s where Human Rights in National Security: An Educator’s Toolkit comes in. The events of the past seventeen years are highly relevant in a number of academic disciplines: civics, political science, law, literature, film, religious studies, international relations, and more. This toolkit provides educators with lesson plans and resources to address these issues in the classroom and to empower students to assess their developments through a human rights lens. It also aims to increase participation among high school and college students in activism and advocacy around torture, surveillance, anti-Muslim hate, indefinite detention, and other common human rights violations associated with post-9/11 U.S. policy.

>> Download Toolkit

Need support? If so, please email us. Human Rights Educators USA has teamed up with Amnesty International USA to gather feedback and improve this resource.

Amnesty International USA Regional Conferences

EVENT DETAILS: 

When: October – November
Where: Various Locations throughout the US
Cost: $15-35

Amnesty International USA is excited to announce the 2018 Regional Conferences throughout the months of October through November in locations across the United States. Regional conferences bring together Amnesty members and other human rights activists to continue the tradition of engaging in networking opportunities, inspiring plenaries, and hands-on skill-building workshops, as well as shaping the policies of the organization.  As activists, you will be challenged to initiate change within your own communities. This will only happen with you – we need you there!

>> Learn more and register

Counter Hate in Schools

Since Teaching Tolerance began tracking hate and bias incidents at school in October 2017, they’ve recorded 496 reports spanning 47 states and Washington, D.C.  A recent UCLA study found that teachers are seeing increased incivility, intolerance and polarization in classrooms.

“Back to school” shouldn’t mean “back to hate.” 

To counter this rise of discrimination, hatred, and bigotry in our society and in our schools, the Southern Poverty Law Center has joined forces with 20 other education advocacy groups, including HRE USA, to counter hate in American schools. This coalition is committed to providing resources and support so schools may effectively respond to hateful acts and create learning environments where every student feels welcome.

Read the full statement and add your name* to the list of supporters who believe hate has no place in schools. If you represent an education organization that would like to add your group’s name to this statement, please email againsthate@tolerance.org.

>> Sign on to the Join Statement
>> Learn more

To counter hate in your school, Teaching Tolerance suggests the following: 

  1. Be prepared. Use our Responding to Hate and Bias at School guide to learn what to do before, during and after a crisis. Having protocols in place at the beginning of the school year helps increase administrators’ and teachers’ confidence that they’ll be able to effectively address incidents and alleviate tension.
  2. Develop a zero intolerance policy. Follow our Speak Up at School guide to help respond to prejudice, bias, and stereotypes every day in the classroom.
  3. Take on controversial topics and encourage civil discourse. Civil Discourse in the Classroom lays the groundwork. Let’s Talk! provides strategies to facilitate discussions that might elicit strong emotions.
  4. Create a community where all students can thrive. Use our Social Justice Standards to guide you in the engagement of anti-bias education. Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education ensures teachers can improve academic outcomes by building intergroup awareness, encouraging students to speak out against bias and injustice.

Workshop: Human Rights Cities and Today’s Political Context

EVENT DETAILS: 

When: Friday, July 27, 2018
Time: 9-5 pm
Where: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Cost: FREE

Conveners: National Human Rights Cities AllianceAmerican Friends Service Committee-DC Peace & Economic Justice, & Human rights on the Hill Institute

This day-long workshop convenes human rights activists, scholars, and policy practitioners to consider lessons learned from a growing global “human rights cities” movement. Participants will learn about global and national trends, opportunities, and challenges to “bringing human rights home” here in the United States.  This is a space for sustained dialogue to promote understanding of human rights cities/communities and to advance ideas and models for local human rights practice. Particular attention is paid to disparities in race, class, gender, and environmental health, and we will explore how people-centered human rights cities can help to addresses these structural injustices. Lessons from the workshop will shape the ongoing work of the National Human Rights Cities Alliance and its support for local human rights organizers and movements providing leadership and advocacy to secure, protect, and promote human rights for all people. See session summaries below.

Registration is free. Please RSVP to: Rachel Bergsieker, American Friends Service Committee DC Office (RBergsieker@afsc.org).

The National Human Rights Cities Alliance has placed 3 double rooms at the Kellogg Conference Hotel on hold for out-of-town guests. Should you wish to book accommodations at this venue, please include the number of beds requested with your RSVP.

The workshops will run from 9AM-5PM Friday July 27th. There will be an optional program the evening of Thursday July  26th for participants who can attend. More details TBA.

SESSION SUMMARIES

The Global Movement of Human Rights Cities
This panel provides an overview of the emerging global human rights cities movement. It offers perspectives from different world regions and insights into how UN human rights institutions can be resources for local human rights enforcers.
Human Rights Cities in the United States: Background & Highlights/Lessons
This panel shares accounts from several human rights cities, offering perspectives on different models of human rights cities and projects that help build local human rights coalitions.
Human Rights Cities Models and Campaigns
Continuing themes from the preceding panel, this session lifts up key struggles common to all cities and reflects on possibilities for mobilizing local human rights cities around alternative models for community emerging from various national and international campaigns.
Today’s Challenges: Trumpism, Corporate Power and Local Resistance
Why Cities? What possibilities exist for using human rights frameworks to mobilize resistance to to right-wing populism? Drawing from recent struggles around the rights of immigrant residents and to resist corporate-led local development such as that seen in cities vying to host Amazon’s 2nd headquarters, panelists reflect on the lessons and strategies needed to defend human rights amid current challenges.
Concluding Dialogue
Participants will engage in dialogue and Q&A around ideas that emerge in the workshop, including the following possible themes: Lessons from Human Rights Cities—Key models and initiatives; Identifying critical needs for US human rights advocates; Expanding international alliances and strategic use of international mechanisms.