The Power of Human Rights Education is open web resource on human rights education recently launched on 18 September 2018 at a side event to the HRC session, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UDHR and to contribute to the goals of the World Programme for Human Rights Education. The website promotes human rights education through a visual exhibition and a series of films (Path to Dignity), as well as inspirations to take action. The site was developed by HRE 2020, Soka Gakkai International, NGO Working Group on HRE and Learning, and the Platform of member states for Human Rights Education and Training, with thanks to the OHCHR.
The International Journal of Human Rights Education (IJHRE) is a peer-reviewed, online, open-access journal that was launched in 2017 with its inaugural issue.
Volume 2 of the journal is now available.
Hosted by the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library and Geschke Resource Center, the IJHRE provides the global movement for human rights education with a dynamic and democratic platform for debates, ideas, and lessons from engaged scholarship and practice. The IJHRE is an independent journal dedicated to the examination of the theory, research, and practice central to the field of human rights education. The aim of this journal is to serve as a central location for critical thought in the field and to energize new efforts in research and praxis.
Schools, monuments and statues across the country pay homage to the Confederacy. Educators can use a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center to help teach the history behind these public fixtures—and how they spread throughout the South and beyond. The report, entitled “Whose Heritage?”offers data and context that should inform and supplement any lessons on the Civil War, its legacy and the through-line of white supremacist ideology in the United States. A timeline, for example, illustrates the spike in Confederate-dedicated monuments that occurs in tandem with civil rights advancements for black people, or during moments of intense racial strife throughout recent U.S. history. An interactive map points to the geographic locations of these public homages, with monuments and schools in Union states like New York, Pennsylvania and California begging the titular question: Whose heritage is this, really? And what purpose were these symbols of the Confederacy meant to serve?
The data and brief history lessons in this report help answer these questions and counter Lost Cause myths—myths commonly held by, and passed down to, students. As calls to remove or rename symbols of the Confederacy continue to stir controversy, educators can resist the urge to avoid this topic and, instead, teach the hard history and motivation behind these monuments and public symbols. This report supplies a foundation for learning and fodder for lessons.
Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) and the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE) submitted a shadow report to the UN Human Rights Council highlighting the need for greater human rights education across higher education institutions in the United States.
The National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) invites you to submit a proposal to present a session and to review presentation proposals for selection by the program planning committee. The 2018 NCSS Conference will be held November 30 – December 2 in Chicago, IL. The theme of this year’s conference is “Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow: Building the Future of Social Studies.”
Proposal Deadline: February 26
Whether or not you submit a proposal, please consider becoming a proposal reviewer. As a reviewer, you will rate 12-15 proposals. The work is done entirely online, and you will help ensure that the conference reflects NCSS member’s interests and needs. As an added incentive, reviewers receive a 10% discount on the conference registration as a thank you for their work.
by Jessica Lander, Facing History and Ourselves
In my US history classes this fall, we’ve been exploring the journeys of immigrants who came to these shores early in the 20th century. We have listened to accounts from Ellis Island and examined Emma Lazarus’ inscription on the Statue of Liberty.
As I searched for the unit’s final project, I found many proposed activities that began the same way: “Have your students imagine they are immigrants coming to a new country.”
Here I am in luck. Most of my students won’t have to “imagine.” I have a classroom full of experts.
The students I teach hail from 39 countries. Their immigrant stories are just as diverse. I have students born in Thai refugee camps; students who have escaped war in Iraq; and students who have flown from the bustling cities of Brazil in search of economic opportunities.
Immigrant and refugee students bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experiences to our classrooms — not to mention the perseverance it took for them to get here in the first place. But too often, our approach to these learners focuses on the one thing they often lack: English. In the academic hierarchies of high schools — AP, honors classes, college-level classes — English learners often sit on the bottom rung.
It’s obviously true that these students need to master English to thrive in American colleges and professions, but we’re missing something important when we focus so intently on their deficits. We’re overlooking how much they have to offer.
As part of HRE-USA’s commitment to defending DACA and advocating for a Clean Dream Act, we will be interviewing a series of Immigrant Rights activists and sharing ways that educators can support the #HeretoStay movement.
“There is Power in Numbers” – An Immigrant Rights Activist’s Journey
Dulce (above center) an immigrant rights activist and college student currently based out of Washington, D.C., remotely working with an organization called Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) and also United We Dream. While her dedication to the #HeretoStay movement is clear-cut and straightforward, her personal journey has taken her across thousands of miles, across the border of two countries and through three different U.S. states.
Dulce was born in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in the southern region of Mexico. Given that her family found it poverty-ridden and infested with crime at the time, her parents decided to leave her community in search of better opportunities in the United States. She crossed the border exactly on her ninth birthday, which she considers her “birthday gift.”
The arduous journey with her grandmother, aunt, mother, and other family members spanned across three days and three nights. Dulce shares that during that journey into the United States, her mother unfortunately was caught by U.S. border agents, forcing her mother to attempt the journey four other times, one of which where she was kidnapped.
Dulce herself ended up living in South Carolina and started third grade there where she learned English and eventually successfully completed middle and high school. As her high school graduation date loomed ahead, she realized that she wanted to go to college. However, this proved difficult, given that South Carolina did not pride itself in welcoming immigrant communities and was known for its anti-immigration legislation, essentially banning immigrant students from attending college.
When DACA came out, Dulce was still in high school and had applied and been accepted into three different universities. Despite this being an incredible accomplishment, for Dulce it was a huge let down, as all of these schools did not offer financial aid / in-state tuition for individuals with her immigration status. Eventually, Dulce was forced to give up on her dream of going to college for a whole year.
During that year, Dulce found a job, attempting to save as much money as possible in order to achieve her dream of eventually going to college. She attempted everything to achieve her goal of getting her higher education paid for, including going to a military recruitment office. At the time, she found it to be her only solution, yet she found that nothing came out of it, and given her immigration status, she wasn’t able to join the military either. While Dulce struggled to make something out of her life, she found that all of the doors of opportunity were closed to her.
Moving forward, through internet research, Dulce eventually found a scholarship over Facebook for DACA recipients through TheDream.US Even though it was a week before the deadline, she applied and by December, she learned she received the educational scholarship. Ever persistent, learning that only students who were eligible for in-state tuition could receive the scholarship, Dulce moved to Florida not knowing anyone, with her dreams in her suitcase, to attempt to receive an out-of-state tuition waiver.
Having moved to Florida, Dulce soon learned that she was ineligible for in-state tuition waiver, having needed to spend three years of high school in the state, but stayed there for two years. She cobbled together her savings from the year and a half that she had worked, got a job on campus, but the scholarship she received only covered one-third of her tuition. Given that she had to still pay for her housing, it got to a point where she couldn’t afford college.
Despite all of the setbacks, Dulce refused to give up and eventually moved once again to Washington, D.C., where she currently attends Trinity Washington University, where with the support of TheDream.US, she is able to complete her education and she finds a community that is welcoming of immigrants and DACA recipients.
In Washington, D.C., she continues her activism, as she understands how important it is to speak out and fight not only for yourself, but for other people as well. Before she became involved in activism, she herself didn’t know the origins of DACA and realized it was a program made possible by activists that came before her, who paved the path for people like herself. In turn, Dulce hopes to pave the path for others who will come after her.
For this reason, alongside SWER, she also works with the immigrant rights organization, United We Dream and connected with them immediately when she arrived to D.C. to be as much help as possible. As of November 2017, she has been helping to organize the walk-out at Trinity Washington University, in support of the passing of Clean Dream Act.
For Dulce this work is important because she feels her community, and other communities (for instance the Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Haitian communities in the Temporary Protection Status program) are under attack under the current administration. Furthermore, future immigrant communities will be affected, as the administration seeks to terminate programs that will directly impact immigrants. For this reason, Dulce lobbies and calls her senators and representatives, and aggressively advocates for them to pass the Clean Dream Act, legislation that she will provide protection for herself, her community, and also her mother, whom she considers the original DREAMer.
Through her multiple journeys and dream to pursue a college education, Dulce remains hopeful and feels that she receives a lot of support from allies and strangers who support this cause. Recently, students at Trinity Washington University organized information sessions, where many non-DACA recipients came out to show their support of immigrant communities and to learn more about how how the DACA and TPS repeals were negatively affecting the immigrant community.
Alongside her activism, she continues to study at Trinity Washington University, as she is double-majoring in Communications and International Relations. While her future career is still uncertain, she has a desire to possibly involve herself with immigration law, work for a non-profit, or get into politics. She has a deep desire to make a positive change in her community. Even on her free time, she is very active on social media, following and arguing with politicians, and reading through Facebook posts of individuals with different ideological points of view, including those that might be hateful. In spite of much of the ignorant rhetoric online, she believes that while some people may never change their mind, she believes that you can at least change their attitudes. Even on her downtime, Dulce can be found online, explaining the basics of U.S. immigration and debunking the misinformation around immigrants and crime to strangers.
Dulce continues to fight and reminds others to only for the current DACA recipients, but also for every generation, including her mother. She believes that the original DREAMers are not herself and her fellow DACA recipients, but rather the parents of current DACA recipients, those that left everything behind so that their children could have a better life.
Action Steps: Click here to take a look at some resources educators and their communities can do to support the Clean Dream Act. Also check out this toolkit created by United We Dream to use in the classroom.
Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE) is offering innovative, educational social justice workshops for both youth and adults. ARTE focuses on the intersection of human rights with art, design, and technology. Workshops themes include:
- Art as a tool for social justice
- Human rights education for youth
- Using the arts to realize your social justice passion
- Making human rights change through art and design
ARTE will work with you to explore how to best serve your community’s needs and customize a workshop that will best support your own grassroots organizing. ARTE seeks to build critical partnerships that will allow them to collaboratively make meaningful and sustainable human rights change.
Workshops range from 60 minutes to full day-long workshops. Please contact Marissa Gutierrez for more information. You may also fill out our workshop request form. While based in New York City, ARTE can also visit cities outside of their home base.