The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program (TWAICB) is an outgrowth of a series of successful initiatives carried out since 2006 to inspire people of all ages to take actions, large and small, that lead to equality, justice and dignity for all. These initiatives use the creative arts to deepen learning about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); they give participating youth the voice to teach their peers and adults about the importance of the UDHR principles.
With the depth and breadth of positive impacts from the last ten years of work, the Program endeavors to widely distribute its high school curriculum that integrates the creative arts and a culminating celebratory presentation, and, consistent with the Common Core curriculum standards, promotes in-depth learning and critical thinking skills. With The World As It Could Be Is Within Reach, a rite of passage for youth in the Eden area of Alameda County, California, we endeavor to offer a model of positive initiation of youth that can be replicated in many communities. TWAICB also seeks to utilize its growing library of videos of student presentations and commentary about the UDHR to raise awareness and spur dialogue about the continuing relevance of the UDHR as part of enhancing the social emotional learning of youth, promoting positive community and civic engagement, and creating a culture of thinking and acting that fosters equality, justice and human dignity for all people.
As part of carrying out its initiatives, the Program seeks to contribute multiple levels of benefits beyond providing quality educational experiences and raising awareness about the UDHR by:
- Encouraging people to know that their community involvements are vital to democracy;
- Showcasing the importance and value of the creative arts as part of a quality education, as well as contributing to overall personal development and a vibrant culture;
- Engaging youth, particularly those impacted by challenging socio-economic issues, such as widespread violence and injustices in their immediate communities, to pursue learning, critical thinking and positive social interactions;
- Encouraging youth who are often marginalized due to learning or physical differences to enjoy participation in school-wide events;
- Integrating human rights principles as part of public safety practices;
- Engaging the broader community to support and celebrate accomplishments of youth.