Education as a Human Right Conference
Written by Betty Ojaye
Navajo Preparatory School
“2nd Annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right”
“There Is No Lesser Person”
This article is part of a project of the local Community Health Council (CHIC). Health Councils were created statewide in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) with the goal of getting local citizens and count governments more involved in the manner in which health might be improved in each of their communities. The local CHIC is conducting an ongoing awareness campaign addressing the various areas that can potentially affect a person’s health.
April will be devoted to Education. Education is the brightest hope for addressing humanity’s greatest challenges in human equality, poverty, environmental and indigenous rights. Local citizens, students and governments are invited to the 2nd Annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right, Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, San Juan College Little Theatre, Farmington, NM.
Human rights education is not taught in schools but it is increasingly gaining recognition as a human right in itself. Knowledge of rights and freedoms is a fundamental tool that young people should learn and understand so that they know how they should be treated and how they should treat others. Education should encompass values such as non-discrimination, respect and tolerance for human dignity. Betty Ojaye, Executive Director, Navajo Preparatory School said, “this conference will provide engagement and empowerment to address humanity’s greatest challenges in the areas of education, equality, poverty, environmental and indigenous rights.” The keynote speaker is Zoe Tryon, Ambassador for Amazon Watch, which protects the rainforest and advancement for indigenous rights in the Amazon Basin. Among eight panelists are Ethel Branch, Navajo Nation Attorney General, a human rights attorney who practiced in Washington, D.C. and helped advance the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The four corners area is a vital community that supports diversity and commitment to human equality and dignity. The “Civility First Four Corners,” was created by the City of Farmington Community Relations Commission to promote public awareness and education that focuses on ten character traits to promote positive interactions, mutual respect, and social harmony. With the conference theme “Indigenous Rights are Human Rights,” Ms. Ojaye states that “as Indigenous Peoples, we not only have the most basic human rights of physical survival and integrity, but also the preservation of our land, language, religion, and cultural heritage that are a part of our existence as a people.” She said, “Our great leader, Chief Manuelito, saw Education not only a right but a passport to a better way of life. If used right it opens doors and expands opportunities and contributes to fostering peace, equality, improving health, reducing poverty and environmental degradation in our nations.”
The conference is co-sponsored by Navajo Preparatory School, Dallas Embrey Human Rights Program-SMU, and ConnecTeach, a Dallas non-profit organization that is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in the world's poorest communities. The conference is open to everyone including students and teachers who are the most powerful change makers both locally and globally. Conference registration is at www.navajoprep.com with a $10.00 box lunch.
Betty Ojaye, Executive Director
2016 April 04
KSJE 90.9 FM
The Scott Michlin Morning Program
Interview with Betty Ojaye
Navajo Preparatory School