New Trans Rights Lesson Plan for Teachers


New York, NY (March 24, 2021)—Ahead of Transgender Day of Visibility next week, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Human Rights Campaign have released a new trans rights lesson plan to equip and engage students on how to become better allies of the LGBTQ community.

The free classroom resource centers the stories of five trans and non-binary human rights defenders, providing teachers with the compelling material they need to guide their students on pressing topics, such as the ongoing stigma and violence the LGBTQ community faces, the lack of gender-affirming health care, the urgent need for better identity documents for non-binary individuals, and how the media’s portrayal of transgender people can shape our perspectives.

On Friday, April 2, at 4 p.m. ET, the two organizations will host a virtual event titled, “Celebrating and Defending Trans Lives in the Classroom and Beyond,” to dive deeper into the need for trans rights education. You can register here.

The panel discussion will feature:

  • Tori Cooper (she/her), director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at the Human Rights Campaign.
  • Gavin Grimm (he/him), trans activist and board member of the ACLU who fought for equal rights at his local high school, taking the case as far as the Supreme Court.
  • Laura Osterndorf (she/her), training manager for RFK Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power education program.
  • Jessica Cortes (she/her), member of RFK Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power team focusing on the intersection of human rights education and modern social work principles.
  • Moderated by Jay Brown (he/him), senior vice president of programs, research, and training for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

“If we’re truly going to advance human rights in the classroom and in our country, we must bring learning into our schools that reflects all members of our human family,” said Karen Robinson, director of the Speak Truth to Power education program at RFK Human Rights. “We have so much to learn from the transgender community and we hope this lesson plan will spark honest dialogue and reflection—encouraging the next generation to live confidently as their authentic selves.”

“This lesson plan, ‘Celebrating and Defending Trans and Non-Binary Lives,’ will make an impact in countless classrooms across the country,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “As trans and non-binary kids are under attack in multiple states, it’s more important than ever that we educate all youth and adults about the real issues that trans kids face. The advocates profiled in the lesson plan are all key voices in the fight for trans and non-binary rights, and their stories should be taught in every classroom. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to partner with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights on this critical resource.”

To download the lesson plan and learn more about RFK Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power education program, visit And for more on the Human Rights Campaign and their crucial advocacy work, visit

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

We are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues—championing changemakers and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students about human rights and social justice.

Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 600,000 clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.