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PIHRE Explorer,
March 1997

 

Get Ready for the 1997 Human Rights Fair!

Mark it on your calendar -- May 16, the Partners Program Human Rights Fair! We have arranged it with the weather folks to have a beautiful spring day for the event at Como Park Pavilion. The day will start at 9:00 in the morning and run until 2:00 in the afternoon. There is no fee for schools, but we do ask that an appropriate number of chaperones accompany your students.

This year, the Fair has taken on a theme of International Child Labor. The question we ask everyone is -- Who Pays the Price? Teachers involved in our Program should have already received information on the troubling problem of Child Labor. We are hoping that the issue will be brought up in classrooms before students attend the Fair so they can have a better understanding of what needs to be done around the world -- and around here -- to make a change. If you have any ideas on using this topic in your classroom and are willing to share then please call us.

We will fill the day with workshops and aim activities toward all ages of young people. From workshops on printing to puppet-making to letter-writing to song-writing and music-making to face-painting -- we will fill the day with something for everyone. There will also be treats and special presentations throughout the day.

If you would like more information or would like to register for the 1997 Human Rights Fair!, please contact Jen Orr in the Partners' office, (612) 626-0041. We'll see you there!


Human Rights Fair Contest!

In coordination with this year's Human Rights Fair! we are sponsoring a Contest for students. Send us your artwork, short stories, poems, videos, or music based on what you know about the problems of child labor. Use as your inspiration the song "One U, One Me" and the information sent to you about child labor.

All artwork received by the Partners Program will be judged against other entries in the same age categories. There will be six winners in all and each winner will receive $25 to donate to a worthy cause of their choice. All entries must be received by April 4, 1997. Please contact Jen Orr in the Partners' office with any questions, 612-626-0041.


China - U.S. Conference on Education

The China - U.S. Conference on Education will be held in Beijing, People's Republic of China, July 9-13, 1997. This will be the largest gathering of Chinese and American educators ever assembled. The registration materials are now available. Space is limited! Conference cost is $3350.00 for a nine-day Conference Package program. Schools wishing to develop a partnership with a school in China can request a U.S.-China Links application. For detailed information on the Conference visit Global Interaction's Home Page http://www.goodnet.com/global/ or contact

Global Interactions, Inc.
14 West Cheryl Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85021
PHONE: (602) 943-3922
FAX: (602) 943-4458
E-MAIL:
global@goodnet.com


Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal

Use the following Children's Edition of the Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal in your classroom. Use it as a letter-writing lesson or a lesson on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Airmail letters cost 60 to most countries. If you receive a reply, please send them to the Colorado office of Amnesty International immediately. If appropriate, thank the official who has replied and ask to be kept informed about the case. If you need more information on any of these subjects, please contact the Partners' office.

UA 4/6/97 United Kingdom (England):
Roisin (Roshen) McAliskey

Amnesty International (AI) is very worried about Roisin McAliskey. She is in Holloway Prison in England and she is pregnant. Roisin is very weak and sickly. She will have her baby very soon. AI believes that Roisin cannot get the care that she and her unborn baby need at Holloway Prison Hospital.

Roisin McAliskey is being held for questioning about the bombing of British soldiers in Germany. AI realizes that this is a terrible crime, and that those who are guilty of it must be punished. Roisin, however, has not yet been charged or tried for this or any crime. AI is concerned that the health of Roisin and her baby will be at risk unless she is allowed to give birth to the baby in a proper hospital. AI asks assurances that Roisin be permitted to remain with her infant when returned to Halloway Prison, and in Germany, if she must go there to stand trial for the bombing.

Please write a courteous letter to Michael Howard, the Secretary of State of the United Kingdom. Ask him to make certain that Roisin McAliskey and her baby receive proper medical care. Ask him to make sure that Roisin is allowed to remain with her baby.

The Secretary of State's address is:
SECRETARY OF STATE
MICHAEL HOWARD
THE HOME OFFICE
50 QUEEN ANNE'S GATE
LONDON SW1H 9AT
UNITED KINGDOM
(The salutation -- Dear Secretary of State)

Free Amnesty Interactive CD ROM

Get a free AI CD ROM for your home or classroom. It is an award-winning human rights MACINTOSH CD ROM. Just send the Urgent Action Office (POB 1270, Nederland, CO 80466-1270) a photograph of your child or students using the March Action to write a letter on behalf of Roisin McAliskey.


Summer Human Rights Education Course at the U of M

Enjoy summertime at the University of Minnesota with other educators and human development professionals! The summer Human Rights Education course will examine human rights as an emerging theme in education and will explore the definitions and foundations of human rights. In particular the class will analyze case studies of local organizations involved in human rights education. The class meets June 17-July 17, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m., in Burton Hall 120. EdPA 5128, Sec. 7, 2 credits. Gwen Willems, Partners Program Advisory Board member, is the instructor. Call 612-624-6331 for more information.


Human Rights Events Calendar

March

14-15 The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights Presents International Human Rights at the Grassroots: Putting International Standards to Work for Our Children. Boyd Law Building and the University of Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City, Iowa

20 Namibia as a Lens and a Mirror. A slide talk by Katie Knight. 7 p.m., Century Room, Christensen Center, Augsburg College.

April

12 Child Labor in the Global Economy. Workshop will explore child labor in the global economy and how concerned people can respond. It includes videos, articles from various perspectives, and role-plays. Call the Resource Center of the Americas for more information, 627-9445.

May

8 International Child Labor. Craig Kielburger and other speakers from 7-9 p.m. Open to the public at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in South Minneapolis. Please call The Resource Center for the Americas at 627-9445 for further information.

9 Free the Children: A Youth Conference on the Issue of Child Labor. The Resource Center for the Americas at the Humphrey Center, call 627-9445 for more information. Registration is limited.

June

9 13th Annual Human Rights Awards Dinner. Please contact MN Advocates for Human Rights for more information, 612-341-3302.

16-25 In the Heart of the Beast Summer Puppet Workshop. A week-long conference that will be held in Montevideo. Teachers bring an empty suitcase to the workshop and leave with puppets and a stage they have created. Participants will learn the history and context of puppet-making and how to use puppets in the classroom. The course can count as graduate credit through Hamline Graduate School. Call Colleen Casey at In the Heart of the Beast for more information, 721-2535.

August

3-8 Amnesty International Summer Human Rights Education Institute. UC-Irvine; Irvine, CA. Call AIUSA Western Regional Office (415) 291-9233 for details.

Partners Program Dates to Remember

March 19 St. Cloud Enrichment Meeting, Cyberbean Cafe

April 19 Worthington Enrichment Meeting, TBA

May 16 Human Rights Fair! Como Park Pavilion, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Women's History Month Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 6-8th grade

Developed by: Jenny Eisele, Johanna Bond, and Jim Hilbert at the St. Paul Open School.

The Lesson:

Randomly distribute cards with different shapes on them (half circles and half squares).
Have students line up to vote on some issue relevant to their lives (i.e., "Should there be school on Saturdays?").
Only allow the students with squares on their cards to cast a ballot.
Divide the group into circles and squares: ask them to discuss how it felt to be able to vote or to be excluded from voting. (Our students who could not vote began spontaneously protesting & organizing!).
Bring the students back together, give a short description of the women's suffrage movement, and then discuss women's voting rights in the context of the previous exercise.


The Crazy Horse Defense Project

Crazy Horse is a revered spiritual and political leader of the Lakota who spoke out strongly against the use of alcohol and prophesied the devastation that alcohol would bring to the Indian Nations. Crazy Horse was a defender of the people and the Lakota traditional way of life. Crazy Horse (Tasunke Witko) is perhaps best known for his defeat of General George Custer in the battle of the Little Big Horn.

Since March 1992, Hornell Brewing Co. & Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons of Brooklyn, NY have sold a malt liquor named "The Original Crazy Horse Malt Liquor." This product is not only offensive to the relatives and admirers of Crazy Horse but illustrates how Indian names, designs, symbols, and culture are being misappropriated for commercial purposes. Here the use of Crazy Horse's name implies a false and misleading connection between Crazy Horse the man and the malt liquor. These companies also market and sell "AriZona Iced Tea" and other "AriZona Products" using Indian designs and sacred symbols. These products are being boycotted nationally.

The Crazy Horse Defense Project (CHDP) is dedicated to stopping this wholesale theft of indigenous property. If any of you would like to work on this issue in the classroom there are curriculum materials available from CHDP. There are a number of related issues addressed in the curriculum materials such as the mascot and logo issue, cultural exploitation, and the use of Indian names, etc. Helping the boycott would make an excellent class project. For more information and/or materials contact the Human Rights Center, call the CHDP at 612-222-4703 and ask for Phyllis Frederick, or contact Linda Loverude, author of the curriculum materials at 612-699-2064.

Thank you to Phyllis Frederick, Chair of the Partners Program Executive Committee, for contributing this article.


Global & Local Perspectives

On February 1, 1997, the Partners Program and Minneapolis Community Technical College co-sponsored a full-day conference entitled "Global and Local Perspectives: International Human Rights and Emerging Movements." The conference was open to all students from MCTC and Partners Program volunteers. Approximately 60 people were in attendance, the majority of whom were students from the college. It was a great way to introduce the topic of human rights to the students, and for the Partners Program volunteers to receive more in-depth information on the issues of Indigenous Rights, Domestic Violence, and Economics/Labor Issues.

In addition to learning about human rights, we learned about taking action from a group of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from J.J. Montessori School. The students presented original artwork on the articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and made an appeal to all conference participants to help bring an end to the use of land mines.

Here is more information about the Send a Shoe Campaign:

The Minnesota Campaign to Ban Landmines calls on all Minnesotans to send a shoe to President Clinton, General John Shalikashvili, and Richard Schwartz (CEO of Alliant TechSystems in Hopkins).

WHY A SHOE? A shoe is a symbol of the thousands of landmine victims -- women, men, and especially, children -- around the world who will never walk again. A shoe is a visible act of solidarity with the survivors of landmine explosions who have lost feet, legs, or lives. The politicians, military planners, and corporate executives who continue to advocate the use of landmines have chosen not to hear the voices of the victims. These shoes, arriving at the White House, the Pentagon, and Alliant Tech's corporate headquarters, will join with the voices of the survivors to call for an immediate and comprehensive ban on landmines. Thousands of shoes arriving in the mail each day will shout out the "business as usual" cannot continue when it comes to landmines. Every shoe that is unwrapped will include an enclosed message calling for an immediate, comprehensive ban on all landmines. In the finest tradition of sabots (wooden shoes worn by workers) being used in the past in Europe to sabotage war machinery we will send our shoes to put an end to landmines once and for all.

WHAT TO DO? Send an old shoe to each of the following landmine decision makers. Include a note that explains why you are doing this and call for an immediate, comprehensive ban on all landmines.

President Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

General John Shalikashvili
Chair, Joint Chiefs
Room 2E872
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-0001

Richard Schwartz
Alliant TechSystems
600 Second Street NE
Hopkins, MN 55343

For further information, please contact the MN Campaign to Ban Landmines:
MN Fellowship of Reconciliation
PO Box 14792
Minneapolis, MN 55414-0792

This article was contributed by Marna Anderson, Assistant Director of the Partners Program.


Artist Katie Knight: Strangely Familiar

Everyone is encouraged to visit the Alumni Gallery in the Christensen Center at Augsburg College to see the beautiful, educational, and uplifting artwork of Katie Knight, a Partners Program teacher for the past two years. Strangely Familiar is an exhibit of mixed media that explores issues of family and social justice in Namibia, Central America, and the United States. Her artwork will be on display at the Alumni Gallery from March 3 - March 28, 1997. In addition, on March 20, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. in the Century Room of the Christensen Center, Katie will be giving a slide talk entitled, "Namibia as a Lens and a Mirror." Teachers may be interested in seeing the slide talk, as Katie would love to take her show to your school. Gallery hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with later hours for special events. The Christensen Center is located on 22nd Avenue South at 7 « Street in Minneapolis, one and a half blocks south of Riverside Avenue. Please call the Partners Program for more information at (612) 626-0041.

All Partners Program volunteers and students are encouraged to attend and show support for a fellow participant!

Take a Look at a Book!

The Puppet Cookbook

Teaches puppet-making techniques for students of all ages. With text and pictures/diagrams. To order, call In the Heart of the Beast Theater at 721-2535.


On the Rooftop of the World: Women's Human Rights in Nepal

Thanks to a Partners Program Fellowship and the connection between the Women's Project of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Human Rights Organization of Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal, I was able to spend June 4, 1996 to August 3, 1996 working in Kathmandu on a project about violence against women in Nepal. I looked specifically at the issue of domestic violence as a human rights abuse.

Over the last 50 years, international human rights law, and many of the governmental and non-governmental human rights organizations, have focused almost exclusively on human rights abuses committed directly by representatives of a government against their own citizens. However, the most serious human rights violations against women tend to be inflicted by private citizens, and occur in the privacy of the home and family.

Only very recent interpretations of international human rights law, developed by female lawyers and women's groups throughout the world, have started to make the connection between and draw attention to international human rights law and the responsibility national governments have to protect women from physical abuse, rape, and death in their own homes. Countries that have signed legally binding international human rights documents, such as the Political and Civil Covenant and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) must be made accountable when men who rape, beat or kill their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters are not appropriately arrested, convicted or punished for their crimes against women.

Women make up 51% of the population of Nepal. But in many ways they are treated like second class citizens. They are discriminated against publicly and privately, in social, political, and economic arenas. The plight of most women in Nepal is, to say the least, difficult. In a country where most of the men and the women are burdened by poverty, only those women who have the benefit of wealth and/or non-traditional husbands and other family members are able to enjoy freedoms such as an education and the ability to work or volunteer beyond the confines of the home and the family.

Even my Nepali host-mother, a very educated and fairly wealthy woman from Kathmandu, now with her own family to take care of, told me of how her mother discriminated between her and her two brothers both when they were children and as adults. Her brothers were educated in private schools, while she could only go to public school. She was also given less food than her brothers. She had to fight not to get married at 18, in order to continue her education beyond secondary school. Even now, her mother sometimes gives more expensive gifts and food to her brothers' wives and children. It must be noted, however, that there are many individual men and women (including my Nepali mother), as well as organizations, fighting to improve the situation for women throughout Nepal. I had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by many of these people at HURON and many other organizations as I did my own work on domestic violence.

After spending a few days adjusting to my new environment, I spent time at the HURON office developing my plan of action, including a definition of domestic violence. Only a few days after beginning my research in Nepal, it became clear that typical definitions of the perpetrator as a boyfriend or partner were inadequate. Traditional families in Nepal tend to live in what is known as a "joint family" system. When a daughter marries and leaves the parental home, she goes to live with the husband's family, often including the husband's brothers and their wives and children, and the husband's parents. Depending on the position of the husband in the family, his wife is susceptible to abuse from many directions, including the husband's older brothers and their wives, as well as the parents, including the mother-in-law. As a result, women can be victims of domestic violence not only at the hands of husbands, but often the entire family, both male and female members. I spent my time attempting to assess the attitude of the government and the general public towards domestic violence. In hospitals, I interviewed doctors and nurses, and looked though medical records. I interviewed lawyers, police officers, and the directors of non-governmental organizations working for women's rights. I visited Legal Aid offices and interviewed victims who wanted to share their stories in the hope of making a difference for other women. I also had the unique opportunity to interview the Prime Minister of Nepal. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. Although he was perfectly willing to help us in any way he could, he did not appear to take our work very seriously. He repeatedly referred to me as a "beautiful lady", and asked me why I wasn't doing research on men who are beaten by their wives! Definitely a meeting to chalk up to experience!

About a week before I left Nepal to return to Minnesota, I felt overwhelmed, and definitely not ready to leave. Although I had spent two months visiting offices, conducting interviews, and sifting through records, I felt like I hadn't learned anything, and that there was just so much more to do. Only after I left did I realize how much I had learned, and how much I had to share with people back in Minnesota. I increased my knowledge about women, human rights, and domestic violence in Nepal, and found that although I have a lot to learn, fact finding in human rights is something I would like to do again. I also learned that I am capable of adjusting, living, working and enjoying myself in a very different cultural environment, something I will definitely do again. Perhaps most importantly, I made friends for life, including the wonderful Nepali family with whom I stayed. Lakshman and Reena Upadhyaya were the most wonderful, supportive "Nepali mother and father" anyone could ask for, and I hope if anyone from the Partners Program returns to Nepal, they will stay with them.

Since my return to Minnesota in early August, I have had the pleasure of seeing my work in Nepal continue, as well as share my experience with my community. The Women's Project of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights sent two lawyers to Nepal for three weeks to follow-up on my work. I hope a report will be produced for publication in 1997. Furthermore, I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak about my experience to students of all ages all over Minnesota. I have been in elementary classrooms in St. Paul, junior high classrooms in Worthington, and Senior High classrooms in Grand Rapids. The interest, enthusiasm and concern that these students show about my experience in Nepal gives me encouragement to continue my work in human rights education, as well as the knowledge that although I am no longer in Nepal, my experience there can continue to be relevant to my life and the lives of others.

Article by Johanna Allayne Ronnei, Partners Program & Support Services Committee.


Human Rights Happy Hour!

Pilar Garrido from Eden Prairie High School and Siri Anderson from Hopkins West Junior High have planned a Human Rights Happy Hour for the second Thursday in both April and May. Come join other people working to make their community a better place. Provide support, share experiences, and have fun!

Thursday, April 10, 1997 5:00 p.m. Kikugawa at Riverplace, 43 SE Main St., Minneapolis, 378-3006

Thursday, May 8, 1997 5:00p.m. Sawatdee Bar and Cafe, 118 N. 4th St., Minneapolis, 373-0840

Please call the Partners Program for more information at 626-0041.


Peace Village

This summer you are invited to join Peace Village's Fair Game: Work and Play in Children's Lives -- A peace and justice focused, action-oriented, day-camp for children who want to play and learn together. This summer they will be learning about the basic human right of work and play as it relates to children. The whole Village will be together during the opening, lunchtime, and closing of each day. The children will be in smaller groups for age appropriate instruction and activities each day. In addition to the thematic activities, we will have a daily focus on one aspect of conflict resolution.

Peace Village is a ministry of the Community of St. Martin, an ecumenical, Christian community with a commitment to peace and justice through nonviolence. In addition to the workshops for children, it is offering Conflict Resolution Training Sessions for Parents on June 10 or July 9.

The Program is open to all children entering first through sixth grade in the fall of 1997. Each session will run Mondays-Thursdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for two weeks. Session I: June 16-19, 23-26 or Session II: July 14-17, 21-24. The Program is held at Faith Mennonite Church. For more information on costs and registration please call 341-0871.

Wanted: Summer Teacher Fellows

The Partners Program is looking for a few good teachers for this summer. These part-time fellowships cover a wide-range of topics, including: Program recruitment & training; planning events for the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and working on training materials. If you are interested in one of these positions, please contact Kristi Rudelius-Palmer in the Partners' office at 612-626-0041.


Request for Submissions

If you think you have something to share with other Partners participants (and we know you do!), please contact Jen Orr at the office, (612) 626-0041. Don't worry if you don't have something written -- if you provide the information, we can take it from there! Please help us share the best resource we have -- you!


International Women's Day, 1997

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights sponsored a celebration for International Women's Day at William Mitchell Law School on Saturday, March 8. Over 200 women (and a few men) attended the event and took advantage of the rare opportunity to celebrate women's lives, accomplishments, and dreams. A wide range of workshops were offered addressing issues such as Economic Justice for Women, Welfare Reform, Immigration, Women's Rights as Human Rights, and International Trafficking of Women. There was also the opportunity to learn the art of storytelling, cross-cultural theater, and self-defense. In addition to all the fantastic workshops, there was great food and a beautiful dance performance by Susana di Palma to end the celebration. It was a wonderful day. If you weren't able to attend, please mark your calendars for next year. You'll surely want to be there!


Community Action! Funds Available

Since the beginning of the school year, the Partners Program has funded the following Community Action! Projects. We congratulate the participants of these actions and urge you to join them in promoting community involvement.

Highland Park Junior School, St. Paul

Seventh and eighth grade students at Highland Park Junior School are volunteering services to hunger relief organizations in Minnesota, based on their understanding of UDHR article 25- Right to an adequate living standard and UN Declaration of the Rights of a Child, #4 - "I have the right to nourishing food. . ."

Powderhorn Community School, Minneapolis

The Hmong students in Nina Dibner's class at Powderhorn Community School taught the other students how to make Hmong embroidery, called Pa'ndau or "flower cloths". The completed Pa'ndau were sold at the Powderhorn Neighborhood Association Arts and Crafts Sale. Proceeds from the sale were given to a Hmong refugee organization. The students also donated some of the Pa'Ndau for the Partners Program celebration and auction on Human Rights Day.

Southwest Elementary, Grand Rapids

Barbra Popkin's Grand Rapids Southwest Elementary second grade class and Carol Steigaufs Red Lake Indian Reservation Ponemah Elementary second grade class will be integrating science, language arts, social studies and art through a seven month pen pal project. The two classes will meet and share a science experience at the Head Waters Science Center in Bemidji. They will correspond regularly for 7 months and have 5 shared experiences with Indian artists. The Ponemah children will travel to Grand Rapids when the Ponemah community dancers and drummers come to present at Southwest Elemtary in Grand Rapids.

Pillsbury Elementary, Minneapolis

Kirsten Parker's class is creating a symbolic representation of the 42 articles contained in the Convention on the Rights of Children. They are also writing a catalogue to explain each article. The finished quilt, with accompanying catalogue, will go on tour.

We still have money to fund more Community Action! Projects. If you do not have the Community Action! Fund Proposal, please call Blessing or Johanna in the Partners' office -- we'll be happy to send you one.

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