From June 26-30, 2017, 13 students from 11 schools on Oahu and the Big Island participated in an Advanced Summer Seminar on Peace, Environment, Human Rights and Global Justice. The seminar focused on the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, in particular those aimed at reducing poverty, addressing gender inequality, and combating climate change.
Students learned about the organizational structure of the United Nations, explored how the UN is addressing pressing global issues through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and spoke with local activists and human rights advocates.
The program was taught by Joshua Cooper, founder of the Hawaii Institute for Human Rights. Guest speakers included Randy Ching from the Honolulu Sierra Club and Representative Chris Lee. Students also visited the downtown offices of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Brian Schatz, and Senator Mazie Hirono.
At the end of the academy, the participants were ready to turn their passion into action. They participated in a public demonstration and delivered a petition to their legislators about human rights issues they care about.