Since 2006, partnerships between The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program (TWAICB) and universities, nonprofit and community organizations have led to the Program’s involvement in the national discourse on human rights education. In September of 2011, I had the privilege of participating in a planning conference, “Building a Human Rights Education Strategy for U.S. Schools,” which brought together over 75 scholars, educators and students to formalize a network for advancing human rights education in the U.S. The momentum of the newly formed group, Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA), was validated a few months later when the United Nations adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training signifying that this call to action was envisioned globally.
We are delighted that HRE USA is officially underway as a national network dedicated to building a culture of respect for human rights. Here is a brief description of the Network’s philosophy and mission:
What is Human Rights Education?
Human rights education is a lifelong process of teaching and learning that helps individuals develop the knowledge, skills, and values to fully exercise and protect the human rights of themselves and others; to fulfill their responsibilities in the context of internationally agreed upon human rights principles; and to achieve justice and peace in our world
To promote human dignity, justice, and peace by cultivating an expansive, vibrant base of support for Human Rights Education (HRE) in the United States
Over 35 states already integrate aspects of human rights education in their academic standards. Many schools and teachers include it intrinsically in their policies and practices. The Network supports, enhances, and broadens these efforts in Pre-K to graduate-level formal and non-formal educational settings.
TWAICB is a proud member organization of HRE USA and is pleased to have its Program Curriculum included in the Network’s resource library. It is also an honor to serve as the recently elected Steering Committee Co-Chair and have our Program Administrator, Violette Rodriguez Sofaer, involved as HRE USA’s Co-Regional Representative for Northern California and in the Working Group on Policy and Advocacy.
I encourage you to learn more about HRE USA and join us in fostering social change through education! I also share with you a recent article by colleague Rosemary Ann Blanchard, Co-Vice Chair of Founding Steering Committee of HRE USA, who underscores the importance of promoting human rights learning to prepare our students for civic participation in the contemporary global world.