Overview 2013-14

Global Education Motivators (GEM)
2013-2014 Overview of Programs

Conferences and Events
- Emphasizing human rights and human development, GEM programs are designed to create substantive experiences for students and teachers to work across cultures, to better understand their world. A major objective of GEM is to move students and educators into action related to the important global issues of our time.

United Nations Day - For the past 18 years, GEM has provided students in grades 8-12 the opportunity to learn more about the work of the United Nations in our interdependent world, particularly in the area of human rights and the Millennium Development Goals. UN representatives present current information related to the selected theme. Students work together to develop ideas and strategies to address current issues. Materials about the theme and sub themes are disseminated prior to the day so that students have a foundation upon which to learn and participate.

The 2013-2014 theme is “Keeping the Promise: Empowering Youth for Peace and Sustainable Development”. Working with five subthemes: (a) Global Citizenry in a Multi-Cultural World (b) Sustaining Development through Environmental Responsibility (c) Achieving Education for All (d) Attaining Food Security and (e) Social Justice and Human Development. Approximately 30 students will be selected to become student leaders at the related UN Student Leadership Conference on Development Human Rights held at the UN in February, 2014. Options abound for students and they all have the opportunity in early May, 2014 to present their completed work to their peers during an international videoconference hosted at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and five sites around the world..

UN Educators Conference on Human Rights - This annual conference was created by GEM and is in its 9th year. It provides an opportunity for teachers to broaden their perspective on human rights education as well as teaching about peace. Educators made commitments in 2013 to broaden their teaching of peace and human rights. Educators from Canada, India, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Kuwait the Philippines will present their work to each other in the spring of 2014 from the United Nations and selected sites internationally. Teachers share ideas and build collaborations with teachers from different cultures. Educators from more than 15 countries have participated.

UN Student Conference On Human Rights (UNSCHR) - GEM was invited to help create UNSCHR in 1998 and has continued to help develop this annual conference with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI). This multi-day event takes place at the United Nations and connects participating students to their peers in various countries via videoconferencing. Based upon annual sub-themes, students in grades 8-12 receive background and reference materials plus the opportunity to interact with UN experts to aid in their learning. Students then have the unique opportunity to present their plans and perspectives internationally from the UN. GEM has developed 2013-14 subthemes for substantive discussion at the United Nations December 16-18, 2013.

Global Solutions Lab - Developed with BigPictureSmallWorld Inc., students, young professionals and others from around the country and the world have the opportunity, through an intensive eight day lab, to learn from diverse UN representatives related to the annual theme and to develop compre-hensive, provable strategies for addressing some of the world's most critical problems. On the final day of the Lab, students present their work at the UN. Participants learn a powerful strategic design and planning methodology, as well as leadership, group processes and problem solving skills. All participants get publication of their work. The 2013 focus area was supporting the achievement of the MDGs and the Regeneration and Greening of Cities”. The 2014 Lab will have a similar theme and be held June 22-30 at Chestnut Hill College and the United Nations.

Video Conferences - Communication exchange across cultures has always been central to GEM’s work. Initially through Video Pals (video tape exchanges), to the now real time experience, GEM is active with a variety of programs and events using this technology. From an “Around the World” 24-hour videoconference for a high school in NJ to selected global topics, this is a very active area for GEM. By June of 2014 GEM will have worked with in excess of 3000 students through facilitating and presenting to a K-20 audience of students and teachers.

Some topic examples include: The UN: Myth vs. Reality, The Effect of Armed Conflict on Children, The Millennium Development Goals, No More Business as Usual, Globalization 101, Global Warming, From Independence to Interdependence, Building Peace by Ending Poverty. All of these videoconferences were created by GEM or done in collaboration with others.

African Programs - For more than 10 years, GEM has provided real world experiential learning in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan. Currently African nationals, from South Sudan and Uganda, provide this resource through videoconferencing, on-site presentations and teacher staff development. Current emphasis is on refugee issues, child soldiers, human rights, faces of poverty, current development issues, and African culture to bring modern day Africa to students and teachers.

Started by Josh Milan, a high school student at Harriton HS in Lower Merion, PA, GEM helped develop and continue the Refugee Reunion Project that has been responsible for sending several refugees home to be reunited with their family in South Sudan. This year several schools are involved in raising money to send another Sudanese young man home next summer, to reunite with his mother and siblings.

GEM also has a current project working primarily with the South Seneca School District in NY to raise $12,000 to provide a water pump to Joeper Village near Juba in South Sudan. Currently more than 80% of the funds have been collected and in 2014 this project will be completed.

Global Educator Award - Each year since 2005, GEM honors an educator whose work emphasizes human rights and eradicating poverty through global awareness and responsibility in an interdependent world. These educators are from various states in the US, as well as Mexico, Pakistan and Canada. In 2013 the award went to Matthew Conforth of Passaic Valley HS in Little Falls, NJ.

To Book any of these programs or for more information, please email cusimano@chc.edu or call 215-248-1150

Upcoming Events
Coming Soon:
Student Conference on the Paris Agreement

International Day for Peace 2018
September 21, 2018
Student Leadership Conference on Development 2019
February 2019

Select Global and Educational Events:

Human Rights Day
December 10, 2018
United Nations Climate Summit 2019
Learn More


GEM Highlights
Good News Agency
Learn about Positive Efforts Around the World and be Inspired

Lesson Plans on the Sustainable Development Goals -
World's Largest Lesson

Lesson Plans and Resources for Teaching Primary Sources with the Library of Congress
Effects of Armed Conflict on Children

New Distance Learning Program
Live from Ukraine