Dear Friends and Supporters of The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program:

dissertation presentation

Andrea McEvoy Spero (far right) smiles following the successful presentation of her dissertation as Oakland teachers John Nepomuceno and Anita Smiley look on.

On Tuesday, May 1st, I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Andrea McEvoy Spero deliver the highly successful defense of her dissertation “This is a
Public Record”: Teaching Human Rights Through the Performing Arts to the faculty committee of the International & Multicultural Education Department of the University of San Francisco School of Education.  The presentation took place at an East Oakland High School, the base for four months of on-site observation and interviews in connection with implementing The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program.  Ms. Spero has been observing the Program as part of her dissertation research and work since 2008.  Among the findings of the dissertation, soon to be published for public access, are the following:  (Click here to Read Ms. Spero’s 2010 article published in connection with her dissertation work.)

§          Utilizing the creative arts as a pedagogical tool contributes to a transformational educational experience and way to help students foster a culture of human rights;

§          Teachers using the curriculum experience the “joy of teaching” and extreme pride in the accomplishments of their students as they take on the role of the teacher/expert;

§          Teachers see the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a positive tool in support of their other academic goals, while also helping students frame the injustices in their communities in a way that enables them to consider positive actions to address the related issues.  They see the arts as enabling the students to amplify their ideas in a powerful and compelling manner;

§          Students see the culminating presentation as a public record through which they can articulate what they experience day-to-day, along with their messages and calls to action to positively address the broader issues connected to these experiences.

The validation provided by Ms. Spero’s findings, along with the successes achieved, as described in the Outline of Project Impacts and the increasingly enthusiastic and supportive team of collaborators, provide the impetus to expand the Program work as outlined in the Invitation to Sponsor.

It is individual, corporate and foundation support of The World As It Could Be Project that has made possible all the accomplishments achieved to date.  Thank you for considering this Invitation.  With your support, we are, together, providing engaging, inspiring educational experiences that promote the creativity and healthy development of our youth, nurturing collaborations between non-profits, public schools and educational institutions, while also helping foster the human rights thinking and acting that make possible The World As It Could Be.

Sandy Sohcot
Executive Director
Rex Foundation


Download pdf documents:

2012 Invitation to Support
2012-13 Action Plan
Project Impacts
Sponsor Response Form