Letter from the Editor Dear Educator Activist, As the end of summer nears we want to reconnect and get everyone up to speed with the work of the HRE program and the work of some fellow human rights educators. In an effort to better meet the expressed needs of HRE network members, we are changing the delivery and content of Article 26. The first issue of each month, will contain 1) a letter from the HRE program, 2) Education in Action, 3) Partner Update, 4) Voices from the field, and 5) Call to action/for volunteers. The second issue will introduce new resources - books, films, videos, etc. - available to educators either through Amnesty International, partner organizations or network members. The third issue will strive to keep network members up to date with local, regional and national events that are particularly relevant to HRE and human rights more generally. As to what has been happening over the summer, a lot! In brief: MEMBERSHIP * Regional organizing: The HRE program is working with the regional offices to organize meetings, trainings and other networking opportunities within each region. The primary goal of this work is to connect educators in their communities. The first such gathering will be in LA on 8 September - location to be announced soon and will be posted on http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/western/. If you are from the LA area, please contact email@example.com for more information or AIUSALA@aiusa.org to RSVP attendance. * Partners: Recognizing that the work ahead of us is no small task and one that certainly cannot be accomplished by any one organization - nor should it! - the HRE program welcomes the opportunity to partner, either on a formal or more informal basis, with other organizations seeking to advance a rights-based approach to education and the fulfillment of the right to education. A sampling of organizations that we are working with: HREA, WITNESS, NEA - National Education Association, and ICOPE - Independent Commission on Public Education. The redesign of the HRE page of the AIUSA website will include a space to highlight our work with other organizations as well as a link to that organization. PROGRAMS * Speak Truth to Power: "How can I Speak Truth to Power?" - After a couple of very inspiring programs last year, Speak Truth to Power and Amnesty International USA are teaming up again to bring the defenders, their voices and stories, and the movement to more cities in the US. As the 2006/2007 schedule becomes firmer, the HRE program will work with the regional offices and local educators to organize, publize and support the program. * ACTIVATE: Human Rights Education Service Corps - Following a very productive meeting with the regional Deputy Directors, the national program completed the ACTIVATE: HRESC start up kit and curriculum. - Preparation is well underway for the program in DC, LA and Denver. RESOURCES * 4th R - The Fall issue is due to be mailed by the end of the month. The issue focuses on Multimedia Human Rights Education. - The Spring issue will focus on how educators can teach about poverty, economic rights and class inequalities. - If you would like to receive the 4th R, make sure to sign up » * 4th R Curriculum Series - Service-Learning and HRE manual: The manual, created in partnership with HREA, is currently at the designer and if all goes according to plans will be available this fall. - Mine & Yours: Human Rights for Kids, educators guide: after a significant amount of work on this resource this summer, a fall launch is within sight. The educator's guide will mirror the rights addressed in the book. * 4th R multimedia series - Innocents Lost companion curriculum guide: The HRE program would like to acknowledge and thank Nicole Riggs for contributing significantly to the creation of this resource. The guide is now on-line and can be downloaded www.amnestyusa.org/education/innocents_lost.html. The book and guide will soon be available through Amnesty International publications. - Movie Guides: Adding to guides created for the movies Hotel Rwanda, Lord of War, Innocent Voices, and Water this fall the program will release guides for Boarder Town and Catch A Fire ...keep your eyes open for when they go on-line. * 4th Issue Series - Denounce Torture: In collaboration with the Denounce Torture Campaign, the HRE program created an educational resource to engage learners with the issue of torture from a historical, legal and geographical context. The resource will be on-line soon. - 4th R issue series development: In order to provide a range of lessons, activities and learning opportunities on the full spectrum of human rights, the program is developing materials which will highlight specific rights as well as the interconnectedness of rights. - Domestic Violence and Right to Housing: For the first time, the HRE program will partner with the Research Department in developing an educational resource to accompany an Amnesty International report. The focus will be the report on Domestic Violence and Right to Housing. The launch of the report and educational guide is set for mid-2007. So, as we get ready for the fall - cooler weather here in NYC!! - I look forward to hearing from you, sharing ideas, learning from each other, and challenging each other. And in the end, doing what we can to make human rights something that is real and relevant, exciting and important; something that you can hear and feel in classrooms, community centers and yes, someday, corporate board rooms everywhere. Finally, I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to the HRE program interns, they have been nothing short of amazing and I would not have made it through the summer without them: Adriane Alicea, Elizabeth Irwin HS, Senior Michael Glenwick, Hunter College HS moving on to Johns Hopkins Annie Hillman, Yale University, Junior Andrea Lee, Princeton University, Junior Jolie Waldman, Georgetown University, Senior Dellana Zepher, School for Human Rights, Junior In peace, Karen ---- EDUCATION IN ACTION Adriane Alicea, Chair Human Rights Club at Elisabeth Irwin High School, HRE program intern In culmination of a successful academic year of discussions on Darfur, a teach in on the film Hotel Rwanda and assemblies on immigrant's rights, the Elisabeth Irwin High School Human Right's Club decided to hold a different kind of event. This year the club decided that instead of "depressing people beyond belief" they would celebrate the existence of human rights in our lives while presenting different ways in which the community could take action during the annual Human Rights Coffeehouse. The evening was kickoffed by the Human Rights Club student chair encouraging members of the community to remember that even though the evening was to celebrate human rights there were still many struggles ahead. Eleventh graders Margot Protzel and Rakhel Shapiro shared their experiences attending the Save Darfur Rally in Washington D.C. The two sang "This Land is Your Land," and "Blowing in the Wind" by Bob Dylan with classmates Kamillah Aklaff and Lily Wiggins. The eleventh grade music class performed "Lift Every Voice" and "War" by Bob Marley. While the festivities were occurring the lobby was filled with photos displaying actions students had taken through out the school year. Eleventh grader Kortney Hartz read two of her own pieces entitled "Draft's R' Us" and "American Fate" asking the audience to proudly repeat "Resist and desist injustice." While tenth grader Alejandro Montoya presented a slideshow looking at the immigration debate through a human rights perspective. During intermission three students modeled assorted Amnesty International apparel displaying messages like, "Make Some Noise for Human Rights" and "Imagine." There were two film screenings from Human Rights Watch Film department at the event one entitled, Bush for Peace and the other a music video addressing issues of poverty by recording artist Sarah Mclachlan World on Fire. Following the first film one student read "To the Forty-Third President of the United States of America" by poet William O'Daly asking the president the following question, "If we are to establish peace and security for our nation, must we not do everything in our power to end the beginnings of war, must we not allow our imaginations to craft a lasting peace?" Another student from High Tech High School in New Jersey shared his own poem called "The N word" reflecting on racism in America. He stated in his poem that the only N word he knew was his name and would not tolerate the use of any other N word. The evening was concluded with a musical performance of "Little Wing" by Elisabeth Irwin faculty members including Human Rights Club faculty advisor and Spanish teacher Nick Sullivan. By the end of the evening the students had raised over five hundred dollars through donations, coffeehouse admission and the selling of Amnesty apparel to be sent to a water project in Uganda. ---- THE N-WORD by Nicky Hopkins for Elisabeth Irwin High School Human Rights Coffeehouse I'm white and that is not a surprise to any of you But if you looked at my skin could you see I was a Jew In Jersey City the kids who don't know me are haten me They think cause I'm white, my family supported slavery I guess they just assume that I'm a racist fiend What if they really knew me? Would they think it was mean? Would they be shocked to understand they hadn't seen what my ancestors have seen? But that's the power of words, cause some you can't redeem I understand how blacks feel when their ancestors were whipped and bashed Cause I've seen my mother crying telling me stories about my family being gassed No one stood up when a free slave was tied to a tree and his neck was wrung And the Jews say "six million is equal to one black being hung" Cause why should we argue over who's gone through more pain We've all looked up for the warm sun and only swallowed rain Seen the graveyards of our brothers buried in time and moss Whether your family has lived through the Middle Passage or survived the Holocaust "I see no changes, wake up in the morning and ask myself Is life worth livin', should I blast myself?" I understand you Tupac cause I'm white Just like you I have a racist war to fight Now the actions of past Founding Fathers Have put stereotypes on my face and now I'm being bothered I had to look for a strong hero And what do you know, he was an American Negro Any day I'll parade around preaching Malcolm X I'm the white kid with the Black Panthers on his chest Raised by an African-American woman from Ocean Ave. It put pain in my eyes to see her family never have what I have But now I stand up and fight for her Using my First Amendment to do right for her Cause I stopped seeing races a long time ago That was the first thing on my list and I'll still accomplish mo' When I read Eldridge Cleaver"s Soul on Ice my heart was won I stayed up late reading Blood in My Eye by George Jackson I'm mesmerized by any writings of Malcolm X and I try to read about him daily Which led me to read Roots by Alex Haley Cause this month to me is celebrating is celebrating patience and accomplishments It's supposed to raise your spirits and confidence To open this racial lock with these miscellaneous keys Like Marcos said, "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees" "I see no changes, wake up in the morning and ask myself Is life worth livin', should I blast myself?" I understand you Tupac cause I also want to learn The thought of combining two such beautiful cultures I yearn And what those rabbis said I can't get out of my head One innocent victim is too much of a cost Cause it's equal to six million Jews in the Holocaust Stop complaining and act If you're wrongly accused then react We've learned these lessons too many times in the month of the blacks No more being bystanders and its time to take the power back And I know I have to respect those who fought for me I still don't see how my grandmother crossed the sea Any day I'd save the life of Martin Luther King Jr. or Langston Hughes Cause I know they would have done the same for my relative Jews Fuck stereotypes -- we're building a new America Cause some of us are getting caught up in the media's hysteria I'm not wasting any more time in my short life I'm going to be a trauma doctor in New York with a beautiful wife I cry that I can't fight those who left my family in the gases choken And I admit I cry when I hear the N-word spoken Cause there's no other word more powerful in my mind than that And people can't believe that I'm like this cause I'm not black Now most of you probably think I'm a wigger But who does it hurt when you don't say the word... Ironically, the pain that follows the N-word has shaped my emotions It pushes me to do good, to never give up and keep hopin' What kind of a man would I be if I struck back when I'm called a cracker Whether it was to hurt me or to promote laughter Who in this room believes in bringing back horrible memories of the past? Half of you punks and gangsters are hidden behind your egotistical masks I say we boycott the N-word and words just like it I myself have done it and together we can all fight it It's the power of all of us that can make these changes Cause almost everyone uses these words even the most influential and famous But I'm gonna step up and be a man Fix the problem with my mouth and not my hand I'll be the suicidal delinquent about to pull the trigger I mean it's just a word, right? And that N-word is NICKY Big surprise - who can believe I've never said it - ever Living in Jersey City, does that make me better? But believe it or not that word is not in my mind I search for it everywhere in my vocab and NICKY was all I could find Somebody stand and wake up!! Take off those masks and wipe off the make up Take in everything I say cause I'm going of the limits of the meter And step out a different person from the black box theater I aint afraid of anything I'll do any dare Yea so I'm white, and I look good with braids in my hair Well fuck u statistics because I don't care And don't anyone ever judge me by the clothes I wear I'm starting to see changes, wake up in the morning and I'm happy with myself Someone make a stand, cause I didn't come up here just so my heart would melt Who's afraid of changes cause I feel like I'll stutter or my voice box will crunch But now look what happened, white boy took a stand in the heart of Black History Month ---- PARTNER UPDATE Suvasini Patel, Outreach Coordinator WITNESS WITNESS, the nonprofit human rights organization that trains and supports human rights defenders to use video as a tool in their advocacy, will be partnering with Amnesty USA's HRE program to launch an educational initiative in 2007. The project will incorporate the use of videos produced by WITNESS and their partners around the world to address a range of human rights issues. Our hope is that this project will help create a more informed and engaged citizenry interested and involved in fighting human rights abuses where ever and whenever they occur. ---- VOICES FROM THE FIELD Jullisa Gomez, ACTIVATE coordinator, LA Antonia Darder a leading educator once wrote, "It functions to assist students to analyze their world, to become aware of the limitations that prevent them from changing the world, and, finally, to help them collectively struggle to transform that world." I believe education can be a vehicle towards creating an understanding of worldly knowledge so that children can take interest in creating change for their communities and the world. As an ACTIVATE coordinator, I have the ability to launch a program for young leaders, teachers and students to realize their worldly strength as human beings. The ACTIVATE program recruits college students to teach a human rights curriculum at local elementary, middle and high schools in the Los Angeles area. Currently, there are four schools participating in the program in conjunction with students from California State University, Northridge. There has been overwhelming positive feedback from local grammar teachers to participate in the program. These teachers hope the ACTIVATE program, will allow their students a better understanding of world issues as well as human rights. However, the teacher's main goal for students is to understand the importance of becoming involved in their communities as well as the global community. ACTIVATE exposes students to a curriculum based on global perspectives while also providing examples of local communities who face similar issues of poverty, identity and equality. College students also benefit from the ACTIVATE program as they can serve as mentors for their peers and younger students. ACTIVATE creates the opportunity for peer learning to occur which is sometimes undervalued. Through peer learning college and grammar students are to share and learn from each other's experiences as students and human beings. As an ACTIVATE coordinator, I have the opportunity to bridge education and organizing in the Los Angeles area. I am able to recruit teachers and administrators offering them an alternative curriculum that still meets the state standards and requirements for students. ACTIVATE's curriculum seeks to encompass a more inclusive student experience, which fosters critical thinking and an enhanced learning environment. In some cases K-12 students are not able to connect or relate to curriculum, disengaging students from learning. Growing up in the Los Angeles area attending grammar school my experiences were often omitted from the curriculum making it very difficult for me and other students whose stories were also omitted. It was not until I reached college that I was able to connect experiences to theories and concepts. I hope as an ACTIVATE coordinator I am able to create those learning experiences at the K-12 school level so students are eager to learn. ACTIVATE is a great program that will not only teach human rights but also create a critical learning environment for students to become more engaged in learning. CALL TO ACTION/FOR VOLUNTEERS Darfur End the Crisis in Darfur! The message could not be more clear. Please join us in this effort - go to amnestyusa.org and do whatever you can to spread the word, educate, take action and mobilize folks. ---- Article 26 submissions If you would like to submit a notice - event, meeting, training, resource - to be posted in Article 26, please send to < > ---- National Steering Committee The HRE program seeks self nominations to the national steering committee. If you are interested in applying please send a letter of interest and resume to < >. ======== North American Human Rights Education listserv ======= Send mail intended for the list to < >. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education-na/ **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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