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Education Minnesota Human Rights Award

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Do you know an Education Minnesota member who has worked to protect the human and civil rights of educators or students? A local union that has worked to build partnerships with communities of color? A member who has promoted educational opportunity for physically and/or mentally challenged students?

You can help recognize the work of members on issues like those by nominating them for the Education Minnesota Human Rights Award.

Nominees must be active Education Minnesota members. The nomination deadline is Jan. 31 each year.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights defines human rights as rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. 

Previous recipients

2024: Zak Amin
2023: Devin Hanson and Leah Hood
2022: Victoria Ellis
2021: Marisa Zimmerman
2020: Becky McCammon
2019: Jim Parry
2018: No award given
2017: Diedra Carlson
2016: Virginia Mancini
2015: Julie Blaha
2014: Lora Hill
2013: No award given
2012: Tom Reis
2011: Alan Horowitz
2010: Donna Speake
2009: Janice Mandell
2008: Magaly Miralles
2007: No award given
2006: Martha James
2005: Pamela Zimba


Nominees should meet one or more of the following criteria through work, contributions or programs. The criteria are not listed in order of importance.

  • The nominee has contributed to the field of human rights, either through a special project, direct services or their life’s work and role. 
  • The nominee has inspired direct action in the cause of human and civil rights.
  • The nominee has demonstrated a personal commitment to the promotion and protection of human and civil rights through curriculum and instruction.
  • The nominee has initiated or engaged in activities that positively impact the educational, social, economic or political life of the community.
  • The nominee has displayed creativity, determination and perseverance in achieving human and civil rights goals.

Education Minnesota accepts nominations without regard to race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. The Education Minnesota Human Rights Committee will select the honoree, who is approved by the Education Minnesota Executive Committee. The honoree will become Education Minnesota’s nomination for one of the National Education Association’s human and civil rights awards.

Examples of possible contributions:

  • Helped protect and advance the human and civil rights of educators and students.
  • Designed and implemented project(s) to inform the membership about the meaning of human and civil rights and how they can be protected or are abridged.
  • Designed and initiated plans that identify and encourage the use of effective teaching materials reflecting the value of diversity.
  • Worked to eradicate discrimination within the profession.
  • Promoted equal educational opportunity and access for all students.
  • Worked to eliminate hate-motivated incidents and/or harassment.
  • Worked to reduce violence and promote peace.
  • Helped to eliminate stereotyping in the curriculum, schools or community.
  • Established or improved an effective human rights program.
  • Worked to educate others about extremists who threaten the human and civil rights of others.
  • Worked to promote educational opportunity for physically and/or mentally challenged students.
  • Worked to build more effective partnerships with family, school and communities of color.
  • Implemented a successful model of differentiated instruction to reach diverse learners in the classroom.

Submitting a nomination

To submit a nomination, please complete the online nomination form.

Human Rights Award Toolkit
(PDF, 24 pgs., 603KB)
Materials to help you establish a human rights award in your local union

Questions? Contact:

Elizabeth Pettersen