2018-2019 Year in Review
STF Events: 2018-2019
A Year in the Life of STF
Help us celebrate our 20th anniversary by checking out A Year in the Life of STF! Share our tribute to Sid Sheinberg, longtime supporter of HRW and champion of STF, catch up on the advocacy efforts of the “Vote for Human Rights” and “Human Rights on the Southern Border” campaigns, learn about STFers’ meetings with a Holocaust survivor, Congressional representatives and their staff and see what STF alumni have been up to in 2018-19.
Pam, Kristin, Nancy, Hannah, Kleya, Bayley, Daniela, Gillian, Ricardo, Krystsina, Natalie and Kate
Congresswoman Katie Hill, “Your Opinions Matter…”
May 24, 2019: STF leaders from Academy of the Canyons, Canyon HS and Golden Valley HS met with Congresswoman Katie Hill to discuss human rights in the U.S. immigration system.
STFers shared a comprehensive overview of the work they did this spring to educate their peers on America’s immigration history and about current issues at the U.S. southern border. Students presented Congresswoman Hill with more than 400 signatures on letters requesting she support new legislation aimed at protecting the human rights of detained persons at our borders. When asked to take immediate action by co-sponsoring the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 2415), Congresswoman Hill agreed!
She also commended the leaders for being vocal about human rights on their campuses and declared it is fantastic that they are learning how to advocate for themselves and others. “Your opinions matter…”
Read media coverage of the meeting:
“The Power In Your Hands”
Photos by Patricia Williams
April 30, 2019: “The power is in your hands to stand up for what’s right. Imagine a world as it should be and fight for it,” special guest and HRW supporter Leslie Gilbert-Lurie encouraged students and teachers at the 2019 STF Year-End Leadership Workshop.
Leslie and her mother, Rita Lurie, shared Rita’s story of surviving the terror of the Holocaust and their family’s lessons in courage and recovery. They read excerpts from their memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, and responded to many student questions. They emphasized the importance of speaking out against human rights violations within one’s community. “One voice can make a difference,” Leslie said.
Also speaking was Daisy Paniagua-Uribe, Congressman Ted Lieu’s Field Representative, who commended the students for standing up for human rights in the U.S. immigration system. She spoke of the importance of writing letters, calling legislative offices, and requesting meetings with elected officials to make sure their concerns are heard. The students presented Daisy with hundreds of signatures on letters to Congressman Lieu asking for his ongoing leadership to protect human rights in the immigration system. STFers are also collecting signatures on letters to Congressmembers Barragan, Bass, Hill and Sherman in preparation for May advocacy meetings.
Our Most Exciting Film Screening Yet!
We are delighted to invite you to our upcoming Film Club screening of Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World at Universal Studios on Sunday, June 2nd starting at 3:45pm. With a number of Human Rights Watch supporters and researchers coming to Los Angeles from around the world that week, we have decided to make this our biggest, most exciting Film Club screening yet!
On June 2nd, we invite you to Sound Stage 29 in the heart of Universal Studios and will take you on a private tour of the lot! All this for our regular price and with our usual high quality movie, panel discussion, and reception. You don’t want to miss it!
Get your tickets now. We look forward to welcoming you at Universal Studios on June 2nd!
Pam, Kristin, Nancy, Bayley and Kleya
Sunday, June 2, 2019
3:45pm | Doors open
4:30pm | Film screening and panel discussion
6:45pm | Cocktail reception
7:15pm | Optional tour of Universal Studios
Presented at Universal Studios Hollywood
Sound Stage 29
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Tickets will not be sold at the door.
Parking will be available at the Frankenstein parking at a reduced rate.
Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the revolutionary rise of the “citizen investigative journalist” collective known as Bellingcat, dedicated to redefining breaking news by exploring the promise of open source investigation. Similarly to Human Rights Watch, this highly skilled and controversial collective exposes the truth behind global news stories. In the last decade and increasingly, Human Rights Watch is indeed harnessing technology, exposing violations remotely and in near real time, through geospatial and data analysis.
All attendees are invited to stay after the screening for a panel discussion, followed by a cocktail reception with Human Rights Watch researchers and optional tour of Universal Studios.
We are expecting a larger than usual audience, including a number of HRW researchers, staff and committee members from around the world. As a supporter of the film club, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to mingle with these international leaders in the human rights movement.
Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use, as well as a theme park. Attractions include the World-Famous Studio Tour, which allows visitors to see sets from the most iconic films and television shows, such as Jaws, Psycho, King Kong, War of the Worlds and many others.
Facts: Human Rights on the Southern Border
March 12 – April 12, 2019: STF chapters continued to share STF’s Human Rights on the Southern Border exhibit, launched by Palisades Charter HS STF on March 1. Academy of the Canyons, Canyon HS, Carson HS, Da Vinci Schools, Golden Valley HS and New Roads School STF chapters hosted the traveling exhibit for hundreds of students, teachers, parents, community members and a representative from Congresswoman Katie Hill’s office.
Participants learned about the challenges Central American migrants face to get to the U.S.-Mexico border, what a credible fear asylum interview can sound like and heard the cries of children separated from their families in detention centers in summer 2018.
As follow up, STFers will offer their classmates the opportunity to sign letters to their elected officials asking them to take a leadership role to protect human rights in the U.S. immigration system and be a voice for human dignity.
Scroll to see photos of the events:
HRW and STF Mourn Loss of Sid Sheinberg
March 8, 2019, HRW: Human Rights Watch mourns the death of our friend, supporter and board member Sid Sheinberg, a legendary Hollywood executive who died at home on March 7 aged 84. Sheinberg and his wife Lorraine worked tirelessly for decades to support human rights and were instrumental in helping Human Rights Watch to establish work on the rights of women and LGBT people.
Sheinberg was best known professionally for launching Steven Spielberg’s career – together they gave us Jaws, ET and Schindler’s List.
Sheinberg was widely recognized as an outspoken LGBT ally… The program he helped establish at Human Rights Watch now covers LGBT rights issues around the world.
He also believed strongly in investing in the next generation and pushed Human Rights Watch to think about educating students on human rights and recruiting young people to the cause. In Los Angeles he supported the Student Task Force, which empowers high-school students to become human rights activists by building campaigns and advocating around key issues.
…His deep legacy propels us forward. We extend our gratitude to Sid and Lorraine Sheinberg for their lifelong support of human rights and we send our condolences to Lorraine, their sons Jon and Bill, and the entire Sheinberg family on the loss of a great man.
STF’s Tribute to Sid Sheinberg
Kanchan Wali-Richardson, Student Task Force 2008-09, Fulbright-Nehru Grantee Varanasi, India: “Thousands of students now scattered around the globe are united by our experiences in the Student Task Force, which instilled in us an early commitment to Human Rights and Human Rights Education.”
Abdiel Lopez, Student Task Force 2012-14, Grinnell College Grinnell, Iowa: “We are young, well-trained advocates passionate about children’s rights issues and eager to make a difference in the world. I don’t know too many other high school students who quoted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their history classes, but we did.”
Amy Calfas, Student Task Force 2008–11, United States Institute for Peace Washington, D.C.: “Although our generation is witnessing many crises that dominate today’s media, STF provides the tools and education needed to become active citizens and to defend the rights of other youth. Today’s injustice doesn’t need to become tomorrow’s reality.”
Linda Gordon, Student Task Force 2010–14, Barnard College New York City, New York: “My work with the Student Task force has been truly life changing, and has had significant influence on my academic interests in college and my professional goals. Thank you Mr. Sheinberg for believing in us and supporting our opportunity to learn and to lead and to become a clear voice for justice in the world.”
The Sheinberg family has requested donations to the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force in lieu of flowers. Please send donations to:
Human Rights Watch Student Task Force
11500 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 608
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Contact Kristin Ghazarians with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-694-5185
Human Rights on the Southern Border at Palisades Charter HS
Photos by Patricia Williams
March 1, 2019: Palisades Charter HS’s Human Rights Watch Student Task Force presented their special exhibit, “Human Rights on the Southern Border,” on Friday, March 1 in their school auditorium.
The exhibit was produced by Pali’s Student Task Force, with the support of the Latino Student Union (LSU), to provide significant facts about the people and geography along the 2,000-mile U.S. southern border, why people cross it, and examples of basic human rights violations documented by human rights organizations. The Student Task Force hopes their presentation helped viewers better understand southern border issues and motivated them to continue learning more about this humanitarian crisis.
Congressman Ted Lieu sent his immigration representative, Daisy Paniagua-Uribe, to view the exhibit and she discussed sharing information with STF on legislation addressing issues like separation of families and investigating detention centers for human rights violations.
The Pali exhibit was presented in six stations:
- Northern Triangle: “Why We Flee”
- Mexico Side of Mexico/U.S. Border
- Legal Port of Entry at San Ysidro, California
- Asylum Process: “Credible Fear Interview”
- U.S. Side of the Mexico/U.S. Border
- Immigration Detention Center
Teachers signed up their classrooms to view the exhibit throughout the day.
Demonstration video tour of Human Rights on the Southern Border exhibit at Palisades Charter HS
An Inhumane Immigration System
Photos by Patricia Williams
January 31, 2019: As headlines about immigration dominate the news, 60 Student Task Force leaders, teacher advisers and supporters gathered for the 2019 Winter Leadership Workshop to launch Human Rights on the Southern Border campaign.
Grace Meng, a senior researcher with HRW’s U.S. Program, shared the story of a young mother and her daughter who fled gang violence in Honduras and explained why the U.S. immigration system is inhumane and disrespects human rights.
Attendees also previewed a few samples of the STF traveling exhibit “Experience the Southern Border,” which aims to raise awareness about the geographic realities of the US-Mexico border, why people cross it–and expose the human rights violations on the southern border. After viewing the exhibit, the students brainstormed strategies for implementing it on their campuses.
Meet the “Transmilitary”
Purchase tickets today! (Click to watch trailer, 2:12)
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
6:00 pm | Doors open
6:30 pm | Film Screening, followed by Q&A
8:45 pm | Reception
Presented at the United Talent Agency
9336 Civic Center Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The military is the largest employer of transgender people in the United States. Amid rapidly changing policies that technically at present bans them from serving, 15,500 troops identify as transgender. TransMilitary documents four brave men and women who risk their families’ livelihoods by coming out to the Pentagon’s top brass in the hope of attaining the equal right to serve. With a new commander-in-chief at the helm, they must traverse a series of successes and defeats, as their careers hang in the balance. Audience Award for Documentary, South by Southwest Film Festival 2018.
All attendees are invited to stay after the screening for a Q&A with Laila Villanueva, film subject and membership director at SPART*A, Maurice Garcia, MD, Director of the Transgender Surgery and Health Program at Cedars-Sinai, and Kyle Knight, LGBT Researcher for Human Rights Watch, moderated by Martine McDonald, Director of Programs at Journeys in Film. The panel reception will be followed by a reception with tacos and drinks.
Purchase Tickets Online
Tickets are unreserved and seating is first-come, first-served. Places are limited and tickets will not be sold at the door.
Student Ticket – $15 General Ticket – $30
STF Celebrates 70 Years of the UDHR
December 10, 2018: Thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and nations’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, untold human suffering prevented and the foundations for a more just world have been laid. While its promise is yet to be fulfilled, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity. To educate about and to honor the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, members of the HRW Student Task Force hosted film screenings, art contests, photo challenges, posted visual displays around campus and filmed videos expressing why the anniversary is so significant.
Scroll to see photos of the events:
Celebrating A Human Rights Educator
November 28, 2018: Palisades Charter HS STF surprised STF Teacher Advisor Angelica Pereyra with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition presented by Aurelia Friedman, a representative of Congressman Ted Lieu. At their regular Wednesday meeting, students had also prepared an accordion business card version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to give everyone in attendance, plus, STF’s traditional blue icing cupcakes with a toothpick flag waving an article of the UDHR. Students gave a short presentation about the significance of the UDHR and thanked Ms. Pereyra for inspiring STF members for nearly 20 years. Photos of the event will circulate on social media on December 10, the official 70th anniversary of the UDHR.
Young Voters Turned Out in Historic Numbers, Early Estimates Show
According to US News, “young adults motivated by social issues and dissatisfied with the Trump administration turned out in record numbers to vote in the 2018 midterms and backed Democratic candidates by historic margins, initial analysis shows.
Thirty-one percent of voters aged 18 to 29 cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, shattering turnout rates from the past quarter century, according to an estimate by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. This year’s turnout was at least 10 percent higher than for the 2014 midterms, according to the center’s estimates…” (Read full article)
This fall, HRW Student Task Force members got more than 1,200 people registered and preregistered to vote, educated their campus communities and got out the vote leading up to the November 6 midterm elections. Congratulations on so many successful events!
Scroll to see additional photos from recent events:
Celebrating 70 Years of the UDHR!
With the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) quickly approaching, STF is sharing our Celebrating 70 Years of the UDHR Toolkit. The toolkit has materials and resources to help you prepare for your December 10 celebrations including:
- UDHR education tools
- Multimedia resources
- Tips on how to take action
- And much more!
Speaking Out Where There Is Silence
Photos by Maya Myers
November 13, 2018: STF leaders and teachers gathered with HRW supporters to celebrate 40 years of HRW during the 2018 Voices for Justice Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Prior to the start of the dinner, Mike Bochenek, HRW Children’s Rights Division senior counsel, and Emma Daly, HRW Communications Director, discussed with STFers the importance of speaking up for human rights. Mr. Bochenek shared his experiences working with migrant children in detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border while Ms. Daly discussed the need to stand up against “fake news.”
During the STF reception, participants were invited to learn how to utlize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the STF website for advocacy purposes. They also learned about upcoming HRW digital advocacy campaigns and lent their voices for the United Nations’ #StandUp4HumanRights campaign.
Later, HRW dinner guests honored Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Mariska Hargitay for her years of work advocating for survivors of sexual assault & domestic violence. While accepting The Promise Award, she reflected on the importance of HRW, saying, “In this world where a sense of calm and security seems to be increasingly hard to come by, I hear the name Human Rights Watch, and I think, ‘Oh thank God, someone is paying attention, someone is standing guard, someone is keeping watch. So thank you so much for your work…”
Students Vote for Human Rights at Canyon and Da Vinci
Eleven classes visited the Canyon polling station and 162 students signed pledges to get out the vote on November 6 and commit to voting when they turn 18. The overall response was positive from both teachers and students. Results of the election will be shared with Canyon students through the Canyon News Network.
Meanwhile, STF members at Da Vinci Schools followed up their successful voter registration effort with advisory lesson plans that educated students on how to vote for human rights. Participants learned about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the importance of voting, how to preregister to vote in California and voted in a mock election.
Next steps at all STF chapters is to help get out the vote!
Carson, Da Vinci and Golden Valley STF Chapters Register Voters
October 19, 2018: Preparing to beat California’s voter registration deadline on Monday, October 22, STF members at Carson Senior HS, Da Vinci Schools and Golden Valley HS registered and preregistered more than 100 students during lunch time activities throughout the week. They faced down high winds in Santa Clarita Valley and made last minute adjustments to improvise. Other schools used tents, voter booths, signs, announcements, student-made videos and mock election ballots to engage their classmates and work to increase voter turnout on November 6.
Voter preregistration will continue throughout the semester to prepare for the future elections after November midterms. STF chapters are now educating their campus communities about how to vote for human rights and helping voters determine their day-of voting plans.
Scroll to see photos of the events:
700 Future Voters Line Up at Mock Election at Palisades Charter HS
Photos by Patricia Williams
October 9, 2018: Starting bright and early at 8am, STF organizers welcomed the first classrooms to Mercer Auditorium to participate in voter registration and Palisades Charter HS’s first mock election for the crucial November 6 Midterms. The Palisades STF chapter joined with the school’s Leadership Class and the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office to present 40-minute sessions throughout the school day to over 700 students and teachers. (Teachers signed up their classrooms to fill the available sessions throughout the school day.)
The City Clerk’s office illustrated the impact on our lives from local elections, but lamented the ominously low voting rates of eligible voters in local elections. Only 10% of registered voters actually voted in last June’s local elections in the City of Los Angeles. Determined to dramatically raise voter participation, a major part of the day’s presentations was an opportunity to pre-register (16 and 17 year-olds) and register to vote, followed by the popular mock election which gave participants an experience in every step of voting on election day: signing in, receiving a ballot, going into actual voting booths to vote, depositing the ballot in the official ballot box and receiving the “I voted” sticker. Pali was able to proclaim, 100% participation by the 700!
Not all Pali students were able to attend the Mock Election Day, so Pali STF will continue to register voters before the October 22 voter registration deadline.
STF Registers Voters
September 25, 2018: STFers at Archer School for Girls, Crossroads School, Culver City HS and Sierra Canyon School participated in National Voter Registration Day preregistering and registering students and faculty to vote in the November 6, 2018 midterm elections. STF chapters got more than 150 people registered to vote throughout the day!
Check out photos from STF chapters:
Vote for Human Rights!
Photos by Patricia Williams
September 15, 2018: Inspired by the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the HRW Student Task Force members are calling on their friends, families, classmates, teachers and communities to vote for human rights in the November 6 midterm election in our Vote for Human Rights Campaign.
STF officially launched its fall campaign at the 2018 STF Fall Leadership Workshop, where students and teachers were joined by representatives from the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office. Participants experienced how to register and preregister California voters and brainstormed ways to educate their communities about how to vote for candidates and policies that protect human rights, specifically the human rights of DACA recipients and students’ rights to a safe school. Students who are too young to vote in this election pledged to find eligible voters who need to register and encourage them to make their voices heard for human rights.
The more than 80 attendees also took part in a mock election, which many will repeat at their own schools. They also shared activities to promote the campaign from tents to t-shirts, to posters and pledge forms.
Watch the first half of the workshop (click to watch, 24:36) and learn more: Vote for Human Rights Toolkit!
Join Us for the LA Premiere of “Naila and the Uprising”
Purchase tickets today! (Click to watch trailer, 2:43)
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
6:00 pm | Doors open
6:30 pm | Movie, followed by Q&A
8:30 pm | Reception
Presented at the Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
When an uprising breaks out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 1987, a young woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family, and freedom. Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable real-life journey of Naila Ayesh, a key figure in the First Intifada, which forced the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Using evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, this film tells the story the mainstream media missed: of a courageous clandestine women’s movement at the head of Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, bringing out of anonymity the courageous women activists whose contributions and sacrifices changed history, but whose stories have remained untold until now.
All attendees are invited to stay after the screening for a Q & A followed by a cocktail reception with panelists.
Buy your tickets online
Tickets are unreserved and seating is first-come, first-served. Proceeds from this event will support the work of Human Rights Watch around the world.
Student tickets – $15 General tickets – $30
We need volunteers! Contact Kristin today!
“Picture Human Rights” National Contest
The Human Rights Watch Student Task Force has teamed up with HRE USA to announce the 2018 Picture Human Rights Poster Contest. Artists from ages 5 to 21 are invited to participate. To help you get started, HRE USA has created the Picture Human Rights Resource Kit with ideas on how you can learn more about the UDHR and celebrate it in your own community.
THEME: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is turning 70! The UDHR was adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Its 30 articles set out the basic rights and freedoms that apply to all people. Human rights recognize the inherent value of each person, based on principles of dignity, equality, and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions, and philosophies.
THE CHALLENGE: Create a poster based on the Universal Declaration to celebrate its 70th Anniversary.
ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open to young people from kindergarten through college (ages 5-21)who live in the United States. Individual, class, or group entries accepted.
AGE CATEGORIES: Elementary (K-4), Middle (5-8); High (9-12), Adult (ages 18-21)
RECOGNITION: Winners will be announced on Human Rights Day, December 10. Winning posters will be featured in an online gallery on the HRE USA website and displayed at the regional and national conference of Amnesty International USA and the National Council for the Social Studies, and at human rights education workshops and seminars. First place winners will receive a $300 cash prize.
GUIDELINES: All submissions must be explicitly related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Posters will be judged on creativity, originality, appropriateness, and relationship to the theme. Original work only – no clipart or copyrighted material. All submissions must be made electronically via the online entry form (e.g pdf, jpeg, png) and no larger than 100 megabytes. All submissions by artists under 18 must include a signed permission slip by a parent or guardian. Read full contest guidelines.
DEADLINE: October 24, 2018 (United Nations Day).
Winners will be notified in early December.
For inquiries, please email: email@example.com
Poster Contest Flyer
Full Contest Overview & Guidelines
Poster Contest Resource Kit