News & Updates  

Read below for HRE USA’s latest news and recent updates.

   HRE USA In-Person Steering Committee 

   Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards are up for review

   New Roots Charter School is First Human Rights Friendly School in U.S.

   Standing Rock Syllabus

  • HRE USA In-person Meeting

    HRE USA held a series of meetings Nov. 29 through Dec.2 hosted by the National Education Association. HRE USA’s Steering Committee met for two days in a rare in-person meeting at which the network’s priorities and strategic operating plan were updated.

    On November 30 Bill Fernekes convened a panel to discuss the relevance of HRE in the contemporary environment within the United States. Panelists included Cynthia Gabriel, Amnesty International; Glenn Mitoma ,Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut; Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana, American Friends Service Committee; Kirby Edmonds, Dorothy Cotton Institute; and Harry Lawson, National Education Association.

    On December 1, HRE USA and the US Human Rights Network convened a National Summit on Human Rights Education - Taking Stock And Next Steps Part II to revisit the Universal Periodic Review report on the national status of HRE in the United States. Two expert panels were convened composed of educators and representatives from the governmental and nongovernmental sectors who are engaged in education and training for human rights. Panelists included: Rosemary Blanchard, Chair of the HR Committee of NCSS; Kirby Edmonds, Dorothy Cotton Institute; Danny Gogal, Environmental Protection Agency; Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana, American Friends Service Committee; Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, HRE Higher Education Consortium; Eric Steinecker, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Eric Tars, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
    On December 2, winners of the 2016 Edward O’Brien Award for HRE, Felisa Tibbitts and the DC Human Rights Learning Project were introduced at a reception co-sponsored by HRE USA and the RFK Human Rights Center.

  • Massachusetts History and and Social Science Standards

    Attention Massachusetts HRE USA Members!

    Did you know that Massachusetts is beginning the process of revising its 2003 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework? The current standards include some references to human rights and international humanitarian law, but now YOU have the opportunity to help ensure the revised standards contain much stronger human rights and international humanitarian law content, so that students in Massachusetts graduate from high school with a rich and comprehensive understanding of these vital subjects! 

    As part of the revision process, the Massachusetts Department of Education is taking public comments via a survey until February 6, 2017.  The responses to this survey will inform the work of the 44-member panel making recommendations for the revision of the standards. 

    We encourage all Massachusetts stakeholders to take the survey! 

    >> Link to survey 
    >> Learn more
    >> Current Framework

    Once the revised draft standards are distributed, there will be an additional period of public comment. HRE USA stands ready to assist Massachusetts stakeholders in analyzing the draft standards, and suggesting revisions as needed. If you would like to be involved, please email HRE USA Co-Chair Adam E. Stone to stay updated on the process!

  • New Roots Charter School is First Human Rights Friendly School in U.S.

    New Roots Charter School is the first school in the United States to be certified as a Human Rights Friendly School by the Dorothy Cotton Institute (DCI) and Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) using criteria established by Amnesty International.
    Principal Tina Nilsen-Hodges and founding members of the Students of Color Unity Club accepted the recognition on behalf at the school at the Dorothy Cotton Institute’s annual Gala at Cornell University on December 9, 2016. 

    New Roots has aligned its school environment, relationships, curriculum, and governance to Amnesty International’s rubric for human rights friendly schools with the support of the Dorothy Cotton Institute.  “This process was a natural fit for New Roots, supporting our evolution into the type of school community we wanted to be,” said principal and founder Tina Nilsen-Hodges. “DCI gave us practical guidance for turning our values and vision into a lived reality day to day.” 

    Located in the historic Clinton House in downtown Ithaca, New Roots opened its doors in September 2009 as a tuition-free, regional public high school. Students from 20 area school districts have chosen to join the New Roots learning community.  New Roots was chartered to provide students with a real-world, college preparatory education focusing on leadership for justice and ecological sustainability. This innovative small school immerses students in authentic experiences that support their development as community leaders and entrepreneurial thinkers ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

  • Standing Rock Syllabus

    One of the greatest organizing efforts to protect land, human rights, and the future of this planet has taken place in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux, joined by members of more than 200 other Native American tribes and other allies, are  continuing to take a stand to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline, which threatens to destroy sacred land and contaminate water supplies in the region.

    Human Rights and Social JusticeThe NYC Stands With Standing Rock Collective has created a syllabus of sources to educate people about #NoDAPL. The curriculum challenges students to understand the broader historical, political, economic, and social context going back over 500 years to the first expeditions of Columbus, the founding of the United States on institutionalized slavery, private property, and dispossession, and the rise of global carbon supply and demand.

    The syllabus goes beyond the standard academic world as the authors built it for use in K-12 school settings, community centers, social justice agencies, university classrooms, legal defense campaigns, social movement and political education workshops, and in the resistance camps at Standing Rock and other similar standoffs across the globe.

    >> Download Standing Rock Syllabus
    >> Further Resources


    HRE USA is a project of The Center for Transformative Action

    The core values of HRE USA and its partner organizations include transparency and critical thinking skills. We believe that human rights--and human rights education--belong to everyone, and that the full realization of human rights means that access to human rights education materials must never be conditioned upon the subscription to any particular religious faith, ideology, political affiliation, or membership in any particular organization and that any organizational connections should be openly acknowledged.