The Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day will take place in Nashville at the First Amendment Center on December 10th, 5pm – 7pm.
The Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day will take place in Nashville at the First Amendment Center on December 10th, 5pm – 7pm. The celebration centers around the presentation of the human rights awards. Past recipients of these prestigious honors have included the Rev. Bill Barnes, Rev. James “Tex” Thomas, Rosetta Miller Perry, Father Joseph Breen, Gatluak Thach, First Baptist Capitol Hill, Stephanie Teatro, and many more.
The committee planning the event decided to incorporate something new this year and has taken up donations which will go to sponsor students to attend Model U.N., an extra-curricular activity in which students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. “This is a great learning experience for young people and we are excited to participate in this way,” says Rev. Brian Fesler who chairs the planning committee.
The planning committee is comprised of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, United Nations Association, Amnesty International, Tennessee United for Human Rights, the Church of Scientology and others, who work together each year to plan the event.
At the celebration on December 10th, awards will be given to community leaders in three categories: Rising Advocate, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement.
Rising Advocate Awards will be given to three individuals who have made great strides for human rights and show even greater promise for the future. They are Ashford Hughes, Sr., an emerging leader for the labor movement who has been a proponent of labor and worker’s rights and Aisha Lbhalla with the Muslim Women’s Council who works for religious freedom and cultural diversity.
The award winner in the category of Outstanding Service is Dr. Marisa Richmond, the first trans woman to win an election in the state of Tennessee, for her tireless work to ensure transgender equality and equality between Caucasian and African American transgender people in Tennessee.
Lifetime Achievement awards will go to Kwame Lillard, who was significantly involved in the management of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Nashville sit-ins, and the Freedom Rides and training of Freedom Riders; and Bernard Werthan, a founding member of the Family of Abraham and Faith and Culture Center, as well as member of the Community Advocates Advisory Council joint initiative of Vanderbilt Medical Center and Meharry Medical College, past board member of Goodwill Industries, Community Nashville, Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Business Minority Center, and YWCA Advisory Board, among others.
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. According to the event’s website, nashvillehumanrights.org, “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.” For more information, visit www.nashvillehumanrights.org.