Help Us Celebrate Human Rights Day
As many of you are
aware, December 10th is Human Rights
Day. In celebration, the Partners Program
is hosting its second annual gala event
and silent auction. Proceeds from the
event will help the Partners Program
continue bringing human rights education
to children and adults throughout Minnesota.
The auction will
be a great opportunity to help a VERY
worthwhile cause (us) and pick up some
great bargains at the same time. Even
if you dont want to help us and
dont care about bargains, come
for the great entertainment and the
good food! The glorious sounds of the
Minneapolis Community and Technical
College Gospel Choir will ring out during
and while youre bidding on that
special something you cant do
without, you can nosh on food from your
favorite Twin Cities eateries.
will take place at the First Unitarian
Society of Minneapolis and begin at
6:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.48 (celebrating
the anniversary of the signing of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
and can be obtained by sending a check
(made out to Partners Program) to the
Partners office at 229-19th Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55455. Additionally,
if you have an item you would like to
donate, please call us at 612-626-0041.
See you there!
Hi There. . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Great Gift Ideas!! . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . 2
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen,
Goodbye. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . 2
What DYa Know??. . . . . . . .
. . . . 2
UNICEF Can Help You Teach. . . .3
Amnesty International Urgent Action
Appeal: Childrens Edition. . .
. . . . 3
Do You Feel the Need...The Need to Read?.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . 3
Upcoming Human Rights Events. . .4
You Can Surf All Winter Long. . . .4
Do you have lesson
plans, community action ideas or suggestions
for the Explorer or websight? It is
the creativity of the volunteers that
fuels the Partners Program.... Help
us keep improving by sending us your
The following is
the first in a series of articles from
recipients of 1997 Human Rights Internships
Marie C. Pugliese
Tears of the
People: Witnessing the 16th
Anniversary of the Death of Reverend
Monday, July 28,
1997. Overcast. Rain showers likely.
For the last seven
weeks, as a Fellow representing the
Partners in Human Rights Education program,
I have been working in the mission village
of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. On
this cloudy morning, I climb in the
back of a pick-up truck and endure the
bumpy ride to the neighboring town of
Santiago. Located 51 miles (81 kilometers)
west of Guatemala City and with a population
of 20,000, Santiago is nestled among
the reeds of Lake Atitlan. The purpose
of my journey is to attend the memorial
service of a priest assassinated sixteen
Francis Rother, a Catholic missionary
from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma, served
Santiagos Tzutuhil Indians for
13 years. His efforts to improve the
communitys agricultural and educational
conditions were regarded by government
officials as suspicious. Labeled a communist,
Rothers name appeared on a death
On the night of
July 28, 1981, several unidentified
gunmen broke into the rectory and stormed
into Rothers sleeping quarters.
Apparent from his bruised knuckles,
Rother struggled with his assailants
before being shot in the head three
times. Though his body was buried in
his hometown of Edmond, OK, his family
obliged parishioners request that
this heart and some of his blood be
buried in a memorial tomb erected inside
Upon my arrival
in Santiago, I locate the rectory and
Rothers room, which has been renovated.
As a tribute to his life, a glass case
features his black vestment robe, plaid
work shirt, journal, Bible, and other
personal items. On the opposite wall,
a brief biography is inscribed in English
and Spanish. On the floor, neatly arranged
candles reveal where a bullet punctured
the tile. Blood stains still shadow
After signing the
visitors book, I wander outside
to the church square. Because the memorial
service concludes a week-long festival,
the plaza is filled with carnival rides,
including a 12-car, man-powered ferris-wheel.
Barefoot boys huddle around video games
at the arcade.
The crowded church
steps are alive with conversation; men
lingering to chat as women hurry inside.
The men, many dressed in their traditionally
embroidered short pants and button down
striped shirts, remove their hats upon
entering the church. The women, with
shawls loosely hung over their shoulders,
cover their heads with woven fabrics
and cross themselves.
Peering inside the
church, I notice the decorations. Ribbons
of red and green, purple and gold sway
from the breeze coming through the doors.
Multicolored "Christmas" lights
are strung haphazardly around the altar.
Statues jutting from the walls are draped
in bulky robes; their faces are covered
with drab fabric.
As the church fills
with mourners, the memorial procession
is being arranged in the adjacent courtyard.
As they scramble into two single file
lines, chattering school children are
hushed by their teachers. The religious
order of the Sisters of the Eucharist
and neighboring town priests fall in
step. The residing priest of Santiago,
cloaked in a blood red robe, completes
As the somber procession
winds through the streets, I am struck
by the contrasting reactions of those
gathered. Merchants, local shoppers,
and carnival workers bow their heads
in reverence. American and European
tourists scramble to load film into
As the priests enter
the church and approach the altar, they
pass an open, wooden coffin. Positioned
inside, among scattered rose petals,
is Rothers grey hooded sweatshirt.
His white vestment, adorned with the
traditional Santiago floral pattern,
is draped over the open lid. (contrary
to rumor, this coffin is not his, but
is symbolically displayed during special
service). Next to the coffins, balanced
on a stool, is a framed black and white
photograph of Rother. This same picture
is nailed on the wall behind the pulpit.
All components of
the mass commemorate the reverend. The
homily, articulating Rothers contributions,
is delivered in Spanish then translated
into Tzutuhil. After the homily, the
clergy and nuns solemnly retreat to
the back of the church. They kneel in
front of the tomb that contains Rothers
heart. Flickering candles illuminate
the corner. The air is thick with incense.
Sneaking out the
churchs side door, I again enter
the adjacent courtyard. Young children,
restless from the service, climb the
angle of a marble plaque that dedicates
the courtyard in Rothers name.
Mischievous boys investigate smoldering
incense ashes. Two sisters, in traditional
traje (clothes) squeal with delight
as rain sprinkles from the sky. A young
American priest, hunched over on a stone
bench, blankly stares into the distance.
Slowly, his face sinks into his hands.
He is silent.
The melody of rosary
prayers draws me back to the service.
Olive branches, dipped in blessed water,
are waved over the parishioners. During
the Eucharist, Monsignor Gregory Schaffer
of San Lucas Toliman, distributes communion
to attendants in the back of the church.
Pausing to gently place his hand on
a babys forehead, he whispers
a kind word to the mother; I am next
in line. Closing prayers reiterate Rothers
relationship with the community. Alongside
his people, he struggled in life and
suffered in death.
Observing the parishioners
streaming from the church doors into
the late-morning drizzle, I reflect
on the image of Rother as mentor and
martyr. A young father scoops his tottering
daughter into his arms and allows his
son to tug them toward carnival rides.
Walking arm-in-arm, a woman pauses on
the steps to console her weeping friend.
A Tzutuhil woman
brushes by me. Catching my eye, she
then gazes at the clouds above and murmurs,
"the tears of God, the tears of
you may have read in the last Explorer,
Jen Orr, our venerated long-time editor,
has left us to seek her fortune in the
big scary world. That leaves The
Explorer with a new editor--me.
name is David Neubeck and I am a second
year law student at the University of
MN. I initially came to the Partners
Program in 1996, working with a second-year
Chinese language class at Ramsey Jr.
High in St. Paul. Having just returned
from a two year stint as an English
teacher in central China I was eager
to share my experiences and increase
awareness of Human Rights issues facing
the Chinese people. The past year and
a half has been fantastic. My teams
classes examine diverse issues ranging
from world food and wealth distribution
to Chinas one child policy. My
team has particularly concentrated on
providing a different perspective on
Chinese issues than is typically presented
by the U.S. media. Our students enjoy
learning about issues outside their
normal sphere of exposure, and I in
turn enjoy hearing their responses to
any of you have questions about Human
Rights in China, please give me a call
at the Partners Program office. Additionally,
if you have any comments or suggestions
Id love to hear from you. Thanks
for reading and Im glad to be
Great Gift Ideas!!
Does it seem like
whenever you need a gift for someone
your brain goes into vapor lock? Fear
no more my friends, the Partners Program
has a solution. When youre at
a loss, just look at the following human
rights suggestions and shop away. You
can please your friends and family and
support human rights at the same time.
Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary
of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, Amnesty Internationals
1998 calendar highlights photographs
revealing the human condition. The photographs
are taken by renowned photojournalists
including David Burnett and Annie Leibovitz.
All proceeds benefit Amnesty International.
The calendar is available for $8.00
and can be ordered by Visa or MasterCard
from Amnesty at 212-633-4234.--Non credit
card orders should include an additional
$3.00 for postage and be addressed to:
322 8th Ave
New York, NY 10001
The perfect gift for the person who
has everything: Donate money or time
to a local charity in the name of the
gift recipient. There are hundreds of
worthwhile organizations who could use
your help, and your gift would truly
be in the spirit of giving.
Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working
Children, Dr. David Parkers
discussion and photographs of child
laborers is a moving exploration of
a very important issue. --See the
to read" section for a more detailed
description and ordering information.
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen,
Since July, the
Partners Program has been privileged
to work with and learn from Karen Kraco.
Karen is a science teacher from Massachusetts
who has extensive experience with human
rights education through her work with
Amnesty Internationals Educators
Network. During her time here she has
helped the Partners Program rewrite
the volunteer training manual, develop
curriculum packets, and has continually
given support and guidance to our staff.
She has also been involved in organizing
the Human Rights USA Resource Center
and training of trainers. Her time with
us has been extremely valuable for our
program. We have greatly benefitted
from her expertise and experience. Sadly,
she has to return to her life in Massachusetts
and will conclude her time with the
Partners Program in early November.
The Partners Program staff gives a warm
thank you to Karen for her work and
commitment to human rights education.
What DYa Know??
Do you want to win
a groovy prize and test your knowledge
of human rights at the same time? Correctly
answer the following three questions,
send them to the Partners Program office,
and well put you in a drawing
to win a signed copy of Stolen Dreams:
Portraits of Working Children, Dr.
David Parkers moving portrait
of child labor. Are you ready? Here
we go. . .
1) Who served as
the Chairperson of the United Nations
Human Rights Commission that wrote the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
2) Name three of
the last five winners of the Nobel Peace
3) In what year
and in what city did Rosa Parks spark
a civil rights boycott by refusing to
give up her seat on the bus?
UNICEF Can Help You Teach.
Does your classroom
plan on addressing children's rights?
If it does, UNICEF is willing to send
you a FREE (!) teaching packet. The
packet, entitled "Kids Helping
Kids," is available in both English
and Spanish by dialing 1-800-FOR KIDS
(367-5437), or writing to UNICEF at:
US Committee for
Attn: Education Programs--Kids Helping
333 East 38th St.
New York, NY 10016
The packet can also
be downloaded off the Web from www.unicefusa.org
and the Partners Program has a few packets
available for check out from our lending
Amnesty International Urgent Action
is concerned about ten-year-old Florencia
On September 1,
1997 soldiers entered the Indian community
of Nahuatl de Ahuixtla in the state
of Guerrero, Mexico at 4 oclock
in the morning. They told villagers
that they were searching for guerrillas
who oppose the government of Mexico.
The soldiers broke into the home of
Francisco Abarca Verales. They beat
him brutally and demanded information
from him. They also beat his 10-year-old
When the soldiers
left the village, they said that anyone
who dared to complain about the beatings
would be killed. Some villagers did
complain to a Mexican human rights organization.
Amnesty International is now afraid
that soldiers may return to Nahuatl
de Ahuiztla to hurt the villagers.
Please write a letter
to the Interim Governor of Guerrero
and ask him to protect the people of
Haguatl de Ahuixtla and to check on
ten-year-old Florencia Abarca to make
sure that she is safe. Let the governor
know that the soldiers must be arrested
and punished along with the military
officers who ordered the invasion.
Gobernador Interino Del Estado De
Palacio De Gobierno
Plaza Primer Congreso De Anahuac
39000 Chilpancingo, Guerrero
Do You Feel The Need...The Need to Read?
The Partners Program
has your panacea. Pick up one of the
following books and you'll surely cure
whatever ails you.
Portraits of Working Children.---David
Parker, M.D., an occupational physician
in Minneapolis spent five years traveling
the world documenting the lives of working
children. The result is a remarkable
photo essay that shows the human face
of the disturbing issue of child labor.
Signed copies (!)
of Stolen Dreams are $15.00 and can
be purchased by calling the Partners
Program at 626-0041.
Who Will Feed
China: A Wakeup Call for a Small Planet
(The Worldwatch Environmental Alert)
--- This book explores Chinas
growing prominence in the international
economy and how this will effect world
food distribution in the twenty-first
century. Who Will Feed China sells for
approximately $9.00 and is available
at local bookstores.
Also new and available
for check-out in the Partners Program
Teaching About Global Awareness with
Simulations and Games contains various
cirriculum ideas and activities for
grades six through twelve.
Updated versions of Amnesty International's
Resource Notebooks. Topics include "Introducing
Human Rights in the Elementary School,"
"Indigenous Peoples Rights,"
"Economic Rights" and "Conflict
Resolution and Peace." (If you
would like to purchase any of the notebooks,
please call Human Rights USA at 612-341-8084).
Forsaken Cries: The Story of Rwanda,
is an educational packet containing
historical information about Rwanda
and Genocide. The packet also contains
classroom activities as well as an accompanying
video. CAUTION! This material is quite
graphic and only suitable for mature
high school students.
Upcoming Human Rights Events.
Task Force. The coalition holds
its monthly meeting to defend immigrant
rights, fight reactionary state and
federal legislation, and respond to
unfair Immigration and Naturalization
Service raids, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Urban
Coalition, 2610 University Ave. W.,
Suite 201, St. Paul. Call 348-8550.
Timor. Nina da Costa, president
of Australias Timorese Association,
and exiled Indonesian Nico Warouw speak
on the 22-year-old occupation of East
Timor. 7:00 p.m. OShaughnessy
Education Center, College of St. Catherine,
St. Paul. (Da Costa and Warouw will
speak again the following day at 12
p.m. in the University of Minnesota
Social Science Building). Call 962-6598
Rights USA will hold a strategic
planning meeting for MN education and
social justice organizers. The meeting
will address how to build a Human Rights
community in Minnesota. Call BIHA (Black,
Indian, Hispanic, Asian Women in Action,)
conference will take place in Evanston,
IL. For more information call 312-427-2060.
Honoring the Brazilian
popular-education pioneer, who died
May 2. This event features a panel,
songwriter-educator Larry Long and a
biographical video by New York film-markers
George Stoney, Barbara Miller and Lynne
Jackson. 7 p.m. First Universalist Church,
3400 Dupont Ave. S. Minneapolis. 721-4380.
Alliance of Peacemakers. Act for
Human Rights. Prepare for celebrating
the 50th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Guests
include Kathryn Sikkink, and Sen. Paul
Wellstone. $5.00 7p.m. Hennepin Avenue
United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland,
Minneapolis Call 338-1548.
Rights, International Law. Peter
Thompson, an attorney representing anti-landmine
protesters, speaks at a meeting of People
of Faith Peacemakers. 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
St. Martins Table. 2001 Riverside
Ave., Minneapolis. Call 784-5177.
and Immigrant Program of Minnesota Advocates
for Human Rights: Celebration
of Community and Diversity. Enjoy
food and entertainment provided by members
of Minnesotas immigrant and refugee
community. Open Donations accepted.
5:00 - 8:00 p.m Brian Coyle Community
Center. Call 341-3302.
Program Human Rights Day Celebration
and Silent Auction, "Good Things
Happen When Students Take Action."
Help us celebrate Human Rights Day by
getting a few bargains and enjoying
quality enteratinment and company. (see
the page one article for more info)
6:30 p.m. First Unitarian Society of
Minnesota. 900 Mount Curve Ave., Minneapolis.
Resource Center of The Americas Saturday
Morning Coffee Hours
Featuring a speaker, bagels and fair-trade
coffee at Café of the Americas,
1701 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis.
$3.00 for Resource Center Members, $4.00
Rights in Guatemala Today. Speaker:
Martha Lidia Godinez.
Labor, Women and Youth. Speaker:
Marina Ríos and David Hernández.
Dark Side of Chiles "Miracle."
Speaker: Fernando Leiva.
Salvador: Elections and Peace. Speaker:
Agriculture in Colombia. Speaker:
Lucia Vásquer Colis
LaDuke. The Native American enviornmental
activist and director of the White Earth
Land Recovery Project, reads from her
first novel, Last Standing Woman.
7:30 p.m. $5.00, Resource Center of
the Americas 317 17th Ave. SE, Minneapolis,
Art Museum hosts an exhibition entitled,
In the Eye of the Storm: An Art of
Conscience, 1930-1970. Call 625-9494.
Can Surf All Winter Long!!!
The days are getting
shorter and no doubt you will soon find
yourself trapped inside by a howling
blizzard--a perfect opportunity to check
out our great websight:
has lesson plans, human rights related
documents and links to other cool human
rights websights. Give it a looksee
and tell us what you think.
on the subject of the internet...if
you have an e-mail address, please send
it to the Partners office. The more
ways we have to contact you the more
in Human Rights Education is
an education initiative established
in 1992 by Minnesota Advocates for Human
Rights and The Human Rights Center at
the University of Minnesota. The Partners
Program organizes and trains teachers,
lawyers and communtiy representatives
to teach human rights and develop community
action projects throughout Minnesota.
The Partners approach imparts knowledge,
teaches critical analysis, and provides
skills for action through integrating
human rights as a part of participants
lives. The strength of our volunteers
creates an enthusiasm which will move
us forward into the future with new
goals and new ideas. For more information,
contact the Partners Program at: Phone:
612-626-0041; Fax: 612-625-2011; E-mail:
World Wide Web: http://www.umn.edu/humanrts/