Building Our Action Plan: Celebrating 75 Years of Human Rights

Katherine La Puente, Coordinator in HRW’s Children’s Rights Division, helps STFers launch their Celebrating 75 Years of Human Rights Action Plan by answering the question, “Where do human rights begin?” Photos by Uchenna Akanno
(Click to watch the recording of the workshop, 1:17:23)

September 9, 2023: Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (STF) leaders, teachers and guest speakers joined and kicked off this year’s Celebrating 75 Years of Human Rights Action Plan at STF’s hybrid Fall Leadership Workshop (Click to watch the workshop online).

“Human rights are universal, and when we raise our collective voices together on issues, we are louder and we can make an impact,” shared Katherine La Puente, HRW’s Children’s Rights Division Coordinator. Katherine opened the workshop with education on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and held a lively Q&A about Human Rights Watch’s work to defend the rights of people around the world.

Workshop attendees also heard from LA-based youth climate activist and community organizer, Sim Bilal, who inspired students to build coalitions and harness their power as young changemakers. “We are running out of time, we can see this actively impacting us, and the people that have the power to actually have an impact and make change don’t care. But you will find that you have far more allies than people who are against you,” Sim said on maintaining energy in the face of pushback.

Motivated by their guest speakers, participants took a deep dive into the key themes in this year’s Action Plan. In breakout groups, STFers discussed which themes would resonate best within their communities and brainstormed advocacy events to host on campus this fall. Key themes include:

  1. Declaring Our Human Rights
  2. Human Rights and the Climate Crisis
  3. Human Rights on the Southern Border
  4. #StudentsNotProducts

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, STF remains committed to building a foundation of human rights knowledge to fulfill our roles as strong advocates of the world.

Eager to see how you raise your voices for human rights this year!
The STF Team: Pam, Kristin, Gabbi, Amanda, and Anushka

Click to watch the full hybrid workshop, 1:17:23
Climate activist Sim Bilal talks about the importance of building allies within your community to help tackle challenges and accomplish your advocacy goals.
Attendees participate in a “speed dating the themes” breakout group to learn more about this year’s Action Plan.
New STF leaders ask questions of guest speakers during the Q&A.
Workshop participants brainstorm ways to engage their classmates in this year’s Action Plan.

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