With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as its guide, the Rex Foundation collaborates with community arts programs and schools to use creative arts-based learning models and youth-led original dramatizations to inspire youth and adults to value the importance of human rights for all people, as well as to be engaged members of their local and global communities to help make the words of the UDHR a reality for everyone.
Watch the short film The Story of Human Rights from Humanrights.com, which offers a excellent overview of how a sense of human rights developed over the course of history and was eventually enshrined in the UDHR–and then goes on to examine why, decades after the UDHR’s adoption, its principles remain so important, and still so far from reality. We hope The World As It Could Be Project helps to spark renewed awareness of the UDHR’s principles, and to inspire more thinking and action to realize them.
Read more about The World As It Could Be to learn more about the project’s scope; check out the links below to learn about each of the project’s initiatives, see videos of the commissioned productions and high school culminating presentations, student and teacher reflections on the project, and other project commentaries.
The World As It Could Be Human Rights Program Education Curriculum
Building on our successful pilot work in two Bay Area high schools in 2008 and 2009, we now present a unique curriculum that excites students about learning, being engaged in actions and behaviors that further positive interactions with their peers, teachers and extended communities, and taking action to promote equity, justice and human dignity for all people.
Henry Sidle, 12-year-old student in New England, performing his original song “The World As It Could Be“
Culminating Performance: Balboa High School 2009 (full performance)
The World As It Could Be: Where There’s a Will There’s a Way 2008 (full performance)
Media and Articles about the Project
YMR, a Rex grantee and collaborator in The World As It Could Be, keeps kids — most poor, some literally homeless — in school, broadens their sense of what’s possible in their lives, and gives them the skills to set and achieve their goals.
Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director of Rex grantee Destiny Arts Center, has been named one of KQED’s Women’s History Heroes for 2011.
An Original Production About The Right to An Education
Inspired by Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, presented January 20, 2011 at Laney College Theater
On December 10, 2010, as part of the Rex Foundation’s ongoing The World As It Could Be Project, students of Oakland’s Mandela High School’s Law and Public Service Academy presented their first culminating performance to bring together their studies and reflections about how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) relates to their lives.
On December 9, 2009, junior class members in the Future Leaders of Social Change Academy of Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, CA, put on a Town Hall for the 300+ students and faculty of their Academy.
On December 10, students from several different classes at Balboa High School in San Francisco put on a full school assembly.
Both groups had spent the semester studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and shared reflections on its principles in song, dance, spoken word, poetry, dramatic segments, animation and visual arts displays.
To create educational materials and a celebratory process for the public schools, particularly high schools, that inspire youth to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to be engaged members of their local and global communities to manifest the document’s words. The educational materials incorporate the creative arts as an integral part of the teaching process.
Why we put together the current newsletter Perspectives on The World As It Could Be. With the election on the horizon, I’m hopeful that these perspectives add to the hopeful energy stirring around us, where with our votes, energy and engagement, we can both imagine and experience the best of all possible worlds.
An original production created by Bay Area youth art organizations to educate and inspire youth and adults about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the importance of exerting the will to realize the world envisioned by the Declaration. Updated with the video that resulted.
Scenes from the Summer Institute 2010
Ripple Effects: Creating The World As It Could Be
Arroyo High School: Tree Ceremony Excerpts
Arroyo High School: Classroom Discussion
Reflections from Arroyo High School
Reflections from Balboa High School