Rights Now! program consists of a five-module workshop curriculum. Topics covered include power, privilege, oppression, discrimination, healthy relationships, consent, and cyber abuse.
Training Peer Educators
The Rights Now! training program is a 12-week course that includes presentation skill building activities, knowledge building exercises, and facilitated dialogues intended to build confidence and comradery. Peer Educators help develop and shape every aspect of the program—from workshop curriculum enhancement to leadership skill development. Thereafter, Peer Educators lead workshops to youth at afterschool programs and nonprofit organization throughout New York City. Currently in its fourth year of programming, Rights Now! has trained 25 young women and girls who have gone on to lead more than 30 interactive workshops across the City to their peers and many more within their own networks.
Power, Privilege, and Oppression
This workshop deals with issues surrounding systemic inequality in relation to race, gender, and sexual orientation. We introduce and define social identities and how they overlap, manifest, and shape the way we navigate our societies. The activities in this workshop deal with these issues respectively to help participants better understand their own belonging to certain identities and how different people may be advantaged or disadvantaged accordingly.
The next workshop explores the topic of gender and its construction in opposition to sex. We delve into the ways in which certain stereotypes have been assigned to the gender binary in order to shape gender roles and gender minorities. The activities look at the impact of gender stereotypes in our society and the evolution of media representation in regard to race, gender, and sexuality. This workshop serves as the basis for deeper discussions surrounding gender-based discrimination in different settings and violence against women and LGBTQ+ peoples.
Healthy Relationships and Teen Dating Violence
Building off of previous discussions, we take a closer look at teen dating violence and the role of healthy and unhealthy relationships. We discuss the various forms of abuse whether in the physical or non-physical sense and how one can identify the warning signs that they or their loved ones may be in an abusive relationship. Activities cover examples of potentially abusive language that can be used and scenarios that better equip participants to be able to distinguish between coercion and consent in sexual situations.
Social Media and Cyber Abuse
Next, we tackle issues relating to the impact of social media on the wellbeing of today’s youth and the issue of cyber bullying. We take a closer look at how cyber bullying and the negative effects of social media can intersect with abuse in personal relationships or sexual exploitation. Discussions and activities help participants better identify the dangers and precautions necessary for safer usage of any sexual engagement in the cyber world. We also explore how one can effectively intervene and the significance of bystander intervention.
Know Your Rights
The final workshop is the culmination of all the concepts discussed in the Rights Now! workshops 1 through 4. Discussions of the previous material lead us into an understanding of the legal rights of which participants should be aware. These include, but are not limited to, knowing and understanding the availability of resources such as Title XI, the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), the ‘Enough is Enough’ law and, the ‘No Contact Order.’ The goal is to equip participants with the essential knowledge that can help protect them from potential unjust and discriminatory practices in various arenas including school, the workplace, and at home.