News & Updates

2018 Winners of Edward O’Brien Award in HRE

Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Edward O’Brien Award for Human Rights Education.

Karen Robinson
Karen Robinson

Karen Robinson
of Speak Truth To Power, a project of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is the recipient of the award for individual achievement in the field

Marissa Guiterrez
Marissa Gutiérrez


Marissa Gutiérrez will accept the organizational award on behalf of ARTE: Art and Resistance through Education.

Established in 2015 in memory of Ed O’Brien, pioneer human rights educator, the O’Brien Awards honor 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 Monday, November 26, at Teacher College of Columbia University in New York City.

Human Rights Video and Music Contests

Speak Truth to Power Video Contest

In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute, the 8th annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Speak Truth To Power Video Contest invites middle and high school students to create short videos that highlight the work of a human rights defender. In creating these short videos, students can become champions of change in their communities.

The Grand Prize winning video will premiere at the NYC Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019.

ENTRY DEADLINE: February 17 at 11:59 PM EST

>> Learn more


Speak Up, Sing Out! Music Contest

In collaboration with the GRAMMY Museum, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights invites students to write and produce original songs that speak out against human rights abuses. The format is open to any genre of music.

The Grand Prize winning songwriter will participate in a GRAMMY-related event.


>> Learn more

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.

Deadline Extended for 2018 Picture Human Rights Poster Contest!

The deadline for the “Picture Human Rights” Poster Contest” has been extended to November 11, 2018.  Join us in celebrating the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by submitting a poster today!

Artists from ages 5 to 21 are invited to participate by creating a poster based on the UDHR. We hope teachers and youth leaders can use the contest to:
picture human rights button

  • stimulate young people to learn about, reflect on, and express what human rights and the UDHR mean to them.
  • encourage young people to educate their communities about human rights.
  • heighten awareness about the UDHR during its 70th anniversary year

NEW ENTRY DEADLINE: November 11, 2018

First Place winners will receive a $300 cash prize. 

>> Learn more and enter!

Sponsored by:

Amensty Logo             HRE-USA-new-logo2         teaching tolerance 2

9th International Conference on Human Rights Education – early bird closes soon

The 9th International Conference on Human Rights Education ICHRE) will be held in Sydney, Australia, on November 26-29 2018. The conference leads an annual international dialogue on human rights education (HRE) as a means of promoting democracy, the rule of law, justice, and intercultural and social harmony.

Entitled Unleashing the Full Potential of Civil Society, the conference will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the education-oriented Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. It is Australia’s largest celebration of these two landmark declarations.

The draft conference program will be online in early October. It features an exciting range of papers and includes workshops focused on the practical learning of HRE. Some of our keynote speakers include:

  • the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG (former Judge of the High Court of Australia),
  • Mr Xanana Gusmao (former President of East Timor), and
  • Dr Mmantsetsa Marope (Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education)

Early-bird registration deadline: Wednesday, 10 October

>> Register Now!

Happy World Teachers Day!

Today on World Teacher Day HRE USA wants to thank all teachers for being educators and for fighting to defend the rights of teachers and their students.

In honor of supporting teachers to continue to be agents of change, here is a short piece from Education International entitled: “Standing on the Frontlines for Democracy – 25 Lessons Learned on Education and Democracy.”

standing on the frontlines

  1. Educate for democracy
  2. Stimulate critical thinking
  3. Shape global citizens
  4. Do not be the obedient servant of the state
  5. Be aware of the thin lines between patriotism and nationalism
  6. Advocate gender equality, diversity, and inclusion
  7. Protect the right to learn in one’s native language
  8. Burst internet bubbles and value privacy
  9. Embrace new technologies with prudence
  10.  Question standardized testing
  11. Keep schools safe sanctuaries of learning
  12.  Refuse to bear arms or wear police badges
  13. Oppose segregation
  14.  Do not deny undocumented children access to schools
  15. Fight discrimination on grounds of gender, religion, ethnicity,
    disability, social background, and sexual orientation
  16. Build resilience when inequality muffles the voice
  17. Open the school to the community
  18. Protect education for the common good
  19. Keep the market at a safe distance
  20. Don’t let politicians interfere in the classroom
  21. Stand up for your rights
  22. Protect your democratic organizations and institutions
  23. Defend and extend your collective bargaining rights
  24. Insist on the application of international standards
  25. Be proud of your profession

>> Read full 2-page article
>> Learn more about World Teacher’s Day