June 05, 2017

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and NYSUT Announce Winners in Annual Statewide "Everyone Has Rights" Student PSA Contest

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations and RFKHR
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Caption: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and NYSUT Announce Winners in Annual Statewide "Everyone Has Rights" Student PSA Contest

ALBANY, N.Y. June 5, 2017 — New York State United Teachers and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights are proud to announce the winners of the fourth annual Speak Truth To Power "Everyone Has Rights" Public Service Announcement contest. This year's winners include the following student entries from across New York:

  • East Street School — Hicksville: "The List"
  • Giffen Memorial — Albany: "Article 26"
  • Jericho School — Jericho: "Break Time"
  • Fox Meadow — Scarsdale: "Human Rights Number 2"

"The contest provides a way for young students to learn about the role of protecting and promoting human rights in our society," said John Heffernan, executive director for Speak Truth To Power at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. "By starting with young students, we can build a constituency committed to the highest standards of equality and justice that will speak out when rights are violated."

The contest introduced students to lessons in social justice, educating them on human rights violations suffered by children their own age around the world, such as being denied access to education because of their gender or being forced into child labor. The lessons helped inspire elementary school students to put together video PSAs highlighting the plight of people around the world.

"By creating videos that highlight those rights outlined in the Universal Doctrine of Human Rights, these students remind us of the importance of protecting and championing fundamental human rights," said J. Philippe Abraham, first vice president of New York State United Teachers. We congratulate all of the students and teachers that participated."

Ben Higgins and Joe Karb, teachers in the Springville-Griffith Central School District and members of the Springville Faculty Association, organized the competition. Each winning class was awarded $150 — $50 for a party and $100 for classroom supplies.

The contest is an extension of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights' Speak Truth To Power curriculum, which is taught to millions of students in the United States and around the world at levels from pre-school to law school. Inspired by Kerry Kennedy's book, Speak Truth To Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing the World, the curriculum provides lessons on human rights and social justice that recognize the role these topics play in children's emotional development.

To watch the public service announcements, go to

Speak Truth To Power, a project of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is a global initiative that uses the experiences of courageous defenders from around the world to educate students and others about human rights and urge them to take action. Issues range from slavery and environmental degradation to religious self-determination and political participation.

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.

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

Max Burns
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Office: 917-284-6352 |

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