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PIHRE Explorer,
1995-1996, Issue #5

 

March Team Tip

Spring is in the air! The end of the school year is quickly approaching. Now is the time to evaluate where your class has been and is heading.

What has really sparked the interest of your team and the students? Lead a brainstorming discussion with the students about what they believe is a need in the local, state, national, or international community. Assist the students with developing their Community Action! projects.
Review what lessons your team has planned for the rest of the year and plan out your schedule through May.
With the students, plan an end of the year celebration to recognize the students for their efforts. Consider inviting other classes at the school, their parents, and/or the local community.


Take A Look at A Book!

Tales From The Dragon's Cave: Peacemaking Stories For Everyone. Each story in this collection of magical tales is filled with fairy tale characters and exciting adventures as well as vivid lessons in the art of conflict resolution. Written and illustrated by Arlene Williams, Waking Light Press, 1995. 160 pp. Hardcover $15.95. Available from Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, Pyle Center Box 1183, Wilmington OH 45177, (513) 382-5388.

The Words Of Peace: Selections from the Speeches of the Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Selections from the acceptance speeches and lectures of the 52 Nobel Peace Prize winners since 1901. Includes Mother Teresa, Lech Walesa, Elie Wiesel, Rigoberta Menchu, and Yitzhak Rabin. Edited by Irwin Abrams, Newmarket Press. Revised Edition. Available from Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, Pyle Center Box 1183, Wilmington OH 45177, (513) 392-5388.

Please share with us a brief description of any book about human rights that you or your students have found inspiring.


Human Rights Fair

Come Celebrate!

On May 10, 1996, Partners in Human Rights Education will hold a Human Rights Fair to celebrate the efforts of the students and team participants. Students will display their poems, posters, class projects, and other artwork. Encourage your students to be creative! Teachers will receive a call from members of the Partners Project Executive Committee to encourage teams to prepare human rights booths. Certificates of recognition will be awarded to all students and team members. There will be food, music, and a recognition program with a keynote speaker for the students, families, teams, and community members. The Human Rights Fair will be held at the Como Park Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Parkway, St. Paul from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Fellowship Experience

in Nicaragua

Traecy McJilton, Teacher
1995 Fellow
Expo Elementary School

Despite having an autonomy law that guarantees the right to cultural expression, the Indigenous People of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua have been prohibited by the central government from implementing literature from Garifuna, Suma, Rama, Miskito, and Creole oral traditions into their curriculum. Education committees working to produce indigenous curriculum have been disbanded by the government. Furthermore, while children of the sugar cane plantations work and live under inhumane conditions, the government denies the allegations of child labor abuses and the existence of education rights.

I witnessed these human rights abuses, along with economic and natural resource abuse, in Nicaragua this past summer. Through a fellowship with the Partners Project, I conducted human rights-autonomy rights workshops in collaboration with community leaders and educators. What impressed me the most was the spirit and determination of the people to demand in the face of government oppression not only the autonomy and human rights guaranteed to them, but also a just and free life for future generations.


Curricula/Resources

Tradiciones Vivas: Mexican Popular Arts. The Science Museum of Minnesota is sponsoring an exhibit including more than 400 folk art paintings, textiles, ceramics, and more. A companion exhibit, "Chiapas: Continuity and Change," features a collection of contemporary Mayan textiles, costumes, and juxtaposed video profiles of Zapatista women speaking about preserving their heritage. The exhibit will take place from March 2 - May 9, 1996. Science Museum of Minnesota, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul, (612) 221-9488.


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.


March 1996

21 Jackson Browne Benefit Concert. Jackson Browne will perform at the Orpheum Theater to benefit the Center for Victims of Torture. A private artist's reception will be held after the concert. Golden Circle Tickets are available from the Center for Victims of Torture. Orpheum Theater is located at 805 Hennepin Av., Minneapolis. FFI, (612) 625-0668.

23 Uruguay and the Southern Cone. Rafael Varela will share his insights into today's political, economic, and social realities in Uruguay as well as the impact of increasing Southern Cone economic integration. 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Resource Center for the Americas, 317 Seventeenth Ave., S.E., Minneapolis. FFI, (612) 627-9445.

27 Response of the Community of Faith: Dialogue on Issues of Economic Justice. St. Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis. FFI, Eleanor Yackel at (612) 784-5177.

29 Songs of Faith, Hope and Liberation From Around the World: An Evening Concert with Bread for the Journey. Sing-along concert of songs of the Christian church from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and North America. $5.00 donation requested. 7:30 p.m. Foss Center at Augsburg College, 22nd and Riverside, Minneapolis. FFI, St. Martin's Table, (612) 339-3920.

April 1996

6 Update on Peru. Two Peruvian-born University of Minnesota scholars will discuss current political and economic conditions, the U.S. role in Peru, social movements, military and paramilitary groups, the Sender Luminoso (Shining Path) and Tupamaro guerrilla movements, cocaine politics, peasant movements, and the outlook for the future. 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Resource Center of the Americas, 317 Seventeenth Ave, SE Minneapolis. FFI, (612) 627-9445.

11-13 The Struggle for Modernization and Democratization: The Case of the Former Soviet Central Asian Republics. The conference will focus on politics, history, applied economics, business, literature, language, culture, and education in the new independent states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Turkemenistan. Registration: $35, $10 U of M faculty and students. FFI, Shirley Mueffelman, Professional Development and Conference Services, University of Minnesota, 221 Note Center, 315 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, (612) 625-3850.

11-13 Unpacking our Bags: 150 Years of Building Asian Pacific America. Workshop led by scholars, students, community workers, and performance artists will focus on issues relevant to increasing awareness of Asian American immigrant health care needs, gender relations, community roles of the arts and artists, domestic violence, teaching resources, adoptees, sexuality and sexual identity, religions, law and politics. FFI, Hamline University Humanities Conference, (612) 641-2893.

19 Rich One, Poor One. A three-part drama about world hunger will be performed by fifteen children and youth from the Community of St. Martin. St. Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis. FFI (612) 339-3920.

May 1996

2 Dr. Jorge Fernandez, member of the Judicial Council of Mexico's Federal District, legal advisor for the CONAI mediating council, and legal advisor to Chiapas Bishop Samuel Ruiz, will be in the Twin Cities to discuss human rights and the current situation in Chiapas. FFI, Cliff Rohde at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, (612) 341-3302.

10 Human Rights Fair and Recognition Event. 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Como Park Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Parkway, St. Paul. FFI, Partners Project, (612) 626-0041.

17 Hennepin County Volunteer Lawyers Network Training. The Network will hold a training session for pro bono attorneys to work on immigration cases. FFI, Jennifer Prestholdt at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, (612) 341-3302.

23 Race, Media, and Capital Punishment. Conference speakers will include Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama and Steve Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. FFI, Sara Gurwitch at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights Death Penalty Project, (612) 341-3302.


Lesson Plan

Mock Debate/ Role Play

Henry Sibley High School
10th Grade History Class
St. Paul, Minnesota
Peg Christensen, Teacher
Ed Rice, Law Student
Sarah Welch, Community Representative

Age:

Middle School, High School, or Adult Education

Preparation:

Time Needed by Team: 3 hours total (including research and material preparation).

Materials and Resource:

File cards and handouts.

Time for the Lesson:

Introductory lesson, 20 minutes

Debate, 45 minutes minimum.

Objective:

To give students an opportunity to think about human rights and to speak about their views in an organized fashion.

Introductory Lesson:

1. Introduce the students to the concepts of "pro" and "con" and debate.

2. Choose a human rights issue somewhat "close to home" with the students. [This class focused on the controversy that surrounds a local nuclear waste storage facility located on Native American lands, close to their residential sights.]

Preparation by Partners Project Team Members

1. Research the topic to find newspaper articles and other sources that highlight both sides of the issue.

Note: An alternative is to assign students to research the issues.

2. Create handouts. Distribute the handouts and background material to the students to read before the debate.

3. Make a list of approximately 10 sub-issues and the main points on each side of the debate. Write each sub-issue and its main points on a file card to create 10 "pro" sub-issues and 10 "con" sub-issues.

Description of the Debate:

1. Divide the class into "pro" and "con" teams. Separate the two groups on opposite sides of the room.

2. The community representative and the lawyer (5 minutes) review the issues and answer questions from the assigned readings.

3. Assign each group a side of the issue. Allow the students 10 minutes to prepare their arguments. The Partners Project team members circulate to answer questions.

4. One of the team members acts as the moderator. Each side makes one comment at a time, switching sides after every speaker. Students raise their hands to be called on to ensure that every student has a chance to speak.

5. Before the end of the time period, the moderator requests that each side make a final summary of their position.

6. Ask the students to write down which side they favored and why.

Note: These comments can be used in future class discussions. Student's ideas or even misconceptions can be used to focus later classes on their areas of interest.


Community Action! Projects

Three brief notes about Community Action! Projects. First, please call or send in your students' projects, which have been carried out this year, to the Partners Project by April 5, 1996 for the next edition of the Explorer. Second, the Partners Project will be updating the Community Action! Manual this summer. You will receive a call from the Partners Project staff or Executive Committee during which you will be asked to give a brief description of the projects that your team and students have done in 1995-1996 and prior years if you participated. Third, if you have not received a copy of the Community Action! Project Manual, please call the Partners Project at (612) 626-0041 or drop a us note, and we will send you a copy immediately.


Universal Declaration of Human Rights Videos

Pillsbury Elementary School

5th & 6th Grade Class

Minneapolis, MN

Kirsten Parker, Teacher

Catherine Berg Stafford, Law Student

John Tonsager, Community Representative

Students read and discussed the original and simplified versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They had difficulty understanding what each right actually meant. The community representative showed the Amnesty International cartoon/graphics video on the Universal Declaration which the students really liked.

The teacher suggested that the students make their own video. Divided into groups of four to six students, each group was given five articles from the Universal Declaration. The students are writing storyboards for each article with assistance from the law student and teacher. The ideas range from skits to graphics. They are also learning to use the video equipment at their school. In the next several sessions, they will tape and produce videos of the rights. The videos will be shown on the in-school cable television channel.


Partners Project 1996 Dates to Remember

March 20 Follow-Up Workshop in St. Cloud. Stearn's County Courthouse. 3:30 p.m.

April 11 Fellowship Training Part I. University of Minnesota Law School, Room 20. 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

April 11 Human Rights for All Curriculum Workshop. Edward O'Brien, National Institute for Citizen Education in the Law. University of Minnesota Law School, Rare Books Room, Room 381. 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

April 13 Follow-Up Workshop in Grand Rapids. Place to be announced. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

April 15 Fellowship Training Part II. University of Minnesota Law School, Room 20. 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

April 27 Follow-Up Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin. Place to be announced. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

May 10 1995-96 Human Rights Fair and Recognition Event. Como Park Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Parkway, St. Paul. 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Partners in Human Rights Education
U of M Human Rights Center/
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
437 Law Center
229 - 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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