April 26, 2016: For the second year in a row, Dr. Henry Oster, Holocaust survivor and teenage refugee, returned to STF to help students commemorate Genocide Awareness and Prevention month. This year he tied his personal story of tragedy and triumph to the current global refugee crisis. And just as his first visit with STF last spring, students listened in awe and silence to Henry’s presentation, followed by a torrent of questions as they crowded around him after his talk. Students expressed their appreciation that Henry shares his painful experiences so that young people can better understand the lessons of history for today’s troubled world. Rising leader Kaden Kessel said, “Dr. Oster was inspirational and I can’t wait to see him again!” Others made plans to invite Henry to speak at their schools.
Apr 26 2016
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Apr 07 2016
April 7, 2016: STF representatives from Harvard-Westlake and Sierra Canyon schools met with Congressman Brad Sherman (30th District) to thank him for his vote to defeat the American Safety Against Foreign Enemies Act (HR4038), which would have made it almost impossible for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the United States.
As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Congressman Sherman emphatically opposed HR4038. STF also shared a portfolio of testimonies and photos of refugees with his staff to humanize the crisis…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5529
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Mar 17 2016
March 17, 2016: The Santa Monica High School STF chapter hosted a “refugee experience” event for more than 270 students to raise awareness about the the global refugee crisis.
The all-day event consisted of four stations: 1. refugee rights; 2. testimonies; 3. refugee routes into Europe; and 4. a station that asked what participants would bring if they suddenly had to flee as refugees…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5471
Feb 16 2016
February 16, 2016: STF leaders from Harvard-Westlake, New Roads, Palisades Charter and Santa Monica High Schools met with Congressman Ted Lieu (33rd District) to thank him for being an outspoken advocate of refugee rights and to ask him how STF can help support his future work for refugees.
While discussing whether or not the US is doing its fair share in the global refugee crisis, Congressman Lieu encouraged STF to contact elected officials, use social media and write letters to the editor to raise awareness of the issue…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5356
Jan 26 2016
January 26, 2016: Rodi Youssef, a 16-year-old Syrian refugee, spoke to more than 50 STF leaders, teachers and special guests at the STF Winter Workshop about how and why he came to live in the U.S. in October.
After serenading the group with his oud (a Middle Eastern stringed instrument), Rodi answered questions about his life in Syria, fleeing to Turkey and working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, and ultimately winning the UNHCR lottery to come to the U.S. with his widowed mother, and older brother and sister…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5291
Jan 07 2016
Purchase tickets today!
As the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II is unfolding and repercussions of the Syrian conflict are felt throughout the world, Human Rights Watch is excited to invite you to a screening and discussion of Salam Neighbor, a movie following some of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees living in Jordan. Salam Neighbor follows Zach and Chris, two Americans who head to the edge of war, just seven miles from the Syrian border, to live among 85,000 uprooted refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari camp…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5244
Dec 10 2015
November 20 – December 11, 2015: On the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Nov. 20) and Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), STF chapters hosted events to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis.
Events included screening “Salam Neighbor,” presenting a refugee tent exhibit and hosting educational tables. STFers also collected petition signatures urging the United States ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and encouraged classmates to contact their US Senators to ask them to defeat efforts to bar Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the US…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5218
Nov 17 2015
November 17, 2015: Representatives from the HRW Student Task Force set up a refugee tent exhibition to educate guests of the annual Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Dinner about the global refugee crisis. STF leaders described human rights violations faced by refugees fleeing around the world and asked participants to share what they would bring in their “backpack” if they had to leave home forever…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5194
Oct 28 2015
More than 40 student leaders, teachers and administrators discussed the first draft of the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities at Palisades Charter High School, in Pacific Palisades, CA. Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, participants are taking a human rights-based approach to identifying their rights and responsibilities. Students are soliciting feedback from the entire school community, meeting weekly to continue the development of the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, and hope to have the school vote for ratification by the end of the academic year…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5139
Oct 20 2015
October 20, 2015: More than 150 students at Carson High School learned about the Darfuri refugees living in Chad from Gabriel Stauring and Katie-Jay Scott of i-Act. The audience heard the story of a refugee family from Darfur, and the struggles they faced both on their journey to Chad and during their time in the refugee camp. Participants were engaged in learning about the issues in the camps, including the lack of sufficient food and restricted access to education. They asked questions about Katie-Jay and Gabe’s journeys to the camps, the emotions they feel on these trips, and the different programs they set up for the refugees. STF members lead breakout groups to develop questions for refugee children in Chad. Some questions will be used in a human rights survey and others will be used in a video chat with refugees.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5104
Oct 14 2015
October 14, 2015: Faculty and students from Palisades Charter High School, in Pacific Palisades, gathered to discuss the development of human rights education on their campus since the Human Rights Education Summer Institute they attended in July. Faculty members shared how they have and will continue to incorporate human rights issues and vocabulary into their respective subjects, ranging from history to art. STF student leaders presented updates on the “Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” an ongoing campus-wide project aimed at protecting the rights of students. STF leaders emphasized that this effort will not only empower students to know their own rights, but will also teach them to protect the rights of those whose voices are not heard.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=5075
Sep 20 2015
When a young Egyptian woman travels from her village to Cairo to add her voice to the tens of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to 60 years of military rule, she is arrested, beaten, and tortured by security forces and later punished and imprisoned by her family for daring to speak out. Unbreakable, she sets out in a search for freedom and social justice in a country in the grips of a power struggle, where there is little tolerance for the likes of her. Buoyed by the other activists she meets along the way, Hend Nefea’s story mirrors the trajectory of the Arab Spring – from the ecstasy of newfound courage to the agony of shattered dreams. In the end, despite crushing setbacks, it is resilience that sustains the hope for reform even in the darkest hours of repression.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.hrwstf.org/wordpress/?p=4954