Online Course – In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis

Amnesty International USA is now providing a new online advocacy course! In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis based on their report of the same name that examines how all aspects of American life have been compromised in some way by the unfettered access to guns, with no attempts at meaningful national regulation.

“The U.S. government is prioritizing gun ownership over basic human rights. While many solutions have been offered, there has been a stunning lack of political will to save lives,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite the huge number of guns in circulation and the sheer numbers of people killed by guns each year, there is a shocking lack of federal regulations that could save thousands.”

Acknowledging the decades of work by impacted communities and activists, the report and the course aim to support those efforts by placing the problem of gun violence in the framework of universally recognized human rights, and offering solutions within that framework that the U.S. should adopt to address the crisis.The course contains 4 modules for you to complete at your own pace (approximately 90 minutes). By the end of this course, the user will understand the framework for why gun violence in the U.S. is a human rights violation and what needs to change!  A course certificate will be provided upon completion.

 >> Access course
 >> Read full report

Your Vote, Your Voice 2020

HRE USA leaders and partners have come together to encourage everyone to make sure their voice is heard and exercise their civic right to vote this November! To further engage students around voting and participation in government, we have compiled a rich collection of Get Out The Vote student-centered resources, programs, and projects. These resources can be used to create a service-driven civic learning activity or, can be inserted into ongoing social and civic education projects. 

Exercise your right to vote this November and encourage your students to help get out the vote!

>> Learn more

Advance Voting Rights

August 6 was the 55th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Voting Rights Act, key portions of which were invalidated in 2013 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder. Recent primary elections in Wisconsin and Georgia were riddled with problems—polling place closures, long lines with hours-long waits, unfulfilled absentee ballot requests, and machine breakdowns—that could have been avoided if we had the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), a direct response to Shelby v. Holder, was recently reintroduced as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Lewis, the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, helped lead the historic 1965 march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, that led to the passage and signing of the Voting Rights Act. The House passed the VRAA in December 2019, after a dozen hearings documenting the continued persistence of racial discrimination in voting. Now, it’s up to the Senate. 

Contact your senators and tell them to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

 >> Take Action

Future Voters Project: New Resources for Teaching the Election

Right now is a critical time for fostering civic action and understanding in our youth.  To that end, Teaching Tolerance has created brand-new resources as part of their Future Voters Project! Check out the project to explore their new voter suppression lesson bank and review their recommendations for leading safe, inclusive voter registration drives. Sign up to receive updates every Thursday until November with new and recommended resources for registering future voters, learning about voting rights and voter suppression, and leading discussions about the 2020 election.

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2020 Election Speaker Series

When: September 13, 18, 25 & October 2, 9, 16, 23
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CST
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

The University of Dayton School of Law and Human Rights Center are hosting a 2020 Election Speaker Series. The series will consist of political experts and officeholders discussing the most pressing issues leading up to the 2020 Election. The sessions will be available on Zoom and are free. You can attend all of them or just specific sessions. Please view the sessions below and register using the link provided for each session you wish to attend.

>> Learn more and Register

Civic Engagement – Monday, September 14, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This inaugural session focuses on how to get engaged in the 2020 election on the local, state, and national levels. 
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Shelley Inglis, Executive Director, University of Dayton Human Rights Center
  • Speaker:
    Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State
  • Panelists
    Ifeolu A.C. Claytor, All Voting is Local, Ohio Campaign Manager
    Jo Lovelace Hill, Vice-President of Voter Services, League of Women Voters of Greater Dayton
    Christopher Devine, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Dayton
  • Presentation
    UDayton Votes Removing Barriers and Striving to Empower All to Participate – Rep. Charles Booker – Friday, September 18, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Removing Barriers and Striving to Empower All to Participate – Friday, September 18, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will feature Rep. Charles Booker with the Kentucky State House of Representatives.
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Joel Pruce, University of Dayton Human Rights Center
  • Keynote:
    Rep. Charles Booker, Kentucky State House of Representatives
  • Student and Community Panel: 
    Zion Savory, President, Black Law Students Association, University of Dayton School of Law
    Darius J. Beckham, Legislative Aide to Mayor Nan Whaley, City of Dayton

Race and Gender in the Elections – Friday, September 25, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine issues of race and gender that impact elections in the United States. It features a special appearance and address by Ohio House Minority Leader Emelia Strong Sykes starting at 4:30 pm.
Register Now

  • Introductions:
    Khandice Lofton, Vice-President, Black Law Students Association, University of Dayton School of Law
  • Moderator: 
    Tiffany Taylor Smith, Executive Director for Inclusive Excellence Education and Professional Development, University of Dayton
  • Speaker:
    Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, Ohio House Democratic Leader
  • Panel:
    Reverend Peter Matthews, Pastor, Historic McKinley United Methodist Church and Director of the Center for Global Renewal and Missions at United Theological Seminary
    Professor Neil G. Williams, Nathaniel R. Jones Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law

Voter Participation and Suppression – Friday, October 2, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine structural problems that undermine full enfranchisement in the United States. 
Register Now

  • Introductions & Moderator:
    Bob Taft, University of Dayton, Distinguished Research Associate
  • Panel:
    Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director, Common Cause
  • Benjamin Cover, Associate Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law

Technology and Voting in 2020 – Problems and Promise – Friday, October 9, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine how new technologies are affecting the 2020 elections.
Register Now

  • Introductions:
    Wm. David Salisbury, Sherman-Standard Register Professor of Cybersecurity Management & Director, UD Center for Cybersecurity & Data Intelligence    
  • Moderator:
    Aquene Freechild, Co-Director, Democracy Is For People Campaign
  • Panel:
    Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science, MIT
    Dan Wallach, Professor, Rice University Department of Computer Science
    Elizabeth Howard, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center’s Democracy Program

Campaign Finance and Other First Amendment Issues – Friday, October 16, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This session will examine the current law and practice of financing and conducting political campaigns in 2020. 
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  • Panel:
    Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law, Stetson University
    Ann Southworth, Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law; Co-Director, Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession
    Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

Expectations, Emergent Issues, and Breaking News – Friday, October 23, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
This final session is devoted to a final review of the election-related issues facing the nation and our community in the final days running up to Election Day.
Register Now

Refusing to ‘go back to normal’: Addressing structural racism in policing, healthcare, and other institutions

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:15 pm CT / 2:00-3:15 pm ET
Where: Live Stream on Zoom
Cost: FREE

This session builds upon our previous event, “Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Outcomes During COVID and Beyond,” by delving further into the impacts of systemic racism, and suggesting alternative social and policy paths for improving lives and health by respecting the rights of Black people in the United States.

Distinguished presenters include Dr. Tendayi Achiume, U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Dr. Rachel Hardeman, from the University of Minnesota and  Dr. Sirry Alang from Lehigh University.  The panel will be moderated by Dr. Shailey Prasad, Director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.

>> Register

Amid Crises, UNICEF USA Launches Program to Help Kids in US

NEW YORK (August 12, 2020) – on August 12, 2020,  International Youth Day, an annual observance to celebrate young peoples’ voices, actions and meaningful, equitable engagement, UNICEF USA announced the launch of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) in the United States. Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Minneapolis, MN and Prince George’s County, MD will serve as the first cohort of cities and the first country to implement an ambitious, two-year process toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.  

Originally created in 1996, UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative uses a child rights-based framework to build a roadmap for establishing safer, more just, equitable, inclusive and child-responsive cities and communities around the world. Since its inception, CFCI has been adopted in over 3,000 municipalities in 40 countries. UNICEF USA applauds these municipalities for their commitment to using this framework to build better communities for children. 

“This year has seen so many challenges that have deeply impacted children and families, and also shown the important role that local governments play in supporting them,” said UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “As an organization that has dedicated nearly 74 years to protecting and supporting children around the world, UNICEF USA is proud to use this moment to help build better communities for children here in the United States alongside Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Prince George’s County.” 

In its pursuit of recognition as a Child Friendly City, government officials and community leaders in Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Prince George’s County will conduct a situational analysis of child well-being in each city. Based on these findings, the cities will implement an action plan that prioritizes the best interests of children and youth within their local policies. CFCI will empower leaders to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism on children, work to combat discrimination and elevate their voices in local governance and decision-making.

>> Read full article
For more information about Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the Unites States, visit
To take action and encourage cities across the United States to become more child friendly, visit

Support the Breathe Act

The BREATHE Act is the modern-day Civil Rights Act that we deserve. The Act offers a radical reimagining of public safety, community care, and how we spend money as a society. We bring 4 simple ideas to the table:

  • Divest federal resources from incarceration and policing.
  • Invest in new, non-punitive, non-carceral approaches to community safety that lead states to shrink their criminal-legal systems and center the protection of Black lives—including Black mothers, Black trans people, and Black women.
  • Allocate new money to build healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities.
  • Hold political leaders to their promises and enhance the self-determination of all Black communities

Get to know and share out the 17 demands by Black Lives Matter that address COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on black and brown communities. Study and support the Breathe Act authored and organized by the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives and over 150 organizations.   

>> Learn more and take action

FREE Human Rights Yes! Training Manuals

Human Rights Educators USA and Gleason Printing have teamed up to help offer two free human rights education training manuals:

Human Rights Yes!: Action and Advocacy on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a comprehensive human rights curriculum on the rights of persons with disabilities developed by leading experts in the fields of disability rights, international human rights law, human rights education, and grassroots advocacy. Human Rights. Yes! is Topic Book 6 in the Human Rights Education Series published by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. It draws on the full body of international human rights law, with a focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The book utilizes an active learning approach and is intended to serve as a resource for disabled people’s organizations, human rights advocates, national human rights institutions, governmental human rights focal points, and international development and humanitarian assistance organizations.

 These manuals are FREE with the exception of paying the shipping & handling charge.

While shopping, please 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.

Free Course on Use of Deadly Force by Police in the U.S.

Police violence is a human rights crisis. We must step up to protect our communities across the U.S. against excessive use of force.  In order to promote action against police violence in the United States, Amnesty International USA has developed a FREE micro-learning course on the use of deadly force by police in the U.S.  By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Define the Use of Force and articulate under which circumstances authorities are allowed to use it
  • Understand how racist and discriminatory ideology has shaped the history of policing in the USA
  • Outline how U.S. police use excessive force and describe how it threatens human rights
  • Take action by organizing and mobilizing your community to support systemic reform of USA policing to end racism and stop human rights violations

>> Start course