The Rex Foundation is pleased to collaborate with The Advocates for Human Rights and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center on an Arts and Human Rights Institute August 12-14, 2013, on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

Rex Foundation Executive Director Sohcot says: I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Herder, Education Director of The Advocates for Human Rights, Kristi Rudelius-Parker, Director of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and Natela Jordan, Education Program Director of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center in September 2011 at a Harvard University Conference on strategic planning for effective Human Rights Education in the United States.  Based on the work we did together at that Conference, our respective ongoing Human Rights Education initiatives, and our subsequent follow-up meetings, we agreed to plan an August 2013 3-Day Institute in Minneapolis to address the situation described here:

Gaining momentum across the United States is the recognition of the importance of Human Rights Education. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training to recommend such education at all levels of education, across government and inter-government agencies, including those involved in law enforcement and justice administration, and non-governmental organizations. Article 6 of the Declaration includes the recommendation that the arts should be encouraged as a means of training and raising awareness in the field of human rights.

Human Rights Education (HRE) can be defined as all learning that develops the knowledge, skills, and values of human rights with the broad goal of building a universal human rights culture. HRE promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. It develops an understanding of everyone’s common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community. For teachers, HRE provides a framework through which they can build safe and inviting classrooms that value diversity and respect for others, promote intercultural learning, and empower students towards more active citizenship.

Our three organizations have unique strengths in our HRE endeavors that we seek to integrate in the proposed training. The Advocates for Human Rights and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center have presented extensive successful trainings in the St. Paul/ Minneapolis area, and beyond;  however, they have not yet included extensive integration of the creative arts. The proposed training provides the opportunity to include the successful work of The World As It Could Be curriculum, whereby the spectrum of creative arts disciplines and a celebratory culminating presentation are part of helping students gain a deeper understanding of human rights concepts, as well as take responsibility for helping manifest these concepts.  Four outstanding creative arts professionals from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, with respective expertise in music, visual arts, spoken word and performance arts, will be part of the Institute’s presenting team.

We are very excited to be collaborating with such esteemed human rights education organizations and creative arts professionals to present the 3-day Institute in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota community.

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