The 2019 Program

2019 Teen Summer Symposium on Human Rights

Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Teen Summer Symposium. Registration is now closed.

This year’s theme is “Speak Up! Speak Out!” and we are excited to share with you a summer experience filled with opportunities to connect with social justice leaders, develop new skills, and make new friends. Check back often for updates. 

Below you’ll find some of this summer’s speakers: 

  • We are honored to welcome Barbara Smith, an author, activist, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She was among the first to define an African American women’s literary tradition and to build Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States. She has been politically active in many movements for social justice since the 1960s. Read her recent New York Times article here.
  • We are excited to welcome Joe Rogers, Director of Public Engagement and Government Affairs at the Center for Educational Equity (CEE) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Equitable access to a quality education is a right of every child in New York State. He will lead teens in a discussion of students’ right.
  • Audrea Din is New York State Director of Youth Climate Strike U.S. She is an environmental rights activist who has organized and led rallies across the state. Audrea will share with participants what they can do to support environmental justice. Learn more about her work in this Times Union article.
  • Margaret Scatena is the founder of the Theda Project, an economic development initiative designed to create job opportunity in Yaxhachén, Yucatán. She will discuss with participants her work in Mexico partnering with communities and working in schools.
  •  We are thrilled to welcome back James Shultis, an LGBT+ rights advocate, community educator, and creative writer currently living in Western Massachusetts. With a long history of working in community non-profits, they will share how young people can organize and mobilize to raise awareness about issues important to them.
  • We are excited Samira Sangare, a poet and social justice activist, will share with students the power of poetry to highlight issues of injustice and lead a slam poetry session. Originally from this area, and a graduate of Shenendehowa High School, Samira hopes to get her MA and Doctorate in Peace Studies and Social Justice.
  • We are thrilled to be joined by the Youth Economic Group (YEG), a team of young leaders who run a youth-led cooperative business to raise awareness of issues of injustice and advocate for a more just world for all. Learn more about their work here.
  • Several state legislators will answer questions about the election process, voting, lobbying, and provided insight into how to be active and engaged citizen.

 In addition to hearing from international and nationally recognized human rights advocates and educators, participants will also have the opportunity to choose four workshops to attend. Here are some of the topics we will cover: 

  • Racial Justice
  • Environmental Justice 
  • Women’s Rights
  • LGBT+ Equality
  • Immigration and Human Rights
  • Getting involved in global causes
  • Slam Poetry
  • Mindfulness
  • Civic Engagement and Lobbying for Your Cause
  • Watch our youtube video to learn more

July 1st – July 3rd NYSUT headquarters, Latham, NY.

Dates and Times
Monday through Wednesday, July 1 – 3
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Tuition: $150.00 includes: T-shirt, lunches, books and materials. Limited need-based scholarships are available.

Now in its fifth year, The 2019 Teen Summer Symposium on Human Rights is a three-day workshop open to incoming high school freshmen through graduating seniors, who are interested in history, social justice, politics, and international relations. The goals of the Teen Summer Symposium are to provide participants with a deeper understanding of human rights history and humanitarian issues today and inspire them to have a positive impact on the world.

Participants in the 2019 Teen Summer Symposium will have the opportunity to work with teachers and community leaders, and hear from human rights experts and advocates.

Through participating in hands-on learning activities and discussions, participants will gain the knowledge, know-how, and network to help them make a difference.

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A Capital Region Institute for Human Rights Partner