Social-justice education training
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - A workshop aimed at equipping educators with the teaching tools to engage students in human rights studies was held Wednesday.
Nearly 60 teachers throughout Western New York took part in various activities to develop classroom-ready lesson plans on issues such as fair trade and social justice.
Presentations were also held to enlighten educators on nationwide human rights issues, including child labor in the cocoa industry and poor working conditions in the early 1900's.
Organizers say their goal is to enrich the lives of the students so they can take what they learn outside of the classroom.
"This is really about engaging students in a type of learning that is action-oriented, that would get them - as students - to actually develop ways that they can step up and become defenders of human rights and make a difference in their community," said New York State United Teachers secretary-treasurer Lee Cutler.
"I've been stressing with them that it doesn't matter how old they are. They're human rights defenders and they can make a difference," said Kenmore Middle School teacher Joi Chimera.
The four-hour long workshop also highlighted the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, which claimed the lives of over a hundred workers, mostly young, immigrant women.