Webinar descriptions and available recordings are below. Members can suggest topics for future webinars by emailing ucchre@gmail.com.

May 26, 2022Brainstorming Workshop: Decolonizing Curriculum and Pedagogy in Human Rights and Beyond

This brainstorming session focused on decolonizing pedagogy and curriculum and was facilitated by William Paul Simmons and Sophie Alves of University of Arizona.

Many academic programs around the globe are seeking to develop more decolonial pedagogies and curricula, but there is not an easy way to determine how decolonial a program is and in what areas it needs to improve. Faculty and students at the University of Arizona have developed a draft pool of items that can be used to address these issues and they are seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders to modify the pool of items and to determine the best way to deploy such a scale in a range of contexts.

March 11, 2022 Experiential Learning and Human Rights Change with Dr. Carrie Booth Walling

My human rights students at Albion College and in the G Robert Cotton Correctional Facility have taught me the importance of seeing human rights close to home, the value of applying the human rights framework in the US context, and how human rights education empowers advocacy. My book, Human Rights and Justice for All: Demanding Dignity in the United States and Around the World, encourages learners to traverse the boundaries between the local and the global and between ideas and practice. Teaching human rights with a focus on experiential learning highlights the ways that human rights issues manifest in our own communities and empowers learners to engage in human rights-inspired change on their own campuses and in their own communities. Carrie Booth Walling is Professor of Political Science and Faculty Director of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service at Albion College where she designs opportunities for experiential learning. Her research interests are in human rights, human security, transitional justice, and the United Nations Security Council. Walling is Director of the Albion College Human Rights Lab, a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and teaches for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program which brings incarcerated and non-incarcerated people together to study justice behind prison walls.

December 10, 2021 Human Rights Day Celebration 2021

HRE USA celebrated Human Rights Day and the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948. The Human Rights Zoom Celebration was hosted by the Human Rights Educators USA (HREUSA) and University and the College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE). In addition to celebrating Human Rights Day, the celebration also honored a decade of Human Rights Educators USA as a movement (2011-2021). 

The event also honored the 2021 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education Award winners, Keith David Watenpaugh and  Educators Institute for Human Rights (EIHR) and 2021 Flowers Fund Grantees, Natalia Santos Orozco, Ph. D (University of Puerto Rico) and Michael Buckley, Ph. D & David Fletcher, Ph. D (Lehman Center for Peace &Social Justice). The University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE) also recognized the winners of its first Human Rights in Higher Education Award, Human Rights Education Review and the International Journal of Human Rights Education.

The celebration concluded with the Reading of the UDHR by youth activists from around the world in Lina Lenberg’s class.

August 2, 2021 UCCHRE Annual Meeting

During the 2021 UCCHRE Annual Meeting, members heard from our keynote speaker, Kathryn Skink, Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Following a presentation and discussion with keynote speaker Professor Kathryn Sikkink, UCCHRE members participated in three sessions: Research and Project Discussion, Teaching and Learning Discussion, and UCCHRE 2021-2022 Goals and Activities.

Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Professor Sikkink works on international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, and transitional justice.  Her publications include The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilies; Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century; The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics; Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America;  Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics; and The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance.  She holds an MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the editorial board of International Organization and the American Political Science Review.

April 19, 2021How is Preservice HRE Taught in the United States?

This presentation discussed how preservice HRE is currently being taught in the United States and to what extent these courses incorporate ‘good practices’ recommended in the field. The presenter looked at current opportunities and challenges for HRE integration into teacher education programs. Following the presentation, there was an open discussion with participants to identify the next steps for equipping future teachers with HRE competencies.

April 16th, 2021 Teaching for Racial Justice with Justin Hansford

Justin Hansford discussed his experience in community-based legal advocacy and addressed how he incorporates his practitioner experience into his teaching and scholarship. 

Justin Hansford is the Executive Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Howard University. Professor Hansford was previously a Democracy Project Fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and an Associate Professor of Law at Saint Louis University. He has a B.A. from Howard University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a founder of the Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives. Professor Hansford also has received a Fulbright Scholar award to study the legal career of Nelson Mandela, and served as a clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

Hansford worked to empower the Ferguson community through community based legal advocacy. He co-authored the Ferguson to Geneva human rights shadow report and accompanied the Ferguson protesters and Mike Brown’s family to Geneva, Switzerland, to testify at the United Nations. He has served as a policy advisor for proposed post-Ferguson reforms at the local, state, and federal level, testifying before the Ferguson Commission, the Missouri Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 

Professor Hansford co-authored the forthcoming Seventh Edition of Race, Racism and American Law. His interdisciplinary scholarship has appeared in academic journals at various universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, Fordham, and the University of California at Hastings.

March 19, 2021  Pedagogy and Projects: Teaching about and for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Mary Mendenhall spoke about teaching courses related to refugees and the right to education through different pedagogical, project-based, and interactive approaches. She also shared examples of ways to integrate refugees’ voices and experiences in the classroom and beyond. Katherine Kaufka Wants spoke about how to reimagine immersive/experiential learning experiences for students under Covid-19, using their Immigration Detention Project as a case study.

Mary Mendenhall is an Associate Professor of Practice in the International and Comparative Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research is situated at the intersection of education in emergencies, humanitarian and refugee policies, and teacher preparation and support across camp, urban, and resettlement contexts. Her current research focuses on teacher identity, teacher support, and professional development of both refugee and host community teachers in forced displacement settings, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is an active member of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), serving as a long-standing representative on the Standards and Practice Working Group and leading the research and learning workstream for the network’s Teachers in Crisis Contexts Collaborative.

Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD is the Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago. The Center represents, coordinates, and stimulates efforts of the Loyola University community to understand and protect the human rights of children utilizing an interdisciplinary approach. Prior to joining Loyola, Ms. Kaufka Walts served as the Executive Director of the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA). At IOFA she developed several projects in the US and abroad advancing the rights of children and youth, including a program to develop the capacity of child welfare system to better respond to child trafficking and exploitation cases. Prior to IOFA, Ms. Kaufka Walts managed the Counter-Human Trafficking project at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she worked with several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies on single and multiple-victim sex and labor trafficking cases. She successfully represented dozens of victims of human trafficking in the United States within immigration and criminal justice proceedings under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

March 5, 2021 – Pedagogy and Projects: Teaching about and for Children’s Rights

Dr. Yvonne Vissing shared her experiences of networking and research with scholars running child rights programs in the UK, Ireland, and Cyprus. The US is now the only UN state party not to have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. What can we learn from our global child rights colleagues to integrate into our teaching about and for children’s rights in the United States?  

Yvonne Vissing PhD is a sociologist and Professor of Healthcare Studies and Founding Director of the Center for Childhood & Youth Studies at Salem State University.  Author of over a dozen books and hundreds of publications and presentations, she is an international expert in children’s human rights.  She is the US child rights policy chair for Hope for Children’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Policy Center, an international think-tank of child rights scholars located in Cyprus.  A former National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, she is on a variety of boards and committees, such as the Human Rights Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, American Sociological Association and HREUSA. 

December 10, 2020 Human Rights Day Celebration 2020

HRE USA celebrated Human Rights Day and the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948. Special thanks to keynote speaker, Loretta Ross, for her encouraging and reflective words of wisdom and to Uma Menon for her striking and vital poetry. The event also honored the 2020 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education Award winners, Pam Bruns of Human Rights Watch Student Task Force and the ACT Center for Disability Leadership. The celebration also included the video, “Voices of Hope: A UDHR Celebration” with youth reciting the articles of the UDHR in different languages.

November 20, 2020Human Rights Education from the Students’ Perspective

One of the main principles of human rights education is to ensure it is learner-centered. This discussion focused on the experiences and perspectives of human rights university and college students. Students from four different human rights programs discussed their experiences in the human rights classroom with respect to education about, through, and for human rights. Click here to watch a recording of this event.

October 16, 2020 – Human Rights Classrooms and Elections: Teaching the Day After

During this event, human rights educators discussed how they plan to address anticipated challenges and opportunities with respect to teaching after the 2020 U.S. elections. They also shared techniques for ensuring an inclusive and respectful environment around teaching and discussing contentious issues. Click here to watch a recording of this event.

September 25, 20202020-21 UCCHRE Annual Forum: HRE Opportunities, Challenges, and the New Academic Year

What are some key opportunities for HRE you’ve identified for this coming year?
What challenges are you facing/anticipating for HRE this coming year?
What would you like UCCHRE to focus on this coming year?

April 22, 2020Scholars at Risk

How can universities develop their engagement with human rights and human rights education? Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. During this webinar, you can learn about how to get involved with SAR’s work, its overlap with human rights education, and how to further this work on campus. Shreya Balhara and Alex Bell will speak about SAR’s new initiative, Practitioners at Risk, to support threatened human rights defenders on university campuses and SAR’s advocacy work with a focus on student advocacy seminars. These seminars provide university and college students with the opportunity to develop human rights research and advocacy skills through direct engagement on behalf of threatened members of the global higher education community. Click here to watch a recording of this event.

March 27, 2020Teaching Human Rights During Covid-19

As many colleges and universities have had to abruptly turn to online teaching for the remainder of the semester, this webinar will focus on teaching human rights online. The webinar offers an opportunity to come together as a community to share stories of resilience, address challenges, and share human rights specific resources. To that end, we have also created a google doc for all of us to share resources for teaching human rights. Please feel free to add to it as it is a work in progress. Click here to watch a recording of the event.

February 12, 2020Teaching Advocacy

How do you effectively teach human rights advocacy? What skills are important and what teaching methods are effective? Mila Rosenthal (bio) and Bill Simmons (bio) will discuss how they teach human rights advocacy and will share successes and challenges to teaching a skills-oriented course. The discussion will be opened up to participants for questions and to share their own experiences teaching advocacy. Click here to watch a recording of this event.

October 30, 2019 – Speaking Out as a Human Rights Educator

When should individual educators or educational institutions speak out regarding human rights issues?  Does your institution/human rights center have guidelines in place? Do you as an individual have a set of standards you consider when making these decisions? 

We will hear from 2-3 individuals from different universities and then open the webinar up for discussion. 

September 25, 2019How Do You Introduce Introduction to Human Rights?

How do you present the complexities of human rights without overwhelming students? How do you present an internationally agreed-upon set of standards while also rooting human rights in the individual, varied lived experiences of your students? How do you ensure students think critically about the international human rights framework?

In this webinar, professors from various colleges and universities (Sarita Cargas, Susan Katz, and Sandra Sirota) will share what the first few days of their Introduction to Human Rights courses look like. We will then open it up to a general discussion in an effort to begin to identify shared effective contents and pedagogies. Click here to watch a recording of this event.

April 1, 2019Drafting the Plan of Action for the 4th Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education 

UCCHRE will host an online discussion via Zoom with Sandra Sirota, consultant to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the drafting of the Plan of Action for the 4th Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, which is focused on youth (roughly ages 15 – 24). Please join us to offer your perspectives and provide input for the plan. Recommendations from this discussion will be shared with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

January 28, 2019Experiential Learning and Human Rights

Discussion with Shelley Inglis, the new Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton.

The webinar will explore the role of experiential learning in human rights higher education. Principles of experiential learning and specific examples of its application in the context of human rights internationally and nationally from the University of Dayton will be outlined. After a presentation of this emerging methodology and insights from these experiences, the discussion will focus on exchanging approaches, methods, and lessons learned from other universities and contexts.

October 8, 2018Can Human Rights Education be Transformative, Critical, and Emancipatory?

A discussion with André Keet, Chair of Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.

André Keet holds the Chair in Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. He is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Race, Education, and Decoloniality, Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

He shares: “I approach the question – Can Human Rights Education be Transformative, Critical, and Emancipatory? from two angles.

One, through a reflexive piece on Does Human Rights Education Exist? (2017). In this paper, I trace my own thoughts and praxes on human rights education (HRE) in conversation with others since 2007. An element of self-referentiality is tracking my arguments, for which I apologize. Revisiting my research and engagement with HRE over the past decade, I try to make sense of the shifts in my own praxes to disclose, to myself, radical‐alternative possibilities for thinking and doing HRE. In traveling with myself, and others, I began to wonder: Does Human Rights Education exist?

Two, via an edited compilation (2018) put together by Michalinos Zembylas and me, Critical Human Rights, Citizenship, and Democracy Education. This book presents new scholarly research that views human rights, democracy, and citizenship education as a critical project. Written by an international line-up of contributors including academics from Canada, Cyprus, Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and the USA, this book provides a cross-section of theoretical work as well as case studies on the challenges and possibilities of bringing together notions of human rights, democracy, and citizenship in education.

April 12, 2018Science-Technology-Engineering-Math fields and Human Rights in Higher Education

During this webinar, members of the Case Western Reserve University Science and Human Rights Coalition will share their experience working at the intersection of science and human rights at their university. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences, ask questions, and explore opportunities to foster collaboration with STEM scholars and practitioners on human rights issues and activities.

February 8, 2018Free Speech on Campus from a Human Rights Perspective

During this webinar, we will discuss the current controversies and debates about “free speech” on college campuses from a human rights perspective. Glenn Mitoma will facilitate discussion of recent experiences at the University of Connecticut, and invite participants to share experiences, analysis, and questions for other universities and colleges.

January 11, 2018  – Prioritizing Human Rights Learning Outcomes facilitated by Sandra Sirota, University of Connecticut

November 13, 2017Education for Human Rights: Attitudes, Values, and Activism facilitated by Sarita Cargas, University of New Mexico

May 2017 – Effective Practices in Professional Development linked with Human Rights facilitated by Dr. Barbara Thornton

April 2017 – Human Rights Education Post Election Dialogue, UCCHRE Online Discussion Forum, Llewellyn (Lee) Cornelius, University of Georgia.

February 2017 Human Rights Education Research – UCCHRE Online Discussion Forum, Glenn Mitoma, University of Connecticut.

  • What are the research projects you have been/are engaged in?
  • What kinds of institutional-level supports have you utilized?  What are/were some of the barriers/opportunities?
  • What kinds of grants/funding opportunities have you sought?
  • What kinds of collaboration (with other academics or with State Agencies/NGOs/INGOs) have you sought or are interested in?
  • What are the important venues (journals, conferences, etc.) that you are aware of?