The 2017 Program

2017 Teen Summer Symposium on Human Rights

Watch our youtube video about last year’s program to learn more

August 14 – August 16th NYSUT headquarters, Latham, NY.

Dates and Times
Monday through Wednesday, August 14th – 16th
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Tuition: $125.00 includes: T-shirt, lunches, books and materials. Limited need-based scholarships are available.

Now in its third year, The 2017 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 2017 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.

Learn more about this year’s program below.

Meet human rights advocates:

  • We will be joined by Professor David Crane, the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal, appointed to that position by Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Dr. Crane will share with us an update on Syria and what teens can do to help.
  • We are excited to welcome Colin Donnaruma, Esq., President of the Capital Region Chapter of the NY Civil Liberties Union.  His work focuses on issues of economic and racial justice. He is a co-founder and an active member of Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI), a member of the Albany Social Justice Center, and NYS Labor Religion Coalition’s boards of directors.
  • Meet Lourds Lane founder of the SuperYou FUNdation, focused on inspiring children around the world to tap into their superhero powers. Her UN sponsored program has reached thousands of children.
  •  Nang Attal, recipient of the United Nations Youth Courage Award for his work on behalf of Afghan girls and young women, will join us and share his experiences supporting girls’ education in Afghanistan. His work is documented in the book, We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope.
  • We will be joined by local Holocaust survivor Ivan Vamos and child of survivors Harold Eisenstein.
  •  Jad Jacobs, Niskayuna High School Senior, will join us to talk about his documentary “I Am Syria” and his work with Syrian refugees. Read more about him here.

Learn about human rights issues affecting people around the world.

Participants choose 3 breakout sessions to attend. Here are some of the speakers:

  • Rory Gerberg, Adrienne Hall Fellow at Harvard University, will discuss women’s rights and how young people can make a difference.
  • The Youth Economic Group will share how their youth-led cooperative business helps them raise awareness about injustice.
  • Meet Alyx Gleason and Miranda Marnes, members of  Siena’s e-NABLE team, and learn about their work using 3D printing to create prosthetics for children in the US and Uganda.
  •  Jack Einstein, founder of the I AM HUMAN project  will discuss LGBT+ rights in schools.
  • Mark Bertrand, founder of The Giving Circle, will discuss the role of NGOs in addressing needs around the world.
  • There will be a special focus on the crisis in Syria, racial justice,the environment and more.

Make friends and develop new skills

  • Connect with a panel of local teen human rights activists and learn about what they are doing and what you can do to raise awareness about human rights abuses.
  • Create and execute a plan to raise awareness about a human rights issue important to you.
  • Develop the leadership skills and tools that will help you make a difference in your community and the world.

Ready to register? Click on “Register” in our menu bar. 

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A Capital Region Institute for Human Rights Partner