Human Rights Educators Gather

Photos by Patricia Williams

May 11, 2013:  Human rights educators and students gathered at the Los Angeles offices of Human Rights Watch to learn more about the HRE USA National Network, get to know fellow educators, and determine the priorities for human rights education in the Southern California Region.

Felisa Tibbitts, one of the Network’s founders, joined the gathering via Skype from Boston to share the history and mission of the Network.  Todd Jennings, a veteran human rights educator based at California State University, San Bernardino, gave the keynote address entitled “Finding Our Place and Purposes in Human Rights Education.”

  • “HRE can be a key tool in helping students connect what they are learning to their private and public lives.”
  • “Any conversation about HRE will move people from a position of victim to a position of agent.”
  • “Incorporating HRE into the classroom often starts with a student-led needs assessment of what is needed in the school and the greater community.”
  • “The only way rights are sustained is through the process of education that expands across a single generation…”
  • “Teachers and educators are the only profession mentioned in the preamble to the UDHR… This underscores their importance in ensuring a rights-respecting society.”

Two student leaders from the Santa Monica High School Human Rights Watch Student Task Force chapter provided a student perspective on the need for human rights education and presented a PowerPoint incorporating human rights into the study of language.

The gathering was an important first step in exploring the most critical areas for the network’s activity in Southern California.  If you would like more information about this gathering or would like to be involved with regional initiatives in the future, please contact Pam Bruns, HRE USA Regional Coordinator for Southern California, at, or Kristin Ghazarians, HRW STF Project Liaison, at

See video of Todd Jennings’ presentation.

Documents from the event:

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