Human Rights Education

In partnership with the Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies (ICA) and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), the Program on Human Rights (PHR) offers the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative (SHREI), which promotes human rights education in California community colleges. International studies educators at Stanford from PHR, ICA, and SPICE work with California community college faculty to develop, publish and distribute new instructional materials that integrate human rights education into community college courses and advance the teaching of human rights across disciplines.

SHREI serves as a model of how interdisciplinary community college faculty can work together to exchange ideas and create pedagogical resources for one another. Each year of the four-year collaborative project, eight or nine community college faculty members are selected to be SHREI Fellows from diverse disciplines, such as: English, political science, history, sociology, women and gender studies, peace studies, physics, fashion, and photography. SHREI Fellows teach in California at Cabrillo College, Chabot College, College of San Mateo, De Anza College, Evergreen College, Foothill College, Gavilon College, Golden West College, Modesto Junior College, Monterey Peninsula College, Pasadena City College, San Diego City College, San Francisco City College, San Jose City College, Santa Monica College, and West Valley College. The SHREI Fellows design curricula that are integrated into a wide range of courses in order to encourage students to become more informed and engaged global citizens.

In June 2011, SHREI hosted an inaugural symposium for community college instructors to engage in dialogue and explore ways to incorporate human rights components into traditional courses spanning a wide range of world areas, academic disciplines and classroom settings. During the second and third year, community college fellows were selected to further develop human rights education curricula, which were discussed and shared at symposia in June 2012 and June 2013. Emphasis at the symposia has been on lesson plans, methods, pedagogical resources, and strategies for reaching diverse student populations in community college classrooms. During the project's fourth year, additional curricular units will be developed, presented at the June 2014 SHREI Symposium at Stanford, and then published and disseminated through the SHREI website.

In addition, SHREI helps organize workshops for San Francisco Bay Area community college instructors to enable the implementation of human rights topics in community colleges. Stanford faculty members from different departments including history, law, education, and environmental science contribute to the monthly SHREI meetings, workshops, and annual symposia by sharing their human rights research with participants from community colleges.

In 2012, a Student Project Award was initiated in conjunction with the symposium to engage students and recognize outstanding student efforts on human rights concerns. Student projects can be nominated for the 2014 Student Project Award at

SHREI is developing rich instructional materials about international human rights issues, reaching out to local community colleges, establishing valuable working relationships with educators in the Bay Area and disseminating quality curricula accessible across the United States through the SHREI website: and In addition, SHREI workshops and activities are documented and available online on SHREI's website:

Updated: Nov 2013