Part of furthering human rights and pursuing social justice is navigating complex and nuanced subjects. Social issues are multilayered and connect to deeply held beliefs and ideas, often generating strong emotions.
UDHR Article 19 says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” How to experience this right when opinions may be very different, and emotions may be highly charged, is the challenge.
In order to communicate, whether through writing, speaking or posting on social media, so that others can listen with open minds and a willingness to exchange ideas without hostility or aggression, we need tools to:
- Build empathy as we share our histories and personal stories,
- Examine information with critical thinking,
- Gain awareness about how our words and actions affect others
- Communicate effectively so that others will listen without feeling defensive
- Develop resilience and knowledge to address challenges with enthusiasm and patience for the much-needed effort and time, rather than feeling defeat and limitation in the face of adversity.
Here is a start to some Resources to provide some of these tools, and we look forward to building on these resources over time. Please share any you have by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Growth Mindset” is from Carol Dweck, Ph.D.’s work on shifting show we look at success, failure, and growth. Here are some resources on this framework:
- Mindset, website connected to the book: https://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/
- Resources for teachers: https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
- Carol Dweck’s TED Talk (2014): https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve
Social Emotional Learning
Social Emotion Learning (SEL) is another tool for building a range of skills to handle complex and diverse issues through a human rights lens.
- Except from our curriculum, “Social Emotional Learning & Its Connection to Human Rights Education” (PDF)
- Center for Children’s resource on SEL: https://www.cfchildren.org/what-is-social-emotional-learning/
Community Connection & Engagement
- TWAICB: Using the UDHR to Guide Positive Community Action
- TWAICB: Human Rights Discussion Agreements
- Kimberle Crenshaw’s TED Talk on Intersectionality: https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality