What is Upstander Week?
WHAT IT IS:
County Executive Robert Astorino has officially declared May 20-24, as Upstander Week. This special week is meant to encourage student activism and awareness by inspiring students to become “upstanders” (rather than bystanders) – and to take an active role in changing the world. It is a call to action for participating schools to get their communities involved by hosting an event to bring attention to a particular human rights issue.
HOW IT BEGAN:
The idea was born when a group of teachers who serve on the Educators Planning Committee of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) decided that there should be a day for students to actively get their schools and communities involved in human rights awareness. Then, the HHREC incorporated the plan into its annual Human Rights Institute for High School Student Leaders that is held in March, with participation from over 200 students from approximately 22 area high schools on March 15, 2006. There, the students learned about the genocide currently taking place in Darfur, Sudan, from Rebecca Hamilton, founder of the Darfur Action Group at Harvard Law School. They also got together in workshops to discuss what they and their schools could do to bring attention to the Darfur genocide and other pressing human rights issues.
WHO'S TAKING PART:
Schools throughout Westchester County have been planning events since this year’s Student Institute on March 13. All of these schools will be holding events on one of the days during Upstander Week.
|Upstander Day at Scarsdale High School - View Video|
Workshops at High School Inspires Student Action
On October 21 the entire High School community took part in a day-long series of presentations and workshops that focused on the importance of being an "upstander" - someone who stands up and speaks out, or takes action when encountering injustice. The focus of the day reflects the Scarsdale Schools' motto, "non sibi" - not for one's self.
Students and teachers gathered as a group to view a film about child labor around the world, heard about previous and upcoming visits by Scarsdale students to assist with the Katrina recovery in Bay St. Louis on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as part of the SOS for Education project, and learned about a proposed trip to Ghana to work on a malaria prevention program.
During the day, students took part in 13 workshops on other opportunities to make a difference. Students also presented workshops on four projects that are the focus of student clubs - Free the Children, Partnership for Youth, Pine Ridge Reservation and Habitat for Humanity. Following Upstander Day, students created another club, Vitamin Angel Alliance, to support an effort described in one of the workshops. This club is dedicated to the prevention of childhood blindness.
Every year schools throught the county hold special events for UPSTANDER WEEK. This year we have reached 8,902 students in an effort to raise awareness of Human Rights and to get them involved in a solution.
First, we will be hanging posters, printer paper size with statistics and facts, including;
• “2 children are sold every minute”,
• “Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact that there are more slaves today than there ever were”
• “Freedom/Dignity/Justice is not for sale”,
• “Empower the world’s most vulnerable to break the cycle of exploitation”
• “Slavery is what slavery has always been: About one person controlling another person using violence and then exploiting them economically, paying them nothing. That’s what slavery is about”
• “Over 100,000 children in the United States are forcefully put into this trade each year”
Our facts come from two websites, notforsalecampaign.org and love146.org, and
citations are clearly stated. No plagiarism is taking place.
Second, we will be showing two short videos and a powerpoint in homeroom to raise
awareness for human trafficking among our peers on May 20 and 21.
Third, in support of human trafficking awareness we have become wholesalers of
http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ hoping to cell Thai cord bracelets. This will not only to make an impact by creating jobs and funding a project in a country that is most prominently affected by trafficking, but also raising money to build up a human rights club in Rye Neck with Mrs. Carpiniello as the advisor. The money that stays with us will help return the money used to buy the bracelets and help get us started to find other worthy causes both local and abroad that we can support to make a change.
Finally, on, May 22 we will be giving a short fact quiz in homeroom. Those who have the highest score will be entered into a raffle to win a T-shirt and bracelet. We hope this will help inspire others spread awareness.
For more information about the HHREC, please call 914-696-0738