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Askwith Essentials: Education, Democracy, and Human Rights

At the Askwith Forum on April 26, panelists from Harvard, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Tolerance, and the Anti-Defamation League will discuss how students are participating in greater activism to protect their right to safety in schools.

The live stream of this event will begin April 26 at 5 p.m.

***Note the early start time.***

Student Activism on the Rise:

As students are claiming their rightful place in today’s ongoing dialogues on gun control and school safety — leading powerful demonstrations such as March for Our Lives and National School Walkout Day — there are an increasing number of educators who urge schools to allow students to voice their opinions, and make these conversations a regular occurrence. “The first time that people should be trying to talk about a controversial issue should not be when controversy has exploded within the school,” Professor Meira Levinson told Usable Knowledge. “It’s important to have these types of conversations happening as a regular part of the school experience.”

How can we cultivate this civic-mindedness in young people? What is the role of educators? And how can civil rights organizations help?

Resources for students:

  • Youth in Front, a collaboration among Harvard Graduate School of Education, Usable Knowledge, and the MIT Teaching Systems Lab which offers advice and information for youth activists.

Resources for educators:


  • Roger Brooks, president and CEO, Facing History and Ourselves
  • Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance director, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Melissa Garlick, civil rights national counsel, Anti-Defamation League
  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, HBS; chair and director, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative
  • Meira Levinson, professor of education, HGSE


  • Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and director, International Education Policy Program and Global Education Innovation Initiative, HGSE; co-chair, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative

Event Details:

Thursday, April 26, 5 p.m. (***Note the early start time.***)
Askwith Hall, Longfellow Hall
13 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA, 02138