Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota

Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota Volume 1 is a multi-disciplinary media project documenting the human rights and social justice champions of North Dakota. Through portrait photographs, essays written by the participants and video interviews capturing discussions about the motivation behind and the importance of their work, this project strives to create a historical record of the important work currently taking place in North Dakota in a compelling and visually creative way.

This multi-disciplinary project includes:

  • Hardbound and Digital Book
    The hardbound and digital edition books will feature personally written essays by 20 of North Dakota’s human rights and social justice activist. The essays will capture the reflections of each individual as they discuss their experiences and motivations, and the societal importance of their work. Each essay will be complimented by a one-of-a-kind wet-plate image taken on 5″ x 7″ glass by Shane Balkowitsch of Bismarck, North Dakota.The project strives to create a historical record of the important work currently taking place in North Dakota in a compelling and visually creative way. As such, the original glass wet-plate images and essays will be collected and offered to the State Historical Societyfor preservation in their archives. 200 years from now, students and researchers of human rights in North Dakota will have the opportunity to see today’s champions, and read first hand the experiences of contemporary activist.
  • Documentary Series
    Each of the 20 champions will be interviewed to discuss their experiences and motivations, and the societal importance of their work. The 20 interviews will be edited into a series about human rights in North Dakota. Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the framework for the telecast, the series will explore the protections enshrined by the Declaration, and the meaning of those protections and their manifestations within North Dakota.
  • Traveling Exhibition
    20″ x 30″ framed and matted prints of Shane Balkowitsch’s wet-plate images of the human rights champions, accompanied by excerpts of their written essays and video interviews, will be made available for exhibition around the State in art museums, libraries, schools and other institutions. The goal of the exhibition is to share the work of North Dakota’s human rights and social justice activist, and to highlight the causes and people they champion.
  • Secondary Education Materials
    Educational materials for junior and senior high school students will be made available for educators wishing to teach about the importance of human rights. Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the framework for the educational materials, the workbooks, study guides and conversation starters will engage students in the theory of human rights as defined by the declaration, and then narrow the focus to talk specifically about how those rights impact students in North Dakota. Excerpts of the written essays and documentary series will be used to augment the educational program.

For more additional information about each of the different components of the project list the Those Among Us webpage, or join our mailing list to get the latest updates about the series delivered to your in-box.

Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota is supported by Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio, The Human Family and the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition.