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Collection of poetry to be unveiled and celebrated on Human Rights Day

Young people across Greater Manchester are reimagining the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, bringing it to life via poetry.

The charity Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK (RFK Human Rights UK) in partnership with creative and cultural education charity, Curious Minds, have enlisted the help of schools from across the region to produce a ‘Poetic Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, consisting of 30 original poems inspired by each article.

An expert panel of judges, including local writer and artist Keisha Thompson, will select the final 30 poems which will be unveiled online here on December 10th – Human Rights Day.

Manchester Schools To Create The UK’s First ‘Poetic Declaration Of Human Rights’

15 local schools are participating, including Lily Lane Primary School in Moston and Abraham Moss Community School in Crumpsall.

Created By Manchester’s Youth

RFK Human Rights UK’s first Poetic Declaration was unveiled at the Ripples of Hope festival at HOME in September 2021. Curated by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, it featured contributions from 30 of the world’s leading poets.

RFK Human Rights UK is now partnering with cities across the UK, starting with Manchester, to create a Poetic Universal Declaration of Human Rights that highlights the experience of young people in each city, envisioning the future they want to build.

The project has been developed in partnership with North West-based charity Curious Minds, which works to improve the lives of children and young people by making creative learning opportunities more readily available.

Nichola Watson, Executive Director at RFK Human Rights UK, said: “Poetry is a fantastic way to bring human rights to life in the classroom, and the Poetic Declaration enables students to engage with issues that will have a lasting impact on their future. We’re delighted to be working with young people across Manchester, continuing the conversation started by our poets back in September.”

Kelly Allen, Executive Director of Social Justice at Curious Minds, added: “We are thrilled to be working with RFK Human Rights UK on this project, united by our shared goal of improving the lives of young people and making a positive impact through art and culture.

RFK Human Rights UK’s education programme offers the students of Manchester a unique opportunity to engage deeply with human rights and understand the importance of their own voice.”

For more information, or to find out how your city can create its own ‘Poetic Declaration’, follow RFK Human Rights UK on Twitter, Instagram, or at hello@rfkhumanrights.org / www.rfkhumanrights.org

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK

Founded in June 2018, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK exists to inspire and empower people to make decisions and take actions every day that will help make human rights reality for all – to become Ripples of Hope in their communities and across the world.

It does that by creating spaces and opportunities for people of all walks of life to understand and engage with the concept of human rights to inspire their own beliefs for what our society should be. It sheds light on when human rights are abused or are not yet reality and encourages people to take actions to defend, champion and advance human rights in every part of their daily lives. Alongside the Festival, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is also delivering Speak Truth To Power – a transformative human rights education programme – in schools across Greater London and Greater Manchester.

Manchester Schools To Create The UK’s First ‘Poetic Declaration Of Human Rights’

It is proudly affiliated to, and builds on the work of, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in the US, which is led by human rights activist Kerry Kennedy and was founded after Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1968 to achieve Bobby’s dream of a more just and peaceful world.

Registered Charity Number: 1181744 (Charities Commission of England and Wales).

About Curious Minds

Curious Minds is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people through great art and culture. Its vision is for a future in which getting creative and experiencing brilliant arts and culture is a regular aspect of every child’s learning and leisure time.

Fuelled by curiosity, it works to make high-quality creative and cultural learning opportunities available to all children and young people, both in and out of school. It does this by connecting teachers and youth workers with artists and creative practitioners; giving them access to information, expertise, space and resources to facilitate collaboration and innovation in the field of creative and cultural education.  It is proud to have been serving the North West of England as Arts Council England’s Bridge Organisation since 2012.

Registered Charity Number: 1130988 (Charities Commission of England and Wales).

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