RFK Human Rights, Discovery Education Launch Initiative to Engage Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders
Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, August 22, 2018) – Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK Human Rights) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights – a powerful new initiative to inspire global citizenry in students and teachers who stand ready to help prevent human rights abuses and violations. RFK Human Rights’ collaboration with Discovery Education will bring Speak Truth to Power to classrooms across the country with the goal of sparking a national dialogue about what it means to be a 21st century solution-seeker and human rights defender in our world today.
“Our partnership with Discovery Education will show students that they have a role to play in their classrooms, communities and our country addressing the most urgent issues of the day," said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Together we will strengthen the future of global leadership and inspire a new generation of human rights defenders to create a just and peaceful world.”
Speak Truth to Power offers immersive educational experiences and unique, multi-platform online learning tools, including: standards-aligned digital resources, video vignettes, biographies and thought-provoking classroom activities to help students further explore pathways to become champions of justice in their own communities. During the winter of 2018, the program will host RFK Human Rights Day, a virtual viewing event that will facilitate an intergenerational dialogue between human rights defenders at www.speaktruthtopowerinschool.com. This Virtual Field Trip will explore, through pointed conversations with experienced and emerging human rights defenders, the impacts of proven and effective organizing and communications tactics. The exchange will also uncover shared passions, challenges, fears and hopes these committed advocates have in the global struggle to protect and defend human rights.
“Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a just and peaceful world continues to inspire individuals to improve society 50 years after his run for President and bringing together two organizations that are dedicated to equipping young leaders with the necessary tools for life, deepens our impact and inspires a society that advocates for human rights,” said President and CEO of Discovery Education Bill Goodwyn. “Discovery Education is honored to partner with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to bring educators and students the ‘Speak Truth to Power’ initiative. By leveraging innovative digital tools and one-of-a-kind experiences that breakdown the barriers separating students worldwide, we are helping develop a fearless generation of leaders possessing both the drive and talent to create lasting, positive change around the globe.”
Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights also features The Defenders: An Interactive Map, developed to inspire students to explore the stories of some of the world’s most influential human rights defenders. Current defenders include the following human rights activists and 10 new defenders will be added each year to continue to add depth and breadth to the program:
- Sonita Alizadeh (Afghanistan);
- Marian Wright Edelman (United States);
- Van Jones (United States);
- Wangari Maathai (Kenya);
- Frank Mugisha (Uganda);
- Marina Pisklakova (Russia);
- Kailash Satyarthi (India);
- Ka Hsaw Wa (Burma);
- Elie Wiesel (Romania); and
- Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan).
Speak Truth to Power as a will also help to expand the circle of human rights defenders through awareness, discourse and advocacy. “Exposing students to immersive Speak Truth to Poweractivities by leveraging step-by-step instruction students can follow to take on the causes important to them empowers me to have an open discussion with my students about constructive ways for them to raise their voices in human rights,” said Karen Wells, Midland High School educator, Midland School District, Pleasant Plains, Arkansas. “Today’s world has been transformed by the age of technology and 21st Century skill-building requires our efforts to be equally innovative. This initiative engages and empowers students, helping them to recognize and value their own power in making a difference.”
RFK Human Rights is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that engages with young leaders from around the globe. Founded by activist and attorney Kerry Kennedy, daughter of United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the organization has been a leading source of human rights education for young people worldwide. To date, the organization’s efforts have impacted an estimated 5.2 million students, teachers, community leaders and citizens. Twenty-eighteen marks 50 years since Robert F. Kennedy’s run for President, and this year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights will host their 50th Anniversary Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner. The event will celebrate Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy and honor leaders from the international business, public service, media, and activist communities who have demonstrated a commitment to social change. This year’s laureates include David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery, 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Bruce D. Broussard, CEO of Humana.
To learn more about Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights visit www.speaktruthtopowerinschool.com. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.
About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:
Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.
About Discovery Education:
As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.
Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education
Max Burnes, RFK Human Rights
To review the full Discovery Education press release, click HERE.