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PIHRE Explorer,
1995-1996, Issue #7

 

A Great Year in Review

With your help, the 1995-1996 Partners in Human Rights Education Program was a great success! In 1995-1996, 100 new team participants joined the program. New teachers, lawyers, and community representatives were trained in one of 9 introductory training sessions. These new members, along with the 249 participants returning from last year, taught approximately 3500 elementary and secondary school students.

The Partners Program held 3 trainings for continuing participants, 4 follow-up workshops, 1 student workshop, and 16 site visits. The Partners Program also conducted two Enrichment Workshops this year. In November, partners learned about the use of technology in human rights education, and in January members explored the connection between human rights and the arts.

The Partners Program celebrated the conclusion of the school year with its annual Human Rights Fair at Como Park Pavilion. Despite the rainy weather, more than 600 students attended, an almost threefold increase over last year's fair. More than thirteen workshops were offered, including an interactive play, art displays, and videos presented by schools attending the fair. In addition, students learned how to make dream catchers, create poems with human rights themes, and paint faces with peace symbols.

The Partners Program's activities were made possible this past year in large part by the generous donations of several companies and individuals. The following foundations gave grant money to the Partners Program: First Bank Foundation; Grey, Plant, Mooty and Bennett; Medtronics; The Otto Bremer Foundation; Piper Jaffray; St. Paul Companies; and US West. What's Happening Now: We need your help in order to accomplish all the work necessary to finish 1995-1996 and to make the upcoming year successful! First, Please fill out your 1995-1996 evaluation form if you have not done so and mail it to the Partners Program. These evaluations are an essential part of understanding what you experienced in 1995-96 and are invaluable for making 1996-97 an even better year.

Secondly, talk to your family, friends, and co-workers about joining the Partners Program. You know best the people who would make great Partners Program participants. Talk to them yourself or refer their names to us and we will get in touch with them about joining in the fall. A grassroots organization like the Partners Program will continue to grow and thrive only if all of us try to bring in new people each year!

Thanks for making 1995-96 such a successful year and we'll see you in the fall!


Fellowship Experience

with the B.I.A.S. Project

Jennifer Prestholdt

1995 Fellow

For ten weeks during the summer of 1995, I worked as an intern on the B.I.A.S. (Building Immigrant Awareness and Support) Project of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights (MAHR). The B.I.A.S. Project is a grassroots initiative that collaborates with immigrants, refugees, and other community groups to confront destructive stereotypes by disseminating accurate information about the impact of newcomers on American society. The B.I.A.S. Project is also being followed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees staff, who are recommending it as a model for other communities around the country.

As an intern for the B.I.A.S. Project, I composed immigrant fact sheets to be used as part of the initiative to dispel myths by distributing accurate information. I also edited a bibliography of resource materials. Through the Partners Program, I have contact with sixth-graders, but it was fun to delve deeper into human rights issues with older students. In addition, two months after my internship ended, I conducted a workshop on refugee and immigrant issues for students at St. Paul Academy.

While at MAHR, I tracked congressional debate on immigration and asylum reforms for use in the B.I.A.S. Project's public advocacy campaign. Further, I developed a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the B.I.A.S. Project programs and materials. I have written several reports on our findings, which were very positive. These reports have been used in efforts to raise additional funds for our project.

Perhaps my most challenging task of the summer was drafting an amicus brief on international human rights standards. This brief will be submitted on behalf of several human rights organizations as part of the Proposition 187 litigation. I have remained involved in this project, and plan to continue to work on the brief in the future.

My experience at MAHR gave me insight into the many different aspects of the operations of a human rights NGO: fund-raising, public advocacy and education, investigation of human rights abuses, and representation of human rights victims. I would like to thank the Partners In Human Rights Education Program for giving me the opportunity to work for MAHR on the B.I.A.S. Project!


Buying Into Human Rights Education: Where Do You Start?

By Kim Barrozzi

Social Studies Dept. Chair/ Global Education Coordinator

Colegio International de Caracas, Venezuela

Human Rights Education will become part of many school's curricula worldwide as a result of the recent U.N.'s resolution, proclaiming the decade 1995-2005 as the decade to promote Human Rights Education. As individual nations and cultures disagree about which human rights are most important, teachers will have a difficult challenge in the instruction of human rights issues, consequently making any discussion on human rights inherently controversial. However, there are many effective ways to promote understanding and overcome some of the controversial issues surrounding this topic.

Colegio International de Caracas (CIC) decided to initiate its Human Rights Program by designating the week of October 23-27 as "Human Rights in the Arts Week." The arts were chosen as a vehicle to facilitate the initial contact with human rights issues because there seemed to be many activities, both visual and audio, that lent themselves to easy understanding of basic issues. The student body (K-12), as a whole, was involved in discussions, simulations, and activities designed to stimulate their interest in basic human rights issues. The coordinators of the event were Kim Barrozzi in the secondary school and Sherilynn Perez in the elementary. It was critical to divide the work load to insure that activities and materials were designed for the appropriate age level and that all of the activities provided a continuity with previously established ideas. The established guidelines were two articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, articles 1 and 25, stating ideas of: brotherhood, right to shelter, food and medical care. These articles were chosen by the coordinators of the event, as the themes lent themselves more easily to the design of meaningful activities for all grades and abilities. Some pupils drew pictures, drama students performed skits, and the choir sang songs with verses like "...A candle of hope will continue..." But of most impressive activity was the human hand "rope." Each student left his/her hand imprint, name and country in paint on the outside wall of CIC. The elementary and secondary students worked side by side on this activity, and stimulated a true feeling of brotherhood, which was exactly one of the main themes highlighted that week. The idea of the hand chain originated from the design of hands on the T-shirts that were worn throughout the week by all of the CIC student body and staff.

The Human Rights Program that began in October of '94 will continue to be a part of the school-wide curricula at CIC in the future. Global education is critical for instilling attitudes of tolerance, flexibility, and an understanding of multiple perspectives. This week is just a beginning. It is just one effort to help educate students about vital global issues and their role in actively partaking in the decision-making of our collective future.


Partners Program Requests

Applications For Trainers

The Partners in Human Rights Education Program is looking for qualified trainers to facilitate trainings for new and continuing volunteers. Experience or interest in human rights education is essential. In addition, candidates with backgrounds in training adults and students are preferred. The Partners Program encourages applications from all parts of Minnesota. Emphasis will be placed on selecting trainers who reflect the diversity of the community.

These trainers will be conducting a minimum of two trainings in September and October as well as an enrichment training sometime later in the 1996-97 school year. Trainers will be paid a consultation fee of $250 dollars for training in your local community and $300 for training in an area outside of your local town. All trainers will co-facilitate in teams of two. Trainings will be held in the Twin Cities, Bemidji, Fargo, Grand Rapids, St. Cloud, and Worthington. The Fall trainings will be held on Saturdays and all travel and hotel expenses will be covered by the Partners Program. All trainers will be required to attend a two-day orientation on September 21-22, 1996.

For application guidelines please contact the Partners Program office at (612) 626-0041. All applications must be received by August 9, 1996.


Take A Look at A Book!

The Words of Peace: Selections from the Speeches of the Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Revised Edition. Edited by Irwin Abrams, Newmarket press. Now in convient pocket paperback form. Selections from the acceptance speeches and lectures of the 52 Nobel Peace Prize winners since 1901. Includes Mother Teresa, Lech Walesa, Eli Wiesel, Rigoberta Menchu, Yitzhak Rabin, among the rest. 144 pp., 4" x 6" $6.95. Order from: Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, Pyle Center Box 1183, Wilmington OH 45177. (513) 382-5338


Curricula/Resources

Human Rights For Children: A Curriculum For Teaching Human Rights To Children Ages 3-12. Amnesty International, 1995. This manual teaches universal rights and encourages the development of self-worth, understanding, and multi-cultural awareness. It is organized in ten sections, one for each principle of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The interdisciplinary activities and exercises are divided into developmental age groups. 80 pp., spiral bound, $14.95 + $4.50 s/h. Order from: Hunter House Inc. Publishers, PO Box 2914, Alameda CA 94501. (800) 266-5592.

Why do People Move? Grade level: 6-10. This curriculum unit is a carefully-sequenced series of visuals complimented by activities which provide an excellent framework for studying basic questions about immigration. The area of focus is Latin America. Lucia Nunez, Leland Stanford Junior University Board of Trustees. Available in Partners in Human Rights Education Library for check-out. (612) 626-0041.


Human Rights Events Calendar

Note: Please submit any activities that your students and/or school are involved in and that are open to the public. FFI means contact for further information.

July 1996

13-14, 20-21 The Healing Gardens Tour. The fourth annual Healing Gardens Tour will be held on July 13-14 for St. Paul and selected suburban areas and on July 20-21 for Minneapolis and selected suburban areas. Participants will receive a list of garden addresses and a map with the garden locations. Participants may visit as many gardens as they like. The tour will benefit the Center for Victims of Torture. Advance tickets: $25.00 for individuals and $40.00 for families. Day of the event tickets: $30.00 for individuals and $45.00 for families. To order by phone call (612) 625-6426. To order by mail, send a check to the Center for Victims of Torture, 717 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455. FFI (612) 626-1400.

30 Sing-a-long Concert and Spaghetti Dinner. This is a benefit for Friends for a Non-Violent World. Minneapolis Meeting House: 44th Street and York Ave., Minneapolis. Tickets available at the door. FFI, FNVW at (612) 321-9787.

August 1996

1-8 Nicaragua at a Crossroads: A Nation Divided Prepares for Elections. A week-long travel seminar will focus on the political and social challenges Nicaragua has faced over the past 17 years. FFI, Center for Global Education, (612) 330-1159.

2-4 Alternatives to Violence Project, Basic Training. This is an experiential workshop covering conflict resolution, community building, and nonviolence. FFI, Friends for a Non-Violent World, 321-9787.

5 Nonviolence Discussion Group. The group meets from 7-9 p.m. and provides an open opportunity to integrate theory, practice, and personal reflection on nonviolence. At the Friends for a Non-Violent World office. FFI, 321-9787

4-11 Mexico: Poor, Yet Making Many Rich. A Curriculum Development and Transformative Education Seminar. A eight-day seminar in Mexico built around field trips and excursions will explore the Mexican people's struggle to create effective responses to the challenges of poverty, racism, sexism, social discord, and environmental degradation. FFI, Center for Global Education, (612) 330-1559.

13 Peace Breakfast. Peace Breakfast is an open gathering of all who are working for peace and justice in the Twin Cities to meet, socialize, and strategize. At St. Martin's Table, sponsored by Friends for a Nonviolent World. FFI, 321-9787.

17-18 4th National All Liberian Conference. The theme of the conference is "Dialogue for Peace and Development into the 21st century: Choosing the Ballot over the Bullet." The conference will focus on achieving open, fair, and democratic elections in Liberia in the face of warlords and warring factions which threaten the current peace process. The conference will be held at the Hubert Humphrey Center at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus. FFI, Nohn Kidau at (612) 822-2214 or Dag Monjue (612) 647-1211.

September 1996

2 Nonviolence Discussion Group. See August 5.

7 Annual Meeting of the MN League of Human Rights Commissions. The meeting will discuss program ideas to counter bigotry and improve intergroup understanding and mutual respect. It is being held at Land O'Lakes in Arden Hills from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. FFI, Morton Ryweck (612) 376-0525.

7 Building On Beijing Conference. A day-long gathering of Midwest women and girls (and their male allies) happening on the one-year anniversary of the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing China. The purpose is to relate the issues debated at the World Conference to the every-day lives of women and girls. The conference is being held at the Fairview Community Center in Roseville, MN from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. FFI, Mary Sue Lobenstein (612) 823-0894.

10 Peace Breakfast. See August 13.

16 Deadline for Proposals to be Presented at The National Conference On Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. This conference is an evolutionary peacemaking journey, and will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from May 23-27, 1997. Contact Linda Baron, Executive Director, NCPCR, (703) 934-5140.

20 Connecting With Africa: Dispelling The Myths. Dialogue, discussions and workshops on such topics as Historic Perspective on Money Management in Clans and Families, Sustainable Agriculture, Post Colonial Literature in Africa, Traditional and Modern Religion, Contemporary Investment in Africa, Does Africa Need a Lingual Franca?, A Glimpse of African Wisdom, Cyber Africa. FFI, Metropolitan State University, 700 East Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN. (612) 871-4980.


Executive Committee Openings

The Partners in Human Rights Education Program is currently seeking applicants for the Executive Committee. Among many responsibilities, the Executive Committee is responsible for strategic planning, and overseeing the Partners Program's five subcommittees. These committees are Fellowship; Training, Curriculum Development, and Follow-Up Workshops; Media, Communications, and Marketing; Human Rights Fair; and Evaluation. The Executive Committee is expected to attend the Committees meeting (approximately once every month), the Fellowship Reporting Meeting in October, the Human Rights Fair in May, and the Annual Meeting of the Advisory Board in June. Please contact the Partners Program office by August 12, 1996 at 626-0041 if you are interested in receiving more information about, or applying for, this committee.


Lesson Plans

Sharing lesson plans is an excellent way to help generate ideas and to share classroom experiences with other Partners Program members. If your team has not already submitted at least one lesson plan, please complete one before August 15, 1996. The lesson plan can be an activity for one class or an entire unit. The Partners Program has additional template forms for lesson plans. Please fill out the "Lesson Planner" form and fax it to the Partners Program at (612) 625-2011, mail it or drop it at the Partners Program Office.

Lessons will be compiled in a three-ring binder and available in the Human Rights Education Library. Let's share our successes and ideas with each other!


Community Action! Projects

A brief note about Community Action! Projects. Please call or send in your students' projects to the Partners Program by August 15, 1996 for inclusion in the next editions of both the Explorer and the 1996-97 Community Action! Manual.


Community Action! Grants Available

Exciting News! The Otto Bremer Foundation has provided the Human Rights Center with funds so that we are now able to provide Partners in Human Rights Education teams and their students with small grants to create effective Community Action! Projects. Through the Community Action! Fund, teams and students can plan and execute creative Community Action! Projects that will benefit their local communities without being unduly hampered by financial considerations. Each Partners Program team is eligible for one $50 to $400 grant per semester or half of the school year. Grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis at the beginning of each month. $2,500 is available for allocation per semester and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in receiving the Grant Proposal Guidlines for the Community Action! Fund, contact thePartners Program at (612) 626-0041.


Respect Diversity Partnership Project

South West School and Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School
Grand Rapids, MN and Cass Lake, MN
Peg Schwob (Grand Rapids) and Marolyn Losh (Cass Lake), Teachers
Patty Jo Erven, Resource Specialist, Indian Education ISD 318
Cynthia B. Driscoll and Charlotte Neigh, Community Representatives

Grade Level:

Second-grade

Goal:

The goal of the project was to expose the children of each classroom to a different cultural experience in a safe and open atmosphere where discussion and ideas were encouraged and diversity was respected. The hope was that the children would be left with an interest in learning about, and respect for, different ways of living within the human family.

Activities:

In August 1995, the Grand Rapids adult participants traveled to Cass Lake to meet with Marolyn Losh to discuss the project and subsequent planning meetings were held among the Grand Rapids contingent. At the beginning of the 1995-96 school year, Peg Schwob informed the parents of her students about the project and encouraged their participation. Some of the parents did attend the various activities, including helping to chaperone the children when they visited each other's school.

In October, after getting to know new students, Peg Schwob introduced the project to them, explaining that: 1) the two classrooms would be exchanging letters and photographs; 2) they would be hearing stories and tales about the Native American culture; 3) they would do some activities with Native American artists; and 4) each group of children would visit the other at their respective schools. Patty Jo taught the children some greetings in the Ojibwe language.

The children were asked to draw pictures of how Native Americans dress, live, play, and work. The children were then divided into four groups, each working with an adult, and developed lists of ideas regarding Native American: appearance, speech, location now and long ago, schools, fun, dress, food, work, and concerns. These ideas were listed on the blackboard so that all the children could see what the other groups had developed. This was the basis for assessing the children's beliefs about Native Americans at the starting point of the project and evaluating how their beliefs had changed by the end of the project.

The project continued throughout the school year, during which time:

1. The children exchanged group and individual letters and photographs; greetings for Valentine's Day and Easter; and a thank-you after the Southwest children visited the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School.

2. Cynthia and Charlotte delivered the initial letters to the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School and helped to engage the children there in the project.

3. Patty Jo visited the Southwest classroom several times, teaching Ojibwe greetings, names for animals, and other words and telling stories including those of Chiefs Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig. She also displayed a dance outfit and demonstrated some traditional dance steps to Native American music.

4. Three Native American traditional artists visited the Southwest classroom: Storyteller Alan Wilson brought in various articles, including the Peace Drum and told the story of how it had averted bloodshed between the Ojibwe and the Sioux in the 19th century, as well as telling other stories; Carol White, Beadworker and Art Instructor at the Bug-O-Ne-Ge-Shig School, displayed some typical work and then helped the children to make some beaded jewelry; and Fluteplayer and Dancer Bradley Downwind demonstrated his talents in full regalia.

5. Cynthia and Charlotte visited the classroom various times to read Ojibwe stories to the children, which sometimes led to discussion of Ojibwe history and culture.

6. Peg used everyday opportunities to reinforce the concept of respect for individuals and different cultures.

By the time the students from Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School visited the Southwest School in March, the children were all very excited to meet each other. Even more exciting for the Southwest students was their visit to the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in May, when they participated in a pow-wow and were honored by a special song.

Evaluation:

Over the course of the project, the Southwest students enjoyed learning about Ojibwe language and culture while also learning about many similarities between the children of the two cultures. This was demonstrated by the changes in their drawings of how Native Americans dress, live, work, and play, and especially by their perception regarding what a Native American school is like. At the beginning of the year, they suggested that in a Native American school the children would: write with a stick in the dirt or with a charred twig; sit on the ground; have dirt floors in the classroom; have a giant tepee for a school building; and wear fringed deerskin clothing. At the end of the year they reported that the Native American school has: floors; tables and chairs; a nice, big building; two pet fish in the classroom along with a plant greenhouse and "cool" rocks; and most impressive of all, a "great" playground.


1996 Partners Program Dates to Remember

July 18, 24 Recruitment Open Houses for Interested Individuals. Partners Program Office at the University of Minnesota Law School, Room 439. 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

September 7 New Recruits Training for New 1996-97 Participants. University of Minnesota Law School. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

September 12 New Recruits Training for New 1996-97 Participants. University of Minnesota Law School. 5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.

September 21 Training of Trainers. University of Minnesota Law School. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

September 28 Working and Action Sessions. University of Minnesota Law School. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

October 5 Working and Action Sessions. University of Minnesota Law School. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


 

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