U.S. Congressman and STF Confer on Refugee Crisis

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…

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Rodi Makes It Real!

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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…

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Be A Global Neighbor: January 31, 2016

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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…

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STF Advocates for Refugees

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…

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Raising Our Voices for Justice

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…

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Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities at Palisades Charter HS

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…

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Carson Meets i-Act

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.

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Palisades Students Advance Human Rights on Campus

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.

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Invitation: LA Premier of “The Trials of Spring”

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.

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STF Launches Children in the World Refugee Crisis Campaign

We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II. Worldwide displacement has reached a staggering all-time high as war and persecution relentlessly rage on in too many places around the world. Over 60 million people have been forced from their homes, fleeing for their lives. Thousands find themselves making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.

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Fleeing For My Life

August 29, 2015: Over 70 students, teachers and special guests attended the STF Fall Leadership Workshop at Wildwood School to learn about the most serious world-wide refugee crisis since World War II. Participants heard from long-time friends at i-Act, who work in Darfuri refugee camps in Chad, and from an STF leader who fled for her life from Afghanistan and recently secured political asylum…

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Save the Date! STF Fall Workshop

As you head back to school, we invite you to one of our most important events of the year: STF Fall Leadership Workshop!

Important Information:
Who: You, STF leaders, Teacher Advisors, guests and speakers
When: Saturday, August 29, 9:30am – 2:00pm
Where: Wildwood School

More details coming soon!

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HRE Summer Institute: July 27-28, 2015

July 27-28, 2015: Educators, administrators and students gathered for a two day workshop at Palisades Charter High School to gain knowledge about the historical and contemporary significance of human rights and the mechanisms that protect them and to reinforce the skills and values to uphold human rights. Human rights education (HRE) expert, Nancy Flowers, joined participants…

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The Kindness of the Hangman

May 5, 2015: Fifty-five students, teachers and guests listened in awe of Dr. Henry Oster, Holocaust survivor, as he shared his story at the STF Year-End Leadership Workshop. Graduating STF intern Alexa Mencia said, “An experience like meeting Dr. Oster would have significantly shaped my course of study and action as a high school student.”

See more photos of the event!

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Rwanda Genocide Expert Presents to Santa Monica High

April 23, 2015: At an after school event, more than 100 students gathered to listen to listen to a presentation about the Rwanda Genocide from expert and STF alumna, Amy Marczewski Carnes, Associate Director of Education – Evaluation and Scholarship. Amy talked about her travels to Rwanda, meeting the women drummers of Ingoma Nshya and tasting ice cream at “Sweet Dreams.” During the Q&A session, Amy asked the audience what can be done to prevent future genocides. One student responded, “By holding events like this. Having open forums for discussion can help prevent atrocities.”

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Carson Learns about Srebrenica

April 22, 2015: 250 students and teachers gathered at Carson High School to listen to STF alumna, Jasmina Repak, speak about her experiences as a teenager during the Bosnian Civil War. As a teenager, Jasmina learned about the genocide in Srebrenica and discussed the event with the Carson students. After her presentation, the audience watched “Sweet Dreams” and participated in a Q&A with Jasmina.

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Lost Boy of Sudan Speaks to Santa Clarita Valley

April 20, 2015: STF friend, Alepho Deng, spoke to 150 students at Valencia High School about his experiences as a Lost Boy of Sudan. He then joined STF leaders in Santa Clarita Valley for dinner, before speaking at the Valencia City Library. More than 95 members of the community came to hear Alepho. Audience members expressed their gratitude to STF for hosting the event and raising awareness of human rights issues.

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Pali Screens “Sweet Dreams”

April 16, 2015: Reaching more than 400 students and teachers, the Palisades Charter High School STF chapter hosted an all day event to educate their campus about Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. They explained the history of the Rwandan genocide and screened “Sweet Dreams.” They also had a gallery walk of information about other major genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Join Us for “The Homestretch” Saturday, May 2, 2015

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Saturday, May 2, 2015
5:00 pm | Doors open – Meet & Greet with HRW LGBT Program Director Graeme Reid
6:00 pm | Film Screening, followed by panel discussion
8:00 pm | Reception with tacos and drinks

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Sierra Canyon Educates about Genocide

April 9, 2015: Sierra Canyon’s FREE Club educated their classmates about Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. They hosted an evening event, sharing information about the Armenian, Cambodian, Bosnian, Rwandan and Darfur genocides before screening “Sweet Dreams.”

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New Roads “Dies” for Genocide

April 8, 2015: With the help of 60 students, the New Roads STF Chapter hosted a “die-in” to honor the victims and survivors of genocide. Students “died” in the main lunch area for 10 minutes as the entire high school walked past. Armed with signs and audience attention, speakers read facts from the Armenian, Holocaust, Cambodian, Bosnian, Rwandan and Darfur genocides. Prior to the “die-in,” STFers presented Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month at an all school meeting.

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Learning from Survivors

February 17, 2015: Student leaders and teacher advisors gathered at the STF Winter Leadership workshop to review the successful Children’s Rights Camps and launch the Genocide Awareness and Prevention efforts for April.

Students walked a 20th and 21st Century gallery of genocide and shared their knowledge and questions about: Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

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Oakwood’s Camp Supports Human Rights Week

February 11, 2015: Oakwood STF hosted their Children’s Rights Camp event as part of their school’s Diversity Week dedicated to human rights.

Educating more than 300 4th-12th grade students, teachers and administrators, the three-tent camp raised awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, military use of schools and child migrants.

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Sierra Canyon Educates for Justice

February 5, 2015: The Sierra Canyon STF chapter, the FREE Club, invited more than 200 students and teachers to learn about the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Child Migrants, EMUS and Juvenile Justice issues at their Children’s Rights Camp.

In a meaningful show of support, students wrote 150 letters to California Governor Brown in support of Edel Gonzalez, the first person originally sentenced to Juvenile Life Without Parole to be given a parole-eligible sentence under SB260…

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STFers Request More HRE

February 3, 2015: New Roads School invited human rights education (HRE) expert, Nancy Flowers, to discuss incorporating more human rights into their curriculum at a half-day workshop. STF leaders Matthew An and Jessica Martinez spoke to the assembled faculty at the STF co-sponsored event, explaining why HRE is so important from the student perspective…

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