Webinar: Telling Your City’s Story – Preparing UPR Cities Reports


When: Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
Time:  6:00PM EDT/3:00PM Pacific
Where: Online Webinar
Cost: FREE

Help “bring human rights home.” Join cities around the country to hold US public officials accountable to global human rights!

The US Human Rights Cities Alliance invites you to participate in the UPR Cities Project, which supports local efforts to document local human rights conditions as part of a United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States’ human rights record. We invite organizers to participate in local human rights reviews and build a national cities stakeholder report. In this webinar you can learn how to structure your local report for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review and how else to bring your city’s voice into our national cities stakeholder report. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or whether you’ve spent months building your local human rights assessment, your city can be part of this important effort to strengthen human rights in the United States.

Previous UPR Cities webinars are available online at: http://wiki.humanrightscities.mayfirst.org/index.php?title=UPR_Cities_Project

To register for the webinar, please send your name, organization (if applicable), and location to: uprcities@humanrightscities.mayfirst.org.

>> Learn more

Webinar on Universal Periodic Review Process – Sept. 4

When: Wednesday, September 4
Time:  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT
Where: Online Webinar
Cost: FREE

Join USHRN for their fifth Webinar Wednesday on the UPR process to answer the questions:

“How do I submit a stakeholder report?”
“What are the deadlines involved in stakeholder reporting?”

In May 2020, the United States will undergo a “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) of its domestic human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. The UPR is an exciting and tangible advocacy opportunity for US-based NGOs to engage the UN on strengthening human rights in the United States. The UN UPR Working Group will review the United States in April-May 2020. 

Final stakeholder reports by NGOs on the human rights records of the US are due at the end of September 2019. The US Human Rights Network is facilitating issue-based working groups who will draft and submit stakeholder reports to USHRN by September 20, 2019. 
Join the USHRN webinars to find out more about the process and the opportunity to hold the US. government accountable to its human rights obligations. 

Save the Date! Upcoming Webinars:

  • September 4: Webinar #5 – Thematic/issue-based approach to stakeholder reporting, with special guests who have experience engaging with the United Nations around their issue.
  • September 18: Webinar #6 – A full hour dedicated to your questions on stakeholder reporting, just ahead of the submission deadline.
  • October 16: Webinar #7 – After you have submitted your stakeholder report, it’s time to talk about going to Geneva and engagement with the U.S. government. Join us for an introduction to engaging at the UPR Working Group review of the United States in 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the Webinar Wednesdays series or the Universal Periodic Review, please contact USHRN Deputy Director Salimah Hankins: shankins@ushrnetwork.org

Please click the link below to join the webinar: 

Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16699006833,,688087460#
or +19292056099,,688087460# 

Or Telephone:
US: +1 669 900 6833  
or +1 929 205 6099 
Webinar ID: 688 087 460
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/ad95Zbkz2

Is Toxic Masculinity Killing Us? What Can Teachers Do?

The amount of mass shootings across the U.S. so far in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year, according to a gun violence research group. This puts 2019 on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day.

We all want to be safe and secure, and to live without fear, and that’s a human right that we all have. But in the U.S., gun violence is an epidemic that directly threatens these rights. 

Other than the use of a gun, the common denominator linking all such attacks is glaringly obvious and yet worryingly absent from much of our discussion about gun violence. This common denominator applies to all but three of the more than 150 mass shootings in which four or more people in the US were killed in public between 1966 and earlier this year. The perpetrators are not all white nationalists, but they are almost all men.

When you look at the pattern among many of the men who have committed some of the most heinous acts of violence in our nation’s recent history, they frequently share a common trait of hating, and perpetrating violence against, women. A 2017 HuffPost investigation found that in 59% of mass shootings between 2015 and early November 2017, the suspected shooter had a history of domestic violence and/or killed an intimate partner or family member in the shooting.  According to a systematic analysis of 22 mass shootings by Mother Jones, there is “a strong overlap between toxic masculinity and public mass shootings.” Virtually all of them also suffer some form of aggrieved entitlement—“an existential state of fear about having my ‘rightful place’ as a male questioned…challenged…deconstructed.” In addition to high-profile mass shootings that make national headlines, many everyday incidents of gun violence in the United Statesinvolve domestic abuse.

So while stricter gun laws seem like a no brainer, we can’t just focus on symptoms. We also need to attack this problem at its source, which is toxic masculinity. As prominent feminist Jessica Valenti puts it: “The longer we ignore the toxic masculinity that underlies so many of these crimes, the more violence we’re enabling.” 

“In an article for Teaching Tolerance entitled, Toxic Masculinity Is Bad for Everyone: Why Teachers Must Disrupt Gender Norms Every Day, Colleen Clemens writes, Toxic masculinity, the idea that there is only one way to ‘be a man’—strong, tough, unfeeling and aggressive—is a double-edged sword. First, it harms the boys and men who fail to live up to gendered expectations of who they should be. Then, sometimes, these men perpetrate violence in response, leaving innocent victims in their wake. Because gender expectations amount to a moving target that no one can hit, no matter how hard they try, toxic masculinity is always a losing game. A vacuum is created when we tell a boy over and over that  he is “not a man,” that he needs to “man up” or “grow a pair.” What if that vacuum is filled by a need to prove his power? What if the proof is violence?
As educators, it is time we decouple sex from gender and talk about how this twisted brand of cultural masculinity—not biological maleness—plays a role in creating violence in our classrooms, hallways, workplaces, and sanctuaries. Once we shift the discussion away from sex and biology and toward gender and culture, then we can begin to work toward solutions.” 

To get started, check out the following resources on how you can promote healthy masculinity early and teach boys and young men to recognize, reject, and challenge toxic masculinity. 

>> LIVERESPECT: Coaching Healthy and Respectful Manhood (Educator Guide) 
>> NYT Lesson: Boys to Men – Teaching and Learning about Masculinity in an Age of Change
>> ADL Lesson: The Trap of Masculinity: How Sexism Impacts Boys and Men
>> Teaching Tolerance Resources on Toxic Masculinity
>> Jackson Katz TED Talk – Violence Against Women – it’s a Men’s Issue
>> Article: Challenging toxic masculinity in schools and society
>> Article: 6 Harmful Effects Of Toxic Masculinity

Online Course: Strategic Advocacy: Planning & Tracking Advocacy Campaigns

Whether you’re just starting to plan a campaign and want to make it as effective as possible, or are struggling to get the results you want, this training will help sharpen your focus, identify opportunities, and add flexibility and surprise to your campaign. The online course allows you (and your team) to work at your own pace, on your own time, with feedback from our professional trainers and interaction in an online forum with your peers. This new online course is being offered for FREE from New Tactics in Human Rights.

Application Deadline: August 30, 2019.

>>  Learn more and apply

Engaging with the Media on Human Rights: Finding, Crafting and Advancing your Story


When: Friday, September 20
Time:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10027, Room 320C
Cost: $345 – Early Bird Rate (by August 23rd) $395 – regular rate.
 >> Register

Media can play an essential role in raising awareness and advancing human rights agendas. This workshop is designed to develop the capacity of human rights and social justice actors to effectively engage with the media in order to advance their work. Drawing on real-world examples and interactive learning activities, through this workshop, participants learn how to: develop media engagement strategies based on a better understanding of journalists’ goals and perspectives; craft, advance, manage, and distribute messages through various strategies, including through social media; identify relevant publications; brand oneself and/or an organization as a go-to source on human rights issues; frame human rights issues that will engage the public; write op-eds and press releases; secure and conduct interviews.

Facilitator: Lonnie Isabel is an established journalism instructor and a veteran of the newspaper business who he has worked on both coasts as a political reporter, investigative reporter and editor for Newsday, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Oakland Tribune. As deputy managing editor of Newsday, Isabel was responsible for supervising the national, foreign, state, Washington, health and science staffs. He was editor and supervisor of Dele Olojede’s Pulitzer Prize winning series on the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and has overseen coverage of the Iraq War, the aftermath of September 11th, and two presidential campaigns. Isabel has trained journalists in Jordan and India and was appointed a Poynter Ethics Fellow in 2006. 

For questions, email humanrightsed@columbia.edu
 >> Register

Tell Congress to Prevent Gun Violence

Learning requires a safe environment and guns pose a grave threat to students and teachers.

The recent tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton are a gut-wrenching reminder of Congress’ inaction on gun violence. It is long past time to take action to stop school shootings and mass shootings in the United States. The Senate has a bill ready that can serve as a crucial first step in keeping schools and communities safe from gun violence. 

Write your senators today. Tell them to return to Washington D.C and immediately take up S. 42 to expand background checks for gun purchases and S. 66 to ban assault weapons. 

>> Take action