November 02, 2015

NYSUT and Robert Kennedy Human Rights launch 2016 video contests

Source: NYSUT Communications - RFK Center for Human Rights

Nov. 2, 2015 - New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) are launching the Everyone Has Rights Public Service Announcement Contest for grades K-5 and the Speak Truth To Power video contest for middle and high school students.

Everyone Has Rights Public Service Announcement Contest: Grades K-5

Building on the Speak Truth To Power video contest, the Everyone Has Rights contest asks students to select one of the rights identified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – such as the right to education or to freedom of peaceful assembly – and create a 60-to-90 second public service (PSA) announcement that creatively discusses the right and its importance.

Students may work individually, in small groups, or as an entire class to complete the PSAs. The contest is open to documentary, stop motion, narrative, digital photo essay, or other innovative genres. Videos must be submitted digitally by April 1, 2016, to Twenty outstanding PSA videos will be recognized, with each winning classroom receiving $100 in supplies and $75 toward a classroom celebration.

Speak Truth To Power Video Contest: Grades 6-12

The Speak Truth To Power Video Contest is offered to students nationally through a partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, American Federation of Teachers, Tribeca Film Institute and NYSUT. Open to students in grades 6-12, the contest asks students to look at the life of a human rights defender and make 3-5 minute video on how the defender made a difference and how we all can make a difference in our own communities. Videos for the Speak Truth To Power video contest must be submitted by February 21, 2016 to

"We are thrilled to be part of these contests," said NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale. "We have seen, from last year's videos, how it can educate young students about human rights and the importance of ensuring that those rights are protected."

Both contests build upon the RFKHR's Speak Truth To Power human rights curriculum, which is taught to more than three million students in the United States and around the world each year, from pre-school to law school. The program—inspired by Kerry Kennedy's book, Speak Truth To Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing the World - provides developmentally-appropriate lessons on human rights and social justice that recognize the role these topics play in children's emotional development.

"Through the Speak Truth To Power curriculum and video contest, and now through this PSA contest, we've seen students learn how to be forces for change in their schools, communities, and countries," said John Heffernan, Speak Truth To Power Executive Director. "It's important for students, at a very young age, learn about what it means to protect basic human rights."

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NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights was founded in 1968 by Robert Kennedy's family and friends as a living memorial to carry forward his vision of a more just and peaceful world. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization.


Dan Cronin
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Office: 917-284-6352

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