RFK Human Rights, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Discovery Education Join Forces to Promote Human Rights Education at National Youth Convention

Jul 12, 2019 2:20 PM ET

We don't need to be heroes or martyrs to become human rights defenders, what we need is to care about others and take a stand when we see injustices, be them big or small. That's the beauty of it, that all of us can and should become defenders. - RFK Human Rights Advocacy and Litigation Programs Director Angelita Baeyens

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK Human Rights) and Discovery Education joined the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Youth Convention to engage student leaders in a dialogue about the importance of empathy in human rights and education. RFK Human Rights Advocacy and Litigation Programs Director Angelita Baeyens joined the Youth Convention to discuss impactful options and opportunities to effect positive change in resilient communities. 

As the lead attorney in over a dozen cases before the Inter-American system of human rights, including cases on freedom of expression, enforced disappearance of human rights defenders and violence against women in the Americas, Baeyens previously served the United Nations as a Americas Division Political Affairs Officer. Baeyens also served as an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Officer, where she was later promoted to the Executive Secretary’s Office as Special Assistant, and she is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. A dual Belgian and Colombian citizen, she holds a Law Degree from the University of Ibague (Colombia) and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame (United States). 

Baeyens explored with the students, the importance of human rights education, and building awareness and understanding of the basic rights shared by all people. Human rights education at its best, engages and empowers students, helping them to recognize and value their own power in making a difference. The Speak Truth to Power in School initiative is a global effort to educate, engage and inspire the next generation of human rights defenders. The effort, dedicated to aiding educators and students in sharing stories about human rights defenders around the world, provides compelling content, immersive experiences and multi-platform online learning tools, including: standards-aligned digital resources, video vignettes, and thought-provoking classroom activities to help students further explore pathways to become champions of justice in their own communities.

Overall, the program aims to ignite a national dialogue about what it means to be a 21st century solution-seeker and human rights defender, and challenges students and educators to think holistically about helping to prevent human rights abuses and violations around the world. 

RFK Human Rights is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that engages with young leaders from around the globe and is 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. 

Speak Truth to Power in School resources, powered by Discovery Education, are available at no-cost at speaktruthtopowerinschool.com and are integrated into Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com