Unsilencebreaks taboos and lifts voices to illuminate stories of human rights and ignite action against injustice. We create empowering learning experiences for youth and the public, and teach educators and community leaders, to spark dialogue, support critical thinking, and build empathy to inspire healing and social change.
our core values
Unsilencing is Contagious At Unsilence, we believe that when we share hidden stories—stories of pain, of loss, of shame, those taboos we've been too afraid to speak out loud—then we give permission for others to share hidden stories, too. Human rights education leads to individual healing as well as collective healing and is the foundation of a deeper connection with the social, civic, and political issues of our time.
Deep Empathy Through Unsilence learning experiences, young people develop empathy for ‘the Other.’ Unfamiliarity and perceptions of difference can drive prejudice, but common-ground is its antidote. While we do not shy away from talking about differences, at Unsilence we highlight commonalities between those who may appear to be different and we underscore interdependencies and connections between individual and group narratives.
Story-Driven Through each Unsilence experience, learners are immersed in thrilling, absorbing stories where urgent questions act as entry points to the realities of injustice. Our nonfiction stories help learners confront hidden realities while our fiction provides learners with some objectivity and distance. The combination of nonfiction and fiction allows learners to make connections between complex phenomena. Learners cultivate a deep sense of social responsibility and develop expertise in self-directed and group-based social action.
Remembering the Forgotten Each Unsilence learning experience changes how young people, educators, and the public think about social justice, atrocity, and human rights. Particular victim communities, particular framings and perspectives of these histories, and particular acts of violence are often unintentionally forgotten or intentionally suppressed. By giving voice to these hidden and taboo narratives, we strengthen and broaden the goals, lessons, and ultimately the impact of human rights education.
Learner-Centered Unsilence programs are deeply compelling and learner-centered. Young people and the public are driven by our content to find personal connections to the history of atrocity and ongoing cases of government-led oppression. Each Unsilence experience is highly interactive, so learners direct their own learning experiences and formulate new, exciting, and urgent questions.
Risk-Taking When we unsilence hidden stories of human rights, we take a risk, especially if those stories are personal. We risk being shamed. We risk being persecuted. We risk being not believed. At Unsilence, we acknowledge the reality of these risks and of fear. We confront that fear by standing together and speaking with one voice. In fact—while ensuring to use only pedagogically-sound approaches—we embrace risk. At Unsilence, we believe that embracing risks can unveil hidden truths, inspire innovation, and ultimately lead to healing and real social change.