The planning is set and the Tennessee Celebration of Human Rights Day will take place this year at the Downtown Public Library from 4 – 6pm on December 7th.
A committee of human rights organizations and nonprofits worked for the better part of 2011 to nail down event details, including an exhibit hall of area human rights organizations such as the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, Conexion Americas, My Global Voice, United for Human Rights and others. Each of the organizations will have the opportunity to display and distribute their materials, brochures and pamphlets from 3:00-4:30pm before the event begins. During this time, the Story of Human Rights will be playing in the main auditorium for anyone to watch. This educational documentary is a rapid description of the history of human rights.
International Human Rights Day occurs every year to commemorate the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948. In Tennessee, Human Rights Day has become a day to reflect and look at lessons learned and battles won, while various human rights groups join forces and commit to creating an even better future.
The celebration centers around Human Rights Lifetime Achievement awards. Awardees this year include Dr. Sheila Peters who has worked with numerous human rights organizations over several decades and is now a professor at Fisk University, and Mr. Jerry Lee who served as President of the Tennessee AFL-CIO for over ten years, and is among the first to initiate this celebration in Tennessee.
This year the committee is looking to the future by introducing the “Rising Advocate” award, given to individuals who show great promise in the field of human rights. Rev. Brian Fesler, co-chair of the committee says, “In addition to acknowledging the work of our heroes, we want to inspire and empower the leaders of tomorrow. This is a time when advocates must rise up and demand justice, and we want to help make that happen.”
The program will also feature speakers on various topics related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and art depicting various articles from the Declaration from area high school students.
The committee planning human rights day includes the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, Church of Scientology, My Global Voice, NAACP, the United Nations Association and the Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council.
For more information or to become involved with this year’s celebration, visit www.nashvillehumanrights.org.