Annual International Human Rights Conference: The Right to Education

The Right to Education: Education as Empowerment

Article 26 of the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) states: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Under international law, the human right to education holds governments responsible for providing primary education, for avoiding discrimination throughout educational systems, and ideally for developing equitable access to higher education. In practice, advocates stress the need to make education available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable – across communities, cultural and socio-economic divides, ability levels, and more. From a human rights perspective, education is both a right in itself and a tool for advancing rights norms and promoting social justice.

Webster University’s 2018 Annual Human Rights Conference will center on the fundamental right to education, focusing on the immense potential of “Education as Empowerment” on October 10-11. This two-day event will explore topics such as human rights education (HRE), access to education for vulnerable and under-served populations, and educational opportunities for improving health, for promoting cultural survival, and for building communities. Sponsored by the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, this on-campus event is free and open to the public.


Full Schedule: 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10:45-11:00         Conference welcome by Elizabeth (Beth) Stroble, President, Webster University.

Conference framework by Danielle MacCartney, Associate Professor of Sociology and Fellow of the Institute for Human Rights & Humanitarian Studies, Webster University.

11:00-12:15         Session #1 – Rebecca Ginsburg, Associate Professor and Director, Education Justice Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Higher Education in Prison as a Human Right and Social Good.”

12:15-1:00           BREAK

1:00-2:15              Session #2 – Jimmie M. Edwards, Director of Public Safety, City of Saint Louis. “Shutting Down the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”

2:30-3:45              Session #3 – Lauren Mueller, Early Childhood Educator, City of Saint Charles School District; Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Supports, Saint Louis Arc; Christopher R. J. Worth, Organizing Team Manager, Paraquad. “Expectation, Access, and Accommodation: The Keys to Empowerment.”


Thursday, October 11, 2018

10:00-11:15         Session #4 – Roundtable discussion of “Human Rights in Higher Education” with Webster University faculty and staff, including Bill Barrett (Photography), Bethany Keller (Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs), Lindsey Kingston (International Human Rights), Amanda Rosen (International Relations), and Julie Setele (Sociology).

11:15-12:00         BREAK

12:00-1:15           Session #5 – Kevin Miller, Senior Researcher, American Association of University Women (AAUW). “Student Debt as a Human Rights Issue.”

1:30-2:45              Session #6 – Neftali Duran, Co-Founder, I-Collective. “Cooking, Cultural Education, and Food Sovereignty.”

3:00-4:15              Session #7 – Webster alumni panel featuring Javier Cardenas Miranda (The Covering House), Melissa George (Teach for America/Tulsa Public Schools), Monica Henson (Teach for America STL), and Jordan Palmer (The Independence Center).


5:30-7:00             Keynote Address: Nancy Flowers, Co-Founder, Human Rights Educators USA. “Bringing Human Rights Home: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in U.S. Classrooms.”

RECEPTION         Please join us for refreshments in the Browning Hall Lobby

Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 10:00am to 7:00pm

Browning Hall, Interdisciplinary Science Building, 160
8274 Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63119

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