Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world… Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.
The Human Rights Education Institute offers proactive education programs that teach human rights, acceptance, respect for diversity, and cultural humility. Our programs, activities, and events seek to reduce racial prejudice and increase understanding in our community.
We are on a journey to promote human rights for every person in the Pacific Northwest, serving primarily Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana. The institute addresses a wide range of diversity issues including race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, age sexual orientation, religion, disability, and job and life circumstances.
In 1981, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations formed as a response to the anti-Semitism, political militance, harassment, and criminal activities of the Aryan Nations. The Task Force confronted hate in the Inland Northwest and was instrumental in directing the passage of major Idaho state laws against harassment. In the fall of 2000, the mission of the Task Force was realized when a lawsuit on behalf of local citizens bankrupted the Aryan Nations. In 1998, the Human Rights Education Foundation was created to celebrate diversity and promote human rights by educating, raising awareness, and inspiring transformation within our community. Following the successful lawsuit against the Aryan Nations, the Foundation was renamed the Human Rights Education Institute, its mission was broadened, and the Gregory C. Carr Foundation pledged a $1 million grant to the HREI in 2001.
To date, $156,564.51 has been spent remodeling and improving the building to meet the needs of the organization. Through June 2014, the HREI has spent $742,269.64, which includes $314,335.64 of budgeted funds for the programs and $427,934.18 for that portion of salaries and benefits that were directly tied to program development and implementation. Through this, the HREI has become recognized in North Idaho as a unique cultural institution that hosts world-class exhibits, develops programs for children, sponsors events celebrating diversity, and provides workshops and training for community members, business leaders, and educators.
Read more about Our Programs.
We would like to invite the North Idaho community to the 4th Annual Diversity Symposium at North Idaho College on Tuesday, April 16