Empowering Leaders to Advance Human Rights for All
Because everyone deserves the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief – it’s how we’re hardwired.
5900+ students respecting the dignity of others
439+ leaders united to defend human rights
In Legal Systems
13 countries with new freedom networks established
South Sudan: Building Community Engagement and Civic Participation
The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence on July 11, 2011 and is consequently the world’s newest nation. With more than 60 tribes and groups, the country is rich in ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity. After emerging from decades of conflict, the new nation was plunged into a civil war and has had ongoing geological challenges that have hindered their peace and stability. The civil war ended in early 2020 with a peace agreement that led to a coalition government and plans for the country’s first national elections. However, with an 80% illiteracy rate, limited infrastructure and restricted communication outside of the capitol city of Juba, the national elections have been postponed.
There is an urgent need for civic education to prepare for a peaceful election and transition of government. For this reason, since 2019, Hardwired has provided raining for government officials, journalists, educators, and church leadership to promote civic education and to model civic engagement in their communities. Hardwired established an official Memorandum of Understanding to provide ongoing training and support to all Members and staff of the Council of States. Our programs have supported members of the Council of States and National Assembly as they develop a model for engaging with their constituents and representing them within Parliament to advance the rule of law. Moreover, our work with church leadership has supported local education on the rights and responsibilities of citizens as the church has historically been a central and unifying force in the country. Hardwired works with these leaders to develop meaningful ways to share the values and knowledge conveyed in the training with their congregations and community members.
Refugees and Newcomers
The U.S. is a land that has become a haven for thousands of refugees over the years, and how the needs of refugees are supported is very important. On August 6 th , 2021 the first provincial capital fell to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Many fled the country and more than 76,000 Afghan refugees have been brought to the United States; around 5,000 have been resettled in Virginia. In addition, the war-torn country of the Ukraine is bringing in another 100,000 refugees to the country by September, 2022. With this rapidly growing number of refugees, resettlement agencies and schools across the country have expressed a need to address challenges to the social integration of refugees into the communities they are settled in.
In 2021 and 2022, Hardwired received support from Virginia Humanities to support the social integration of refugees in host communities. Hardwired partnered with the Virginia Office of New Americans (ONA) and 5 different resettlement agency partners throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide 9 workshops for refugee and American students. Through these workshops, Hardwired provided a model for cultivating respect, trust and empathy among refugee and non-refugee youth that also helped host communities recognize the needs of refugees. Through Hardwired’s programming, participants were able to explore complex and sensitive issues like respect for diverse backgrounds and perspectives that exist in a pluralistic community, and refugees were able to learn about the rights they have and how to live in a country that values the rule of law and the dignity of all people.
Links to news articles:
In Roanoke, students learn how to turn cultural difference into … fruit salad
Fruits of newfound human rights come to life for Afghan child refugees
Iraq: Building a Model for Pluralism Education and Peaceful Coexistence
Iraq, otherwise known as the “cradle of civilization,” has a rich history and has been home to some of the world’s oldest and most diverse religious communities. Unfortunately, from 2014 – 2017 communities across northern Iraq were overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria known locally as Da’esh. Now, as families return to their homes, children need to feel safe learning alongside of those with diverse ideologies and beliefs, with respect for one another’s freedom and dignity. Also, teachers need to feel supported as they help students navigate these differences and overcome ideas of intolerance and fear of one another.
Recently, Hardwired has been working in partnership with the Directorate of Education in Mosul and Nineveh Plains and Hammurabi Human Rights Organization (HHRO) to provide training to teachers throughout the region in developing lessons that promote pluralism and respect for the freedoms of one another for the children in their classrooms. The Teacher- Training program is helping communities re-build their lives and learn how to live together in peace through human rights educational programming in the schools of this region. We are working with our local partners to establish an educational training model in 40 Schools in the region that will promote Iraq’s rich pluralistic heritage and the rights and freedoms of all Iraqis that can be replicated both nationally and internationally.
Online Teacher Training Program
Over the past decade, globalization and digitalization has created a shift in how people access education. Within the aftermath of COVID-19, there is a global increase in remote learning, and people are looking to digital platforms to develop the skills they need to navigate today’s constantly evolving world.
In this context, Hardwired has developed an online training course to respond to the growing need for our education programs around the world. This course has been used internationally by dozens of teachers and community leaders for training in building respect, trust and empathy in diverse schools and communities. This training is available in a blended learning format (asynchronous and synchronous), and the topics covered in the course include:
Introduction to Pluralism and Diversity
Learning Simulation on Pluralistic Societies
Identifying the “Root Causes” of Intolerance and “Foundations” of Pluralism
Teaching for Conceptual Change
The Role of the Teacher in Creating Supportive Learning Environments
Observation, Evaluation and Assessment
The Peaceful Garden Project: Education for Pluralism
Students in the United States are facing enormous pressure to conform to constantly changing social and cultural ideas about how they should act, what they should believe and even the issues they should care about. Many educators, parents and community leaders are concerned about challenges that young people are facing and desire to help them navigate the marketplace of ideas and learn how to engage in civil dialogue about differences of opinions and beliefs. Building on Hardwired’s work with youth globally, we have recently established training programs for educators in the United States to incorporate respect for human rights and freedom of conscience into their curriculum to build a culture of respect for these freedoms in the classroom. Through professional development courses, curriculum development, and resources, Hardwired provides a variety of ways for educators and others to address the needs of their community and build empathy, respect, and understanding within the culture of the classroom. Hardwired offers this support with a variety of options including the following:
Professional Development Courses:
Video: Hardwired has developed a 45-minute video introducing pluralism and how to navigate challenges to diversity in the classroom.
In-Person: Hardwired has developed a 3-hour long in-service teacher-training program to provide educators with hands-on methods and best practices to navigate diversity and pluralism in the classroom.
Online Teacher Training Program: Hardwired offers a 6-week professional development course on Pluralism, identifying the root causes of intolerance, and understanding and implementing conceptual change pedagogy.
Play: Growing Together: Hardwired has produced a theatrical play for use in grades K-8 which comes with a full script and provides an opportunity for students to learn about the values of pluralism and respect for diversity.
Children’s Books: Hardwired has developed a children’s books series that leads children to see the value in each person, regardless of their differences of belief, culture, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
Simulation: Hardwired offers a simulation called Fruitopia that guides students through the process of recognizing diversity in their community, identifying challenges to inclusion and addressing the “root causes” of these challenges.
Links to news articles:
The Peaceful Garden Program launch took place May 19 th with special guest, Kathy Ireland reading to children at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA.
During the program launch, Sean Spicer conducted an interview with Kathy Ireland and Tina Ramirez (Founder and President of Hardwired Global) about The Peaceful Garden Project:
P.O. Box 14743
Richmond, Virginia 23221
1901 Huguenot Road
North Chesterfield, Virginia 23235
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Hardwired is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. EIN: 46–2801344