No one is born being a citizen. You have to be taught what it means. Sonia Sotomayor
Do you want to know who you are?
Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson




Students join in the International Romani youth artwork program


Students gain respect for the rights of people with disability at Arc of Monroe County

About Words into Deeds

G3Words Into Deeds brings cutting edge methods and resources designed to promote greater youth awareness of and engagement in local and global human rights issues, helping them develop  skills and confidence as informed, empowered, active citizens.

Through the use of workshops, seminars, individual consulting, access to global platforms, and classroom activities, I’ve worked with teachers and students in Europe, Africa and the USA and from all subject disciplines in grades K through 12 and college programs. Together, we develop strategies for motivating and challenging students of diverse backgrounds and career aspirations to become citizen proponents for human rights in their daily lives in schools, neighborhoods and globally.

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Gertrude Noden

Founder, Words Into Deeds
Education Consultant
NY Teacher and CTLE Certified

For two decades as a classroom teacher my programs engaged upstate New York students in local and global humanitarian informed action projects.  For the past few years I have developed outreach workshops and Empowering Youth Voices programs that bring interactive classroom methods and resources to teachers, youth leaders, or directly to students with the goal of building critical thinking skills and developing habits of global citizenship, K-12 and beyond.

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Current Projects

Teaching Global Citizenship Skills in Uganda

While the ravaging conflicts of the 1970’s through early 2000’s have ended in northern Uganda, these traumas remain a large presence in much of the population. In the mid-1980’s a primary school called UNIFAT was founded in Gulu, Uganda as a safe, supporting refuge for children orphaned due to conflict, AIDS, and poverty. I spent a week working with these teachers and students, engaging them in analyses of key documents supporting human rights and helping them bring these, together with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, into their classroom activities and curriculum. Their unbounded energy and enthusiasm were inspiring and contagious as they then designed age-appropriate outreach activities that are already being introduced.

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Teaching Youth About Healthy Consumer Practices

What we purchase and use are often based on wants more than needs, and habits more that enlightened choices. The same apply to how we discard used items. Sustainable Development Goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production, challenges us to think more about our purchasing and discarding practices, emphasizing ways to minimize harmful impacts on the environment. Partnering with Finger Lakes ReUse stores, and supported by an Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant from the NY DEC, I am working with teachers and youth in schools and after-school programs to raise their awareness of where the items we buy come from, the sources of materials in them, the ways to prolong the usefulness of items for others, and the impact that our personal decisions and actions have on the environment.

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2019 UN Civil Society Conference

Over 5000 adults and youth from 136 countries met in Salt Lake City from August 26-28, 2019 to address issues and develop action targets related to Sustainable Development Goal #11: Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities, with particular emphasis on how climate change is already and will increasingly impact all communities.

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Citizenship Workshops in the Republic of Georgia

In this young democracy, there is heightened awareness of the need to teach youth the skills they will need to be empowered, informed citizens. Teachers and students participated in a week of workshops in Tbilisi, Georgia that combined the study of key human rights documents and Sustainable Development Goals, with pedagogical strategies (for teachers) and practical exercises, including modeling informed action plans around the theme: understanding and protecting the rights of people living with disabilities.

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Empowering Youth Voices on Substance Abuse

Over 100 area high school students studies human rights documents and then, in consultation with local experts, formed fact-based opinions about addictive substances and addiction in our community. They developed outreach projects and presented these at an invited briefing at the United Nations, which was attended by over 200 UN policy and global health experts.

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Teaching About Refugees in a Global Context

Organized by the Cornell International Studies Summer Institute, this two-day workshop held at Syracuse University provided 30 New York teachers with information and resources about disruptions and challenges faced by refugees, both globally and in Central NY. Participants were provided models for developing informed action projects, then provided individual guidance to help them design programs applicable to their classrooms and communities.

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Empowering Youth Voices on Climate Change

Students from Trumansburg High School focused on Sustainable Development Goal #12: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, researching local and global aspects in consultation with Cornell students (seated) and other experts, and presented their project proposals at the annual Student Leadership Conference held at the United Nations in February.

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Empowering Youth Voices on Domestic Abuse

Four Trumansburg High School students asked to research issues related to domestic abuse, exploring how stigmatizing victims often leads to their isolation and helplessness. In addition to presenting at the UN and Cornell Law School, they engaged in an hour-long live interview on Ute Ritz-Deutch’s Human Rights and Social Justice radio program on WRFI.

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Building Global Partnerships for Human Rights Education

Teachers from the Republic of Georgia participated in a week of workshops designed to help them introduce Human Rights concepts into their curricula. They were accompanied by students, who were introduced to key Human Rights documents and practiced strategies for becoming active, informed citizens in their classrooms and communities. The event was organized by Global Education Motivators, and held in Philadelphia.

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Workshops & Programs

The Ladder of Prejudice: From Name Calling to Genocide*

In his book, The Nature of Prejudice, Gordon W. Allport uses the metaphor of a ladder to describe how “little acts,” which often go unnoticed, can lead to more serious and disruptive individual and collective behaviors.  This framework describes, in ascending order,...

Informed Action Projects: From Small Steps to Big Results*

Fostering student awareness of social, economic, and political problems can be overwhelming, and facilitating student informed action plans often seems out of reach in an already over-crowded schedule. However, early and reinforced engagement in research about...

Youth Voices: Guides to Empowerment and Action*

The Youth Voices program brings Informed Action Projects directly into schools and classrooms, wherein I work in partnership with teachers and staff to provide subject-specific resources, both texts and vetted community experts, and assist in classrooms with the...

Teaching Human Rights Using Children’s Literature

Starting with examples from the book Human Rights in Children’s Literature by Jonathon Todres and Sarah Higinbotham, this workshop explores the often subtle verbal and pictorial biases – both positive and negative – found in classical and contemporary children’s...

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

Our society has too many low-wage earners who are especially vulnerable to changes in work opportunities and social services. Most do not see the “American Dream” of upward advancement as achievable. In this book, authors Katheryn J. Edin and Luke Shaefer profile...

Sustainable Development Goals for Peace and Security*

The international SDGs are designed to guide global efforts to ensure better, healthier lives, with an emphasis of protecting our environmental resources. For teachers, an overview is followed by breakout sessions during which teachers will select those goals that are...

When Societies Disintegrate into Chaos and Violence

Drawing on both historical and comtemporary examples, this workshop prepares teachers to engage students to examine both the underlying causes and often horrific effects of civil unrest and armed aggression against persons or groups based on their race, religion,...

Documents that Define and Protect Human Rights

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the standard for human rights discourse and policies that all governments agreed to abide by. Others, such as U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child extended these in greater...

*available for teachers or students

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