Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music Released by Smithsonian Folkways

Originally published between 1961 and 2003 but until now out of print, the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music is composed of more than 125 albums from around the world. The entire collection, including many previously unreleased recordings, will be published by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in both digital and physical formats. Two albums will be published per week. With recordings from over 70 nations, the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music offers an impressive diversity of material.  

To access the recordings: http://www.folkways.si.edu/unesco

Release of UNESCO “Teaching Respect for All” Educational Guide

On July 17, 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the successful completion and release of the Teaching Respect for All (TRA) implementation guide, a set of guidelines and materials for educators to integrate into existing curricula to promote tolerance and respect for all regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. This initiative was co-sponsored by the governments of the United States and Brazil and began work in January 2012.

“The U.S. and Brazil are deeply committed to promoting universal human rights by confronting discrimination and violence in all forms” said U.S. Mission to UNESCO Charg√© d’Affaires Beth Poisson. “Both of our countries continue to face the legacy of a struggle for civil rights and racial equality. We know that it is critical that we continue to educate future generations on how to achieve tolerance and respect for all people, regardless of color, gender, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, or creed.”

The joint initiative was launched by the United States and Brazil through UNESCO and was announced by President Obama during his visit to Brazil in 2011.  Funded by the United States, this initiative has culminated in the TRA Implementation Guide, a compilation of best practices from around the world that were piloted in diverse environments, including Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, and South Africa. This multilateral, comprehensive approach was important to ensuring the guide can be adapted to states’ varied national and local contexts, policy priorities, and social and cultural backgrounds.

To read the complete Teaching Respect for All Implementation Guidelines, visit http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002279/227983E.pdf

To hear testimonials from policymakers, teachers, and students about the guide, watch this video: http://youtu.be/UtkAXLTa76A.

If you would like to join the Teaching Respect for All online platform, visit https://en.unesco.org/respect4all/.

Poverty Point, Louisiana World Heritage Site

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, Louisiana, became the 22nd U.S. site to be inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.  Inscription is a reflection of the "outstanding universal value" of Poverty Point, which "bears a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared." 

Poverty Point is an extraordinary prehistoric earthwork complex located in Louisiana's Lower Mississippi Valley.  It was part of an enormous trading network 3,000 years ago that stretched hundreds of miles across the North American continent.  Poverty Point is a remarkable system of monumental mounds and ridges that were built into the landscape for residential and ceremonial use by a sophisticated society of hunter-fisher-gatherers.  It is a masterpiece of engineering from its time as the major political, trading, and ceremonial center of North America and is an important archeological site.  

In addition to the U.S.'s success in inscribing Louisiana's "Poverty Point" was the official recognition of several culturally and historically rich spots. The Incan road system Qhapac √Ďan, Pont D'Arc caves in France, the Grand Canal in China, and Erbil Citadel in Iraq are just a few of the sites inscribed for their unique preservation of cultural heritage.
The World Heritage Committee has inscribed 26 official sites during the 38th session held in Doha, Qatar. To see photos of the sites or to learn more about their history, visit:http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties/date=2014&mode=gallery 
Learn more about World Heritage: http://whc.unesco.org/  

Learn more about Poverty Point: http://www.nps.gov/popo/index.htm

Friday, August 08, 2014