Human Rights education and training are lifelong processes that concern all ages. UN Declaration on Human Rights Education, 2011
Do you want to know who you are?
Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson

Workshops

These workshops are currently available for teachers, service groups, youth leaders, and educational/human rights meetings.  Presentations are highly interactive, and can be modified as 1-hour videoconferences, half to multi-day preparatory workshops, and consulting support for an academic year. Links to key documents and some of the possible classroom/conference guest experts are provided.

STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

Pedagogical Best Practices Applied to Service-Informed Action Plans. Project design requires students to use critical thinking and develop habits of mind in conducting focused research about complex societal issues. Informed action plans then require practical considerations for implementation. This workshop provides guidance on strategies for getting students motivated to research and implement projects. Examples of successful student projects are used to highlight the challenges and benefits teachers and students experience.

Implementing Informed Action Projects: Beginning with Small Steps. Fostering student awareness of social, economic, and political problems can be overwhelming, and facilitating student informed action plans seems out of reach. Explicit design and implementation steps guide teachers and students through the process of identifying an issue, researching, designing, and celebrating successful project implementation.

Preparing for U.N. Student Leadership Conferences.  Orientations are provided to prepare teachers and students for participation in U.N. conferences. Workshops and continued support include research, writing position papers and opinion pieces, describing leadership roles, rules of debate, and etiquette. U.N. Conference dates are in October, February & Spring.

 

BUILDING ON THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS and the UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

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, five “rungs” of intolerance and injustice: speech, avoidance, discrimination, physical attack, extermination.  In this workshop teachers will have opportunity to apply the Ladder of Prejudice to literature, identify parallels of prejudice in current events, prepare for student discussions about their prejudicial experiences and behaviors, and explore visual art and movement student projects that address prejudice. Guests who bring experiential knowledge or artistic interpretations are identified.

When Societies Disintegrate into Chaos and Violence. Preparing students to interact with classroom guests, including survivors of genocide – Denis Okema, a Child Soldier escapee from Northern Uganda, and Ayuen Ajok, a “Lost Boy of Sudan.” Discussion points are based on personal experiences including the effects of war on children, examination of conflict, conflict resolution, and justice.

Sustainable Development from the Perspective of Indigenous People. Workshop highlighting historical and contemporary accounts of the effects of climate change and unregulated development on indigenous and marginalized groups, and efforts to change these practices.  Examples include Native Americans, women and children in several African countries, and Ecuadorian Quichua peoples.  Possible guests include Rebecca Odongkara, Founder of the UNIFAT school in Gulu, Uganda; Wilson Andi, native Quichuan, and Fernando Buenano and Daniel Tirira, Ecuadorian naturalists and guides.

Healthy Lives and Well Being Made Personal. Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages, requires strengthening students’ understanding of the causes, prevention and treatment of substance abuse. Identifying early warning signs, risk reduction strategies, and healthy choices, including good nutrition and exercise, are included in laying the groundwork for guest experts, motivational speaker Dr. Kingsley Kabari, and artistic interactive workshops by Roxey Ballet.

Protecting the Planet. The international community is urging regional, national, and global action so that the planet can support the essential needs of future generations. By increasing awareness of their consumer habits, positioning them as stewards of natural resources, and acknowledging the impact of climate change on human rights, students develop a capacity for planning and managing ways to mitigate further degradation to the planet.

Expressions of Social Issues Through Figurative Language. In preparation for the Poetry Slam, teachers study examples of human rights themed poetry including student work. I will share methods for getting the words onto paper and oral performance skills. Guests include Artist Annette Ramos, Director Education and Community Outreach at Rochester Broadway Theater League, Rochester, NY, who brings performance instruction to students.

Dance as a Means of Promoting Diversity. Multi-media assemblies and evening performances by Roxey Ballet from Lambertville, NJ, whose dancers celebrate diversity by engaging students in movement workshops, verbal and written expressions. Themes include bullying, the Holocaust, the rights of people with disabilities, the Civil Rights movement, and avoidance of risk behaviors and drug use.

 “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” by Katheryn J. Edin & Luke Shaefer.  The U.S. has a growing number of vulnerable low-wage earners. The authors profile a handful of the 1.5 million American households, encompassing over 3 million children, living in poverty. This book circle discussion explores ways to use these stories to develop students’ awareness of poverty in their local communities.

 

UNDERSTANDING CITIZENSHIP THROUGH STUDY OF KEY DOCUMENTS

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948, the UDHR is the standard for human rights discourse and policies. The articles will be analyzed and connected to identifying informed action projects and artistic interpretation activities.

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.  An overview and presentation of examples will be followed by breakout sessions, during which teachers will select and include relevant SDGs in developing lesson plans.

Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty, by Dan Jones. In 1215 King John of England signed this peace treaty, considered to be the origin of human rights, in the meadow of Runnymede. Principles in the Magna Carta can be found in the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. This book circle discussion focuses on the evolution of democratic principles, culminating with the Twelve Principles of Democracy.