The 2019 Program

2019 Teen Summer Symposium on Human Rights

Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Teen Summer Symposium.

We look forward to sharing the details with you as we put together 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: 

  • Joe Rogers is 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. Joe will lead teens in a discussion of students’ right.
  • 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.
  • James Shultis is a 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.
  • Samira Sangare is a poet and social justice activist. She 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.
  • John Bunn was wrongfully convicted of murder at the age of 14 and spent the next 27 years working to clear his name. In 2018 he was exonerated with help from the efforts of The Exoneration Initiative, a foundation dedicated to freeing the wrongfully convicted. Since that time, he started A Voice 4 The Unheard, an organization that fights to give a voice to the voiceless by confronting and talking about social injustice in America’s criminal justice system. He will share with participants what they can do to raise awareness and make a difference.
  • 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
  • Disability Rights
  • Slam Poetry
  • Civic Engagement and Lobbying for Your Cause
  • Fake News and Information Literacy
  • 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