The Human Rights Education Center of Utah (HREC) is a non-profit organization that provides anti-bias/character education, bullying prevention and cultural competency training to youth and their leaders. Rapidly changing demographics in Utah along with cultural resistance to addressing complex, social, religious and cultural divides in our community have become the breeding ground for intolerance and violence. These issues have a particularly dramatic effect upon our youth in school settings. HREC is addressing these issues by providing practical and hands-on human rights education in schools, faith-based organizations, after school programs, foster care organizations and to youth within the juvenile justice system.
HREC continually develops curriculum that helps both teachers and students be actively engaged in bias intervention and identification. No one is born with prejudice but, children learn many discriminatory behaviors by the time they attend school. Sadly, children learn biases from important adults in their lives, the media and their peers. When prejudicial behaviors such as ridicule, name-calling, bullying and social exclusion are left unchecked, there is untold damage done to a child’s self-esteem. HREC addresses these very real issues by developing curriculums that teach culturally diverse perspectives, empathy awareness and bullying prevention. Using historical events, we inform and educate about issues such as personal
identity, bigotry, bullying, cultural divides, community building, hate crimes, ethnicity, non-violence, gender issues and immigration. All topics are taught in relationship to prejudice and discrimination. These tailored curriculums are foundational to learning the importance of critical analysis, fair treatment of others and appropriate civic behavior.
Curriculums are designed to provide participants new ways of understanding and responding to issues of prejudice and discrimination. All lesson plans are individually tailored to best meet the needs of the class/group size, age and experience level of participants. Curriculums are further designed to promote self-esteem and empathy development and will assist teachers in meeting the 2008-2009 Utah State Office of Education Core Curriculum Requirements for Elementary, Middle and High School Students.
Curriculums employ highly interactive teaching techniques including role plays, group readings, facilitated discussions, critical examination of films and documentaries, didactic arts instruction, games, field learning, cultural exploration through music, plays and readings and analytic writing. All training encourages interactive discussion of the material and begins with a clear presentation of learning objectives. Group ground rules are established by the participants. In addition, HREC gathers written evaluations from all participants.
- Learn the causes and effects of prejudice and discrimination.
- Develop and use critical assessment skills.
- Learn a common vocabulary and definition of terms that are used to explain and define inequity.
- Recognize that their choices have consequences that affect self, peers, family and community.
- Learn to identify and address personal biases.
- Develop skills to prevent and confront discrimination and bullying behaviors.
- Be empowered to create and sustain environments that exemplify respect, diversity, fairness and equity.
- Be able to describe behaviors that initiate and maintain respectful, equitable relationships.
- Identify activities that promote the public good (e.g., respect for cultural and ethnic differences and identify community needs).
In addition to our signature curriculums, HREC has a multi-media library of books, CD’s, DVD’s and human rights curriculums that are made available to any educator at no charge.
This lesson plan may be used by educators with the permission of the Human Rights Education Center of Utah. For more information, please contact us.