EarthRights School Curriculum

The seven-month EarthRights School curriculum includes both theoretical and experiential learning in order to prepare emerging earth rights activists to defend their communities.

The school term begins in the classroom in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where courses range from peace and reconciliation to gender mainstreaming, community organizing, campaign planning and legal advocacy. Students develop expertise in the development policies and projects that impact their homes, as well as the skills they need to organize in their communities and to advocate nationally or internationally for their livelihoods, natural resources and human rights.

Through a series of field visits across the region, students then hear from inspiring communities who have succeeded in influencing the development projects that threaten their livelihoods. Each field trip highlights a particular theme of the ERS, such as community organizing, land rights and environmental impact assessments. Students learn strategies and tactics from activists who’ve put advocacy tools into action.

As a part of the EarthRights School program, our students return to their home communities to conduct two months of fieldwork, documenting earth rights threats or abuses and preparing campaign and security plans and associated advocacy materials. They then return to Chiang Mai to present their findings and complete their coursework, as well as to explore how they can join together as alumni to promote greater public participation and transparency in development planning in Myanmar and the Mekong region.