The committee planning Tennessee’s annual Human Rights Day celebration has just released the names of the 2013 awardees.
Human Rights Day in Tennessee has become a time to celebrate the leaders of yesterday and recognize those taking up the torch for tomorrow, a time to look at battles won and lessons learned as well as to inspire the youth of today to do something about the state of the world tomorrow. It occurs each year on December 10th, and this year the celebration will take place at the Howard Office Building in the Sonny West Conference Center.
The event centers around the Human Rights Lifetime Achievement awards. Awardees this year include the Rev. James "Tex" Thomas, pastor of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, who is often referred to as the "Mayor of Jefferson Street" for his work on issues that affect North Nashville; Elliot Ozment, the founder and managing attorney at Ozment Law who has been a longtime advocate for civil and immigrant rights in Tennessee; and Carrie Gentry, who was active during the civil rights movement in Nashville, helping students get to sit-ins and bailing them out of jail after they were arrested.
“Rising Advocate” awards will also be given to individuals who show great promise in the field of human rights. Planning committee chair Rev. Brian Fesler says, “This is the third year for the Rising Advocate award. It’s been a wonderful experience looking at people who are taking up the torch for human rights.” The Rising Advocate awards this year will go to Gatluak Thach with the Nashville International Center for Empowerment and Stephanie Teatro with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.
The committee organizing the event for Human Rights Day includes the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, Church of Scientology, United Nations Association, and Amnesty International.
The event is free and open to the public. Booths and networking begin at 4pm and the program starts at 4:30. For more information or to become involved with this year’s celebration, visit www.nashvillehumanrights.org.