Steering Committee

The HRE USA steering committee is the governing body of HRE USA, overseeing strategy, direction and policy.

The HRE USA steering committee is the governing body of HRE USA, overseeing strategy, direction and policy.


Steering Committee Members:
 The steering committee has 18 members. 11 are nominated as slate by the Executive Committee. 7 are elected by the membership.

Officers of the Steering Committee:
The Steering Committee selects its officers: 2 co-chairs, 2 vice-co-chairs and 1 Secretary/Treasurer. One of the co-chairs and one of the vice-co-chairs is selected from the slate nominated by the executive committee. One of the co-chairs and one of the vice-co-chairs is selected from the 6 elected by the membership.

HRE USA committees:

  • Executive Committee (Officers)
  • Membership Committee
  • Collaborative Action, Policy and Advocacy (CAPAC)
  • Development Committee
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  • Gloria Alter has been a teacher educator for over 20 years, addressing human rights and social justice issues through social studies education. She was an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb and a Visiting Associate Professor at DePaul University, Chicago. Gloria was the editor of Social Studies and the Young Learner for the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), and as President of the International Assembly of NCSS, she initiated the development of the international journal, Journal of International Social Studies, and its column on social justice.

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  • Dennis Banks has been on the faculty of the State University of New York College at Oneonta since the early 90's where he has taught Secondary Social Studies Education and chaired the department of Secondary Education and Educational Technology for over a decade. He has served on the Board of Directors of NCSS and was co-chair of the NYSCSS Human Rights Committee for many years.  His research interests include the inclusion of HRE into state social studies standards across the country.  He was the recent recipient of the Louis Yavner Citizen Award for Distinguished Service to the Teaching of Human Rights in particular for his work with Social Justice Education aimed at pre-service teachers.  

  • Kristina Eberbach
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  • Kristina directs human rights education programs at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She has also designed and facilitated human rights capacity-building trainings for members of civil society and government officials in Colombia, Iraq and Myanmar and has undertaken research, reporting, and advocacy work in Kenya, South Africa, and Northern Uganda. Her research interests focus on human rights in conflict and transitional contexts and education/capacity-building. Kristina holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. (New York, NY)

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  • KIRBY EDMONDS (HREUSA co-chair) is the Program Coordinator and a Senior Fellow with the Dorothy Cotton Institute. For the past three years, DCI has been conducting human rights education workshops for school staff and community youth workers. To date, DCI has trained over 400 people from two school districts and 14 schools. The Dorothy Cotton Institute website is: (Ithaca, NY)

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  • Page Hersey has been an educator in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 15 years as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, and teacher educator. Currently she divides her time between working in schools as a literacy and professional development coach and teaching courses in literacy and social studies education at University of San Francisco and San Francisco State. Page is a passionate human rights educator and integrates global and local issues of human rights and social justice into her work with teachers and students.

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  • AZADEH OSANLOO is currently the Stan Fulton Endowed Chair for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools at New Mexico State University at Los Cruces, Osanloo received her doctorate at Arizona State University, where her research addressed civic education in a post 9/11 climate focusing on the concepts of democracy, cosmopolitanism, human rights, and citizenship from theory to praxis. She has merged her work in civics and human rights with a new research agenda on collaborative systemic diversity-based interventions for bullying for middle schools. She previously taught in the New York City public schools and was a program director at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, a not-for-profit specializing in closing the gap between educational attainment and disenfranchised students. Her research agenda focuses on issues of educational equity; educational leadership and policy; the philosophical foundations of education; diversity, multiculturalism, and human rights; and bullying interventions. (Los Cruces, NM)

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  • KRISTI RUDELLIUS-PALMER is Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota. She is a long-time advocate and leader in the human rights movement internationally and nationally.  (Minneapolis, MN)

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  • David Shiman is Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of Vermont after 43 years of service. He taught comparative education and multicultural education and directed the Center for World Education, a global and multicultural curriculum resource center. He has written Teaching Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice: A Human Rights Perspective, and The Prejudice Book. He was president of United Academics, the faculty union at UVM for ten years and served as chief contract negotiator on four occasions. He also served on Amnesty International USA’s Board of Directors and has conducted human rights education workshops in many countries, including South Africa, Poland, Guyana, and Israel and the Palestinian territories.  (Burlington, VT)

  • Violette Rodriguez Sofaer
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  • Violette Rodriguez Sofaer is the Regional Representative Coordinator for HRE USA and a Co-Regional Representative for HRE USA in Northern California.  She has extensive experience in nonprofit and business development, and has worked as a community educator and human rights advocate for over 20 years. 


    Violette has served as Program Administrator for The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program and is a former Board Member of United Nations Association-USA East Bay and The Bridge of Books Foundation.  In addition to her work in human rights education, Violette participates in advocacy discussions and delegations with members of Congress in the SF bay area and in Washington D.C. 


    She holds a M.A. in International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Human Rights Education and a B.A. in Sociology and Legal Studies from the University of San Francisco.  


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.