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    Human Rights Leadership Program

    “Social justice recognizes the inherent dignity of all people and values every life equally. It calls for both personal reflection and social change to ensure that each of us has the right and the opportunity to thrive in our communities, regardless of our identities. Those who strive for social justice believe in the triumph of our shared humanity.”

    Using an online format, participants in the Wassmuth Center’s Human Rights Leadership Program explore human rights while practicing civic skills and fostering civic dispositions that build community.  The program can start with one student or with a team of students working together and passionate about human rights.  It ends with a student-led social action project designed to foster a culture and climate of human rights and human dignity in the school.

    As Margaret Mead stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    Participants can earn a Human Rights Ambassador certificate by completing the program’s three online modules:

    1. Teaching and Learning: Human Rights, Civic Skills and Civic Dispositions
    2. Developing and Delivering: Social Action Project
    3. Writing and Submitting: Reflective Essay*

    *OPTIONAL – Submitted essays can be entered in the Wassmuth Center’s annual “Human Rights Essay Contest.”

    Using readings from Clifton Taulbert’s Eights Habits of the Heartand project-based instruction inspired by The World We Want Foundation, the Module One lessons are presented in 20-minute increments.  Lessons include: 

    Lesson 1: Introducing the Leadership Program

    Objective: Emphasize the importance of becoming a leader by introducing human rights knowledge, civic skills and civic dispositions that build community.

    Lesson 2: Identifying Human Rights and Dignity

    Objective: Define human rights and identify the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Clifton Taulbert’s reading on “Brotherhood” exemplifies how to reach beyond individual comfort to embrace a shared humanity.


    Lesson 3: Nurturing Relationships

    Objective: Advocate for a world based on respect and dignity.  Friendship forms the bridge between people and promotes an opportunity to make a difference.


    Lesson 4: Becoming a Leader

    Objective:  Identify and assess leadership styles. Taulbert sets high expectations for participants.


    Lesson 5: Creating the World We Want

    Objective:  Develop responsibility and dependability as important leadership skills.  The Spiral of Injustice is introduced. 

    Lesson 6: Being an Upstander

    Objective: Stand up and speak out as exemplified by Madison Kimrey and Mary Beth Tinker.  The Wassmuth Center shares information on interrupting the Spiral of Injustice.

    Lesson 7: Believing in Tomorrow

    Objective: Think unselfishly and act for the good of humanity.  A leader creates a community of human dignity and common purpose to stand up against hate.


    Designed and delivered by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, the leadership program is password-protected and open only to registered schools and/or participants.

    There is no set program start or end dates; scheduling and completion of the program can be determined according to individual, team, classroom or school implementation.

    “This program is about more than just teaching you about leadership and human rights; it puts you on the path to becoming a better citizen of our world” said a former program participant.

    For more information, contact