Following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President, the Teaching Human Rights (THR) blog featured a series of posts focused on how we, as human rights educators at the college level,  addressed the election in our classrooms.  During the Spring 2017 semester, the THR blog will include posts focused on teaching about human rights during the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency.

The first post in this series features a new syllabus recently uploaded to the THR Syllabus Database.  The Spring 2017 elective entitled, Human Rights and Social Work: Responding to Domestic and International Crises, will focus on the human rights and social welfare policy implications of the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.  As outlined below, each week will feature a social justice issue as suggested by students in the course.  Students will be actively engaged in observing the political processes and advocating for the realization of social justice and human rights through policy advocacy.

The course outline includes:

  • Perspectives on Human Rights and Social Work
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Rights-Based Approach
  • International and National Political Systems
  • Women’s Rights
  • LGBTI Rights
  • Racism as a Human Rights Issue
  • Social and Economic Rights
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Sustainability
  • Business Ethics
  • Foreign Relations

In addition, the course will include participation in Social Work Students Advocacy Day on the Hill and a PhotoVoice Community Exhibition.  During Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), students will engage in policy advocacy on behalf of social welfare legislation.  More information available at:  http://crispinc.org/2017-student-advocacy-day-on-the-hill/.  The PhotoVoice Exhibition will provide students the opportunity to visually represent the human rights and social welfare policies studied over the course of the semester.  Subsequent  posts on the THR blog will provide reflections on the Advocacy Day and PhotoVoice Exhibition.

We would be remiss to say that human rights will not be impacted by President Trump and his administration.  It is up to us, as human rights educators, to teach our students, future human rights leaders, how to continue to promote the realization of human rights for all.

SW for SJ EyesWhite House

Photos taken by the author at the Women’s March in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017.

Christina M. Chiarelli-Helminiak