At the Human Rights Education Institute
it is our mission to celebrate diversity and human rights
by educating, raising awareness and recognizing
the value of all humanity.
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.
- HREI served more than 22,000 K-12 students in the 2019-20 school year
- HREI serves 55 school districts in the region
- Beyond individual classroom requests, HREI programs support a Teen Human Rights Symposium, an Advocacy Camp for middle school, 3 elementary school break camps, and many community multicultural day celebrations annually
- In the first third of the year 2020, 50 HREI volunteers served 1487.5 hours
- In 2019, 39 HREI volunteers served 4864.8 hours
- As of May 2020, HREI and Love Lives Here have signed over 150 businesses to their Kindness Campaign
- HREI partners with North Idaho College Diversity to support the Annual Diversity Symposium
- HREI is the proud sponsor of the annual Lakes Middle School Multicultural Fair
- HREI has produced 5 Human Library Events and 227 personal stories have been shared through reading books
- HREI partners with higher education to provide a great learning environment to interns, and partners with the community to match mentors with interns
- North Idaho College, Lewis Clark State College, University of Idaho, Boise State University, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Arizona State University
- Since 2017, we have served 24 student internships completing 1621 hours in the following disciplines: Marketing, Program, Finance, Accounting, Information Systems, Administration, Resource Development, Environmental Justice and more
Through December 2017, $217,263.90 has been spent remodeling and improving the building to meet the needs of the organization. To date, HREI has spent $844,100.99, which includes $396,835.64 budgeted funds for the programs and $447,265.53 for that portion of salaries and benefits that were directly tied to program development and implementation. Through this, the Human Rights Education Institute has become recognized in the Inland Northwest 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.
The Human Rights Education Institute traces back to 1981, when the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations was founded by a diverse group of citizens as a response against the harassment and criminal activities of the Aryan Nations.
Over the years, the Task Force played a large role in confronting hate in the Inland Northwest and was instrumental in directing the passage of major Idaho state laws against harassment (see below for wording of Idaho Statutes Section 18-7902). 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 Institute was founded as the educational arm of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. Following the successful lawsuit against the Aryan Nations, the Gregory C. Carr Foundation pledged seed money to the Institute to create a human rights education center. A historic building was secured in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene, and the Human Rights Education Institute officially opened on December 10, 2005. The Institute hosts and creates world-class exhibits, develops programs for children, sponsors events celebrating diversity, and provides workshops and training for community members, business leaders and educators. The Institute has an established, visible presence that reinforces the importance of human rights and our dedication to promoting these rights in our region.