Last year my students and several staff members of my school participated in the Speak Truth to Power video contest sponsored by RFK center and NYSUT. In working on the video, our entire vocational training and special education center came together. The experience allowed our students to see a world beyond our classrooms and beyond our community. In addition several of the social justice lessons were valuable in helping my students to understand more about themselves and about the power of one. Through the project we were able to create a sustainable craft room that can be used both as at type of art therapy and as an aid for raising funds for charities. In the end, I can firmly state that without this opportunity several students may have abandoned their education. The contest and the curriculum became a very bright and positive spot at our center.
I absolutely love the compassion and commitment this organization brings to the movement of protecting human rights around the globe. Through the simple act of educating youth with the STTP project, they affect the generation that has the power to effect social change. They arm and empower people by bringing awareness to the atrocities that otherwise go unheard. And they tirelessly fight to recognize those who have devoted their lives to making an impact, those who would do so with or without recognition, but who are deserving of such. Inspirational is an understatement.
I have been working in human rights advocacy for more than a decade, and I would rate my collaboration with the staff and laureates at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to be one of the most professional and effective work that I have done to advance human rights and protect vulnerable communities across the globe. Beginning in 2007, I worked with the RFK Center on a project to protect and advance the right to education of Afrodescendants and indigenous peoples in the Americas. Aside from its talented and creative staff, the RFK Center's strength is its collaborative work and constant support of its laureates to further local human rights advocates' goals and projects. During the course of our work, we were able to advocate effectively on the ground at the grassroots level, as well as take our findings and recommendations to the highest levels, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. I would highly recommend this organization in the future toward guaranteeing that voices are heard and action is taken to protect the rights of vulnerable individuals and communities globally.
I am very happy to be writing a review of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. i currently work as a volunteer basis in the NY office as Coordinator of Special Projects. In that role I interact on a daily basis with all aspects of the organization and much of the staff. I am unequivocally impressed by the passion, dedication and professionalism of the members of the RFK Center team. The Center's role is to advance human rights and alleviate suffering by encouraging individual action. They do this in a multitude of ways and involve a large number of projects and events designed to raise money, of course, but also awareness of the human rights violations around the world and the Center's goal of alleviating those abuses. I work on a daily basis with the development team and the administrative staff and various others working in the programming parts of the group. I have seen hard work and teamwork based on specific goals lead to successes in terms of and educating students and adults alike in human rights violations currently underway, and changing the lives of groups of people who need help. I love working at RFK because of that very reason...seeing what individual actions and the power of Robert F. Kennedy's legacy in action.
My first Experience with the RFK Center is when I worked on a RFK curriculum project through my State teachers union--New York State United Teachers. Of all the big ideas that can be taught in social studies, one could argue that teaching students to value each other as human beings is perhaps the most important. Whether it is in appreciating diversity, understanding our shared humanity, or seeing that civilization is fragile, this concept is at the heart of who we are as a society and as educators. The RFK center understands this and provides outstanding human rights resources and opportunities for educators though the Speak Truth To Power program.
My first RFK Center volunteer experience was soon after the Tiananmen Square crack down. The Center helped organize one of the largest demonstrations outside the Chinese Embassy. Juggling many interests and concerns, the Center helped pulled together not only a large demo but one that was on message and clear regarding human rights. From that point on, I have always looked for ways to partner and/or volunteer with the center. One opportunity that came my way was to help develop the Center's human rights education program, Speak Truth To Power - this experience has been amazing, transformative and at times a little challenging. The RFK Center does so much, touches on so many issues that at times it can be a little overwhelming but in the end, the work is important and someone has lead the way.