A Year Like No Other

Dear STF students, teachers and friends,

Despite Covid pandemic shutdowns across the country, STF was able to reach record numbers in their school communities and beyond, advocating for voting rights and to fight climate change.

STF registered voters in California and hosted a virtual Town Hall to educate voters on human rights at stake in California Propositions 16, 17 and 18.

STF chapters pressed school decision-makers to transition campuses to 100% renewable energy, starting conversations about climate change where there had been silence.

STF strengthened the human rights movement!

We have all been inspired by your commitment and achievements!

Ever onward,
STF Team: Pam, Kristin, Nancy, Brennie, Karina, Sea and Josiah

Scroll to recap this year’s activities:

August 31, 2020: Introducing STF Chapter Presidents

To kick off the 2020-2021 academic year, the STF team interviewed incoming chapter presidents to learn why they wanted to lead their STF chapter, why they joined STF and why they believe our “Vote for Human Rights” Campaign is important? See their responses.

September 12, 2020: Defend the Right to Vote

Inspired by Nicole Austin-Hillery, HRW’s Executive Director of the U.S. Program, STF launched their Vote for Human Rights Campaign at the 2020 STF Virtual Fall Leadership Workshop. Nicole urged participants to defend the human right to vote by getting people registered to vote, signed up to be poll workers and monitoring for instances of voter suppression. Watch Nicole’s conversation and Q&A.

October 14, 2020: Educate. Advocate. Vote.

Approximately 80 STFers participated in an STF Virtual Town Hall event to learn about the human rights issues involved in the pros and cons of California Propositions 16, 17 and 18. Special guest speakers included CA State Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber, who was key in getting Prop 16 on the ballot, two representatives from the Anti-Recidivism Coalition who were disenfranchised due to their past incarceration in California’s criminal justice system, and Ryan Beam, a youth advocate for Prop 18. Watch the Town Hall.

October 15-22, 2020: Vote in STF’s Mock Election

To encourage STFers to become active voters once old enough to cast a ballot, STF hosted a mock election. Students, teachers, alumni and friends voted on the presidential race, as well as California Propositions 16, 17 and 18.

November 3, 2020: Growing Power of Our Vote

STFers shared their experiences voting in the 2020 election.

December 10, 2020: HRE USA Honors Pam Bruns

Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) awarded STF’s Executive Director Pam Bruns the 2020 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education Award for her significant contribution to human rights education in the United States.  Learn more about the award.

December 10, 2020: International Human Rights Day

To celebrate International Human Rights Day, STF featured members reading the 30 articles of the UDHR in 10 languages spoken by STFers. Watch our STFers in action!

January 23-30, 2021: STF’s Screening of I AM GRETA

As introduction to the launch of STF’s “Human Rights and Climate Crisis Campaign”, STFers participated in a special screening of I AM GRETA hosted by the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force, Can You Hear Us and SIMA Studios. Watch the film’s trailer.

January 30, 2021: Never Underestimate
the Power of A Student

Nearly a 100 students, teachers, alumni and guests gathered virtually to launch the Human Rights and the Climate Crisis Campaign at the 2021 STF Winter Workshop. Diana Michaelson, 15, introduced the Green Schools Campaign while Josiah Edwards, STF spring intern and Los Angeles-based climate activist, shared his experience with environmental racism growing up in Carson, CA. Watch the workshop.

February 10-18, 2021: An Action Handbook for STF

Using the Action Handbook for STF Simon Aron, Green Schools Campaign co-founder and 15-year-old climate activist, trained STFers and helped them determine first steps in their advocacy to transition their campuses to 100% renewable energy. Watch the training.

February – March 2021: What’s Your Climate Story?

STFers shared their climate stories via video and photograph, to help us all think about how climate change is impacting our communities.

February 19, 2021: Pali Fights Climate Change
with Mr. Steve Engelmann

The Pali STF chapter hosted AP Environmental Science teacher, Mr. Steve Engelmann, as he shared steps he has taken to encourage Palisades Charter High School to transition to 100% renewable energy. He discussed various student sustainability projects, the obstacles they faced, and provided campaign recommendations. 
Watch the discussion.

March 2, 2021: SAMO’s Progress towards
a Cleaner & Greener School

Ansel Garcia-Langley, Santa Monica HS (SAMO) alumnus and former Team Marine president, met with the SAMO STF chapter to share his experience working with school administrators and district staff on sustainability issues. He provided students with information about initiatives and projects started while he was involved with Team Marine, including hiring a district sustainability coordinator, a position Team Marine advocated for while he was president. Watch the discussion.

April 22, 2021: Investigate, Expose, Change

As part of STF’s advocacy to transition high schools across Southern California to 100% renewable energy, commit to energy efficiency plans, and engage in climate justice education, the STF hosted over 150 students, teachers, administrators and community members at the “Human Rights and the Climate Crisis” Virtual Town Hall on Earth Day 2021. Watch the event.

May 5, 2021: Rohingya Strong

To commemorate Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, STF hosted a virtual conversation with writer and human rights activist, Imran Mohammed, entitled “Genocide and the Climate Crisis”. After telling his powerful story, there was an opportunity for participants to join Imran Mohammed in a Q&A session. Watch the meeting.

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