News & Updates

Human Rights Education Review – International Conference on Education and Democratic Citizenship

The latest edition of HRER highlights new efforts to develop a sustainable community of global human rights education research. Human rights education (HRE) developed in many forms as a field of practice in the second half of the twentieth century, promoted by non-governmental organizations, various UN initiatives, and other intergovernmental organizations, such as the Council of Europe. The first purpose of HRE was to promote human rights as a ‘common language of humanity’, as expressed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (UN, 1998). The UN Secretary-General’s address made nearly 50 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN, 1948), celebrated the lives of human rights leaders Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr., for whom a guiding principle of struggle was non-violence.

>> Read journal

Lesson Plan Book: Planning to Change the World

This is a plan book for school-based, home-based, and community-based educators who believe that young people can, will, and already do change the world. It is designed to help educators translate their vision of a just education into concrete activities.

This year’s calendar features all-new historical anniversaries and birthdays. The newest edition has all the things you would expect in a lesson plan book, plus:

  • Weekly planning pages packed with important social justice birthdays and historical events 
  • References to online activities, resources, and lesson plans related to those dates
  • Tips from social justice educators across the country
  • Inspirational quotes to share with young people
  • Thought-provoking essential questions to spark discussion on critical issues
  • Reproducible social justice awards 
  • and much more

Planning to Change the World is created by the Education for Liberation Network with the support of Rethinking Schools. All proceeds from the sale of the plan book support the work of these two organizations.

>> View resource

University of Dayton Human Rights Conference Call for Proposals

The Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton will convene the 2021 Social Practice of Human Rights Conference in December 2021 and will focus on the challenges and opportunities the pandemic has created for human rights advocacy. 

The Call for Proposals states that submissions are welcome on the following:

  • New or refined tools, methods, and strategies for advocacy emerging during the pandemic, including in transnational advocacy and international institutions;
  • Confronting historical legacies of abuse in moments of flux and transition, including reshaping public spaces (eg. memorials, schools) to advance justice;
  • New forms of public-private partnerships in human rights and corporate-sector advocacy, including by labor and employee movements; and
  • The emergence of intersectional advocacy groups, movements, and networks building relationships across borders and connecting issue areas that leverage this particular political moment.

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2021

>> Learn more and submit

Educating for American Democracy – Student Design Contest

Educating for American Democracy (EAD) invites students to submit their original artwork to their K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest to illustrate their interpretation of EAD’s Roadmap for a chance to win a cash prize of up to $350. 

There are Five Design Challenges that will require students and educators to grapple with complex questions in civics and history—those that most would agree do not have a clear or right answer. While deep classroom conversations on the Five Design Challenges included in the Roadmap will require scaffolding and the support of carefully chosen content and instruction, we think students will have ideas or personal experiences that speak to these Design Challenges and want to offer them the ability to create original artwork to share their ideas for a chance to win a cash prize and have their original artwork featured on the Educating for American Democracy website.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2021

>> Learn more and submit artwork

Support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Going to school or returning home from an after-school job or visiting friends or going to a cookout or concert—or a playground—should not put students’ lives at risk. But sadly, in communities of color, this is the reality.

As the one-year mark of George Floyd’s murder approaches, we demand accountability and justice for all and to demand that our our elected leaders and those who swear an oath to protect us respect our rights, no matter our race, background or where we live. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280) takes initial steps toward that goal and will work to end police brutality, protect civil rights and liberties, and change the culture of law enforcement agencies.

Email your senators and ask them to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

>> Take action

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

When: Monday, May 10, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm– 8:30 pm ET
Where:  Virtual Webinar
Cost: FREE

Presenters: Clint Smith and Cierra Kaler-Jones 

Clint Smith is a poet, staff writer at The Atlantic, and teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. Smith, in conversation with Cierra Kaler-Jones, will talk about his new book, How the Word Is Passed, an examination of how monuments and landmarks represent — and misrepresent — the central role of slavery in U.S. history and its legacy today.

This event is part of the ongoing series, ” Teach the Black Freedom Struggle,” from the Zinn Education Project.

Decolonial human rights education: Changing the terms and content of conversations on human rights

When: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Time: 11:30 – 12:30 ET
Where:  Virtual Webinar
Cost: FREE

Presenter: Anne Becker and Cornelia Roux, Stellenbosch University, South Africa 

Who is included in the ‘Human’ of human rights education? This webinar draws on data from the research project Human rights literacy: Quest for meaning, led by Cornelia Roux and on a paper by Anne Becker to be published in HRER Volume 4(2). The presenters invite us to reflect on the terms and content of human rights education, and to consider what a decolonial HRE might look like. They will consider the terms of our conversations and reflect on principles, assumptions and rules of knowing. These terms and HRE content are interrelated and sustained by continual movement between them. Decoloniality resists global coloniality of power, ontologies and epistemologies which are consequences of colonisation. The session will examine the Eurocentric assumptions and principles which frequently serve as premise for human rights and human rights education, arguing that researchers and educators need to explore pluriversal knowledges of human rights and problematising the Human of human rights. They will conclude with some thoughts on decolonising human rights education. Anne Becker’s paper can be read here.

Today! Meet the new Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona

When: Wednesday, April 21
Time: 6:00 pm ET  
Where: Live Stream
Cost: FREE

You are invited to join NEA President Becky Pringle for an exclusive conversation with the new secretary of education, Dr. Miguel Cardona. They will discuss Secretary Cardona’s experience in public schools, his vision for student opportunity and learning, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities for our public schools and institutions of higher learning. Secretary Cardona will also answer questions directly from educators, parents, and community members. You can submit a question when you register.

Human Rights Watch Student Task Force – Job Announcement

The Human rights Watch Student Task Force is hiring a Liaison for their L.A. office. They seek a highly qualified Liaison to create digital human rights education programming and toolkits in support of the Student Task Force’s annual advocacy/activism campaigns. The Liaison will also develop and implement plans to reach a growing constituency of students and teachers, with special attention to under-served students in Los Angeles-area schools with inadequate resources for human rights education. This is an opportunity to help expand HRW’s human rights education advocacy efforts and mobilize the next generation of human rights advocates on the most pressing human rights issues of the day.

Application Deadline: May 7, 2021

>> Learn more and apply