What does it mean to become a defender? As you read the stories in Speak Truth To Power, you will learn about the different experiences and journeys of each defender. Some of the individuals were thrust into the role of defender, others took the role on willingly, and in almost every case, at great personal risk. Regardless of why one decides to speak up, speak out and take action on behalf of human rights, the journey leads them to become a human rights defender.

What will your journey look like? Become a Defender!  


Our hope is that the actions of the remarkable defenders represented in Speak Truth To Power will incite students to pursue their own course of action related to an issue about which they feel passionate, whether through an integrated classroom experience, a service learning project or an extra-curricular club activity.

This ‘Become a Defender’ unit - developed in conjunction with Rock Your World, a comprehensive social action curriculum - serves as a useful guide in that effort by extending the reach of the Speak Truth To Power curriculum to selected resources from Rock Your World and other quality programs.

Becoming A Defender

No matter the extent or type of action your students will pursue, all courses of action ideally include the following common elements: 

As you guide your students toward becoming defenders, you might consider the questions included in this lesson from Rock Your World: 

Do your students have an understanding of human rights? 

Are your students already incited to take action or are they still uncertain about what issue they might want to pursue? 

Are your students knowledgeable enough about their selected issue(s) to effectively promote it?