Overview 2015-16

Global Education Motivators (GEM)
2015-2016 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. 

20th Annual United Nations Day - For the past 19 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, Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  At UN Day, the students will work with specific subthemes. They will split into small groups based on their interest in the subthemes and discuss sustainable and attainable   solutions for these global issues. Background documents on the subthemes are disseminated prior to UN Day so that students have a foundation upon which to learn and participate.   

United Nations Day events will be held: 
Wednesday October 22 in Southern New Jersey

Thursday October 22 in Philadelphia
Friday October 23 in Central New York State

United Nations Student Leadership Conference on Development (UNSLCD) This year’s conference will focus on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The SDG’s are a continuation of the highly successful MDG’s, which are ending in 2015. The 17 SDG’s will work to help end extreme poverty in the world by 2030.

The vision of UNSLCD is for youth (ages 14-19) to be empowered to be part of the solution to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Students participating in the UNSLCD will be affiliated with one of the four subthemes and work closely with other students from around the world who are a part of the same subtheme. They will research, discuss, and analyze cross culturally to decide on the most attainable and sustainable solutions to their specific global issues. Student leaders will meet on-line to draft a Plan of Action that will culminate at the United Nations in the early 2016 to discuss which solutions are manageable and which solutions are not realistic.  At the end of the conference, the students will vote “yes” if they decide these solutions are workable and realistic, “no” if the solutions are unattainable, or an abstention if the students feel the action plan needs further work.  Webcast available at gem-ngo.org.

UN Educators Conference on Human Rights - This annual conference was created by GEM and is in its 10th year. It provides an opportunity for teachers to broaden their perspective on human rights education as well as teaching about peace. Teachers made commitments in 2014 to broaden their teaching of peace and human rights.  Educators from varied countries and cultures will present their work to each other in the fall of 2015 from Mexico City, MX and selected sites internationally.  Teachers share ideas and build collaborations with teachers from different cultures.  More information available at: www.gem-ngo.org.

Conference options:
Option 1 – November 1-November 7 - $475* (does not include airfare)
Option 2 – November 1 November 5 - $375* (does not include airfare)
             * Fees include all meals, transportation, hotel, conference, and cultural excursions during the conference 

Three Part Professional Development Series - Teaching the Effects of Armed Conflict on Children using Primary Sources from the Library of Congress - This three part series is for educators of grades 6-12
Session 1 - Using the Library of Congress Website
Session 2 - Personal Perspectives with Denis Fred Okema
Session 3 - Making Connections - TPS Teachers Network

Online Course: Participants in the online course will view the prerecorded video of each of the sessions and then participate in the online course supported online Blackboard.com
Cost per group: $300
Interactive Videoconference: Schedule the interactive videoconference at a time that fits your group's schedule. This program can be done via traditional vc equipment or via an online platform such as Skype.
Cost per group: $450
Onsite Program: Bring this program to your site for an unforgettable experience. A three hour window will be needed to complete the onsite workshop. Presenters Sabrina Cusimano and Denis Okema are available to sites in mid-Atlantic PA, NJ, MD, DC, DE, and NY. Contact us if you are outside this region.
Cost per person: $45 (10 person minimum), plus travel expenses

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.  This multi-day event takes place at the United Nations and connects participating students to their peers in various countries via videoconferencing. This year’s conference will look at Gender Issues including education, sports, sustainable development, and the media. 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.  This year’s conference will be held December 1-3, 2015. 

Global Solutions Lab - Developed with BigPictureSmallWorld Inc., university students, professionals, and educators (ages 19 and up) gather from around the world to participate in an intensive eight day lab. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from diverse UN representatives related to the annual theme and to develop comprehensive and 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 to a panel of individuals from different areas of expertise at the UN. Participants will learn a powerful strategic design and planning methodology, as well as leadership, group processes, and problem solving skills.  All participants will also have the opportunity to have their work published. The 2016 lab will be focusing on human rights and development for the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030.

Video Conferences - Communication exchange across cultures has always been central to GEM’s work. 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 2015 GEM worked with in excess of 4000 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, Millennium Development Goals, No More Business as Usual, Globalization 101, Climate Change, From Independence to Interdependence, Building Peace by Ending Poverty, Arab Perspectives, Ethics of Social Media, African Folk Tales, and Live from Ukraine.  All of these videoconferences were created by, or in collaboration with, GEM.  

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.

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.  100% of the funds have been collected and in 2015-16 this project will be completed. 

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