2012 SHREI Symposium attendees discuss during break-out session

The Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative (SHREI) is a collaborative effort between California community college teachers and Stanford University to increase human rights education in community college classrooms.

The four-year initiative, supported in part by U.S. Department of Education Title VI funding, supports the development of curricula and resources, organizes symposia and teacher-training workshops to share tools and expertise, and encourages students to be more informed and engaged global citizens. Read More

SHREI fellows talk about integrating human rights into the community college classroom 

                   SHREI Gender and Human Rights Project: Looking at Dignity and Cultural Humility
Gender Project

This Group Project is the fruit of the “Gender Team” of SHREI fellows: Lesley Louden, Julie Maia, and Erica Onugha. Drawn together by a shared commitment to addressing social justice issues in our courses, we devoted our fellowship year to exploring how gender, race, and class could be used as lenses for analyzing international human rights issues.

The lessons included in this Group Project illustrate how we leanred from each other, and how we each modified these "best practice" assignments to apply them to different learning contexts. We hope that our collaborative work inspires other professors to explore best practice pedagogical approaches to teaching human rights topics in community colleges.

2013–2014 SHREI fellows share their lesson plans

Celso Batalha Headshot

Celso Batalha
Evergreen Valley College

Implementing Human Rights Education in the Science Curriculum

Here are two lessons plans that incorporate Human Rights Education in a currently articulated science course, designed not only to increase student learning of the hardcore science materials of a GE course, but also to produce better human beings engaged in responsible activism as they apply scientific knowledge learned in class to resolve real world situations.

View Celso's Lesson Plan

Francesca Caparas Headshot

Francesca Caparas
De Anza College

Human Rights and Digital Culture

For many of us, life in the digital age is all about increasing our connections: to distant friends or relatives, to products we want to buy, and of course, to information. However, we forget how this rapid and widespread access to people, products, and information are changing the very structure of social, political, economic, and cultural life. In these 6 units, we will look at how new media are transforming our engagement with the world and how this affects our rights and responsibilities in the digital age. 

View Francesca's Lesson Plan

Mary Conroy Headshot

Mary Conroy
San Jose City College

Development of an AA Degree in Global Studies

Focusing on Global Studies provides a clear and powerful means to learn about human needs, human rights and human responsibilities. This project focused on the development of an AA degree in Global Studies. A working definition of Global Studies and the rationale for introduction of a Global Studies degree at the community college level are explored. Associated program goals, core course outlines and student learning outcomes are presented. The proposed degree and an explanation of the development of its structure, as well as, a summary of related degree programs in the California State University and University of California systems’ are also included.

Patricia Gibbs Headshot

Patricia Gibbs Stayte
Foothill College

Human Rights in Popular Culture Project (HRPCP)

This project helps students learn about Human Rights Issues, connect their everyday actions with a Human Rights issue, and advocate for better, more sustainable, and just conditions and relationships through an image advertisement about the issue. Using C.Wright Mills’ “Sociological Imagination” as a conceptual starting point, students choose a popular culture product and analyze it in a global social context. Students use the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights list of issues as a resource. 

View Patricia's Lesson Plan

Jordan Hayes Headshot

Jordan Hayes
College of San Mateo, Foothill College

Buffalo Girls and The Rights of the Child

The 2012 documentary Buffalo Girls depicts the lives of two 8-year-old Muay Thai boxers, Stam and Pet. These Thai children don’t compete for fun, but to earn money for their families, potentially a good deal of it. Buffalo Girls provides this unit’s case study for student research and writing. Relevant to the film are international human rights compacts such as the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty ratified by Thailand, but not by the United States, despite its status as “the most widely ratified treaty in the history of the world.”

View Jordan's Lesson Plan

Lesley Louden Headshot 

Lesley Louden
Foothill College, West Valley College, College of San Mateo, Cabrillo College

 Two Gender & Human Rights 'Selfie' Projects

In Project One students study Articles 2,16, 23, 24, 25, 26 in the UDHR and international gender-based human rights issues and create a self-portrait photograph that portrays how they themselves or another individual they know either embodies or defies a gender-based stereotype. In Project Two students study articles in the UDHR, Media and advertising influences on gender, and international gender-based human rights issues and create a digitally altered self-portrait photograph that explores your own ideas about gender-based representation, stereotypes, and identity.

View Lesley's Lesson Plan

Julie Maia Headshot

Julie Maia
West Valley College

Human Rights and Gender Studies: Key Concepts

 This SHREI project brings together Gender Studies and Human Rights Education by identifying four key concepts—dignity, gender, feminism, and global citizenship—germane to both fields. This project presents these concepts through four curricular units, each with a series of activities that can easily be adapted for use in courses in a variety of disciplines.

View Julie's Lesson Plan

Erica Onugha Headshot

Erica Onugha
Foothill College

Recognizing Dignity and Writing to Empower: Analyzing Human Rights with Cultural Humility

This module presents two units designed for a transfer-level community college composition course. The units introduce specific human rights issues and probe the rhetorical construction of each text. This curriculum can be used in its entirety although individual units and/or lessons can be pulled out and integrated into other courses. Ultimately, this module focuses on howstudents in writing and composition courses can write about human rights issues with dignity.

View Erica's Lesson Plan



SHREI laid the foundation for Stanford Global Studies' new and thematically broadened community college partnership, Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC). EPIC focuses on strengthening the internationalization of curricula and the professionalization of language instruction at community colleges and K-12 institutions and includes the following programs for community college instructors:

  • Fellows Program and Symposium
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Foreign Language Professional Development Workshops

For information on future workshops, symposia, and fellows programs, visit EPIC at https://sgs.stanford.edu/programs-centers/community-engagement


SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014 image

SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014
New Workshops for Community College Instructors; Art at De Anza College; 2013-14 SHREI Fellows; 2014 SHREI Symposium; Upcoming Film Screening; Outstanding Student Project Award Read More

SHREI Newsletter Fall 2012 
SHREI Announces 2012-13 Human Rights Educator Fellows; Recap: 2012 Symposium. Read More



Multiple email phishing/scam attempts are circulating claiming that SHREI and other organizations (such as the Gates Foundation) are hosting human rights conferences over the coming months. This is not true. Please do not register for SHREI conferences except through this website.