Conference: Forging Hope: Local Alliances for Good Jobs and Racial Justice
The UI Labor Center, the UICHR, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, the US Department of Justice, an the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO cosponsored this conference on February 9, 2013, from 9am-3pm in 2520D University Capitol Centre, 2nd floor of the Old Capitol Mall. Keynote speaker was Saket Soni, Executive Director, National Guestworker Alliance and the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice.
Human Rights Conference: "Human Rights Across Disciplines: Teaching for Public Engagement"
Date: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013
The field of human rights can serve as a subject of study as well as a framework for problem solving and critical thinking. This seminar and workshop provided an overview of approaches to human rights teaching, including experiential learning strategies. Faculty and graduate students were invited to share syllabi. New! Power Point slides used in the conference are included for several of the speakers.
9:00 Opening remarks by UICHR Director Greg Hamot, (UICHR Director and Professor, UI Department of Teaching and Learning), http://www.education.uiowa.edu/teach 
9:10 Opening Remarks: Civil Rights Struggles and International Human Rights: How Human Rights is part of Our Civil Rights Legacy
Andrea Spero (University of San Francisco, International and Multicultural Education Department), https://www.usfca.edu/soe/programs/ime/ 
Dr. Andrea McEvoy Spero is uniquely situated to represent the Human Rights Education program at the University of San Francisco. First, she was in the very first HRE class piloted in 2007. The final project she developed on reframing the civil rights movement as human rights was so successful that it was published in a prestigious journal for history teachers. Secondly she is the first doctoral student to graduate with the HRE concentration in Spring 2012. Her doctoral research examined the use of performing arts to teach human rights in an urban high school, based upon a groundbreaking Bay Area program called "The World As It Could Be". She has already published an article based upon this research in the journal Peace Review (2012). Finally, she has been teaching a section of the core course, Human Rights Education: Pedagogy & Praxis, in Fall 2012, and has done an outstanding job. In addition, Andrea has worked for many years at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, led by Dr. Clayborne Carson. See Dr. Spero's Power Point Slides 
10:00 Exploring "Being Human" from a Rights Based Perspective
Professor Jovana Davidovic (UI Department of Philosophy), http://www.uiowa.edu/~phil/ , discussed the value and content of human rights as a broad subject of study, its relationship to ethics and as a framework for problem solving and critical thinking. See Professor Davidovic's Power Point Slides 
11:00 Interactive Tools: Using Theatre to Teach Human Rights in Any Classroom
Andrea Spero and Martin Andrews (Working Group Theatre), http://www.workinggrouptheatre.org/WGT/Home.html 
11:45 Panel Discussion
Teaching human rights through experiential learning modalities and/or working across disciplines with panel of faculty, staff and community partners.
Moderator: Mary Mathew Wilson, (Director, UI Community-Based Learning Program), http://www.careers.uiowa.edu/cblp/, discussed best practices in community based learning; Martin Andrews and Pat Dolan (UI Department of Rhetoric), http://clas.uiowa.edu/rhetoric/,  shared their experience developing a community based learning project; Erin Donohue, (UI Hancher Auditorium), http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu/,  shared experiences with UI faculty developing and implementing community based learning opportunities; Yashar Vashef, (Iowa United Nations Association), http://iowauna.org/  shared experiences as a University of Iowa and Central College community partner in service learning. 
See Mr. Vashef's Power Point Slides 
12:30-1:00: Networking lunch
1:00-2:00: Curriculum Development and Critical Pedagogy for the University Educator
Greg Hamot shared strategies for teaching content that employs or relates human rights standards and concepts, with an overview of the different disciplinary/field specific approaches to human rights teaching. See Professor Hamot's Power Point Slides 
2:00-3:00 Syllabi workshop groups to exchange ideas, address specific questions and determine desired outcomes for syllabus development.
3:00 Return to larger group and report on discussion, outcomes and next steps.
3:30 Adjourn for the day.
Book by UICHR Senior Scholar, Burns H. Weston, published by Cambridge University Press
Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons
Authors: Burns H. Weston, The University of Iowa and David Bollier, Commons Strategies Group
About the Book:
The vast majority of the world’s scientists agree: we have reached a point in history where we are in grave danger of destroying Earth’s life-sustaining capacity. But our attempts to protect natural ecosystems are increasingly ineffective because our very conception of the problem is limited; we treat “the environment” as its own separate realm, taking for granted prevailing but outmoded conceptions of economics, national sovereignty, and international law. Green Governance is a direct response to the mounting calls for a paradigm shift in the way humans relate to the natural environment. It opens the door to a new set of solutions by proposing a compelling new synthesis of environmental protection based on broader notions of economics and human rights and on commons-based governance. Going beyond speculative abstractions, the book proposes a new architecture of environmental law and public policy that is as practical as it is theoretically sound.
1. Trends that point toward a new synthesis; 2. The human right to a clean and healthy environment; 3. The quest for a new rights-based pathway; 4. Making the conceptual transition to the new paradigm; 5. The commons as a model for ecological governance; 6. The rise of the commons movement
globally; 7. Imagining a new architecture of law and policy to support the ecological commons; 8. Catalytic strategies for achieving green governance.
How To Order:
Visit Cambridge University Press 
ISBN:9781107034365; 392 pages
See reviews of the book and more about the Commons Law Project at The Commons .