Tennessee Human Rights Day Celebration Announces 2018 Award Recipients

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | 11:47am

The Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day will take place in Nashville at the First Amendment Center on December 11, 2018. 

The Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day will take place in Nashville at the First Amendment Center on December 11, 2018, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The theme for 2018 was chosen to align with the United Nations’ theme and is: “Born Free & Equal? The Timeline of Justice in Nashville.” The event commemorates the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948. This year is the 70th anniversary of this important historical document.

During the event, leaders are acknowledged, and awards will go to human rights champions in three categories: Rising Advocate, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement. Past recipients of these prestigious honors can be seen at NashvilleHumanRights.org.

A committee of human rights organizations and nonprofits, including the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, United Nations Association, UNICEF, Amnesty International, Tennessee United for Human Rights, the Church of Scientology, and others, work together each year to plan the event.

For the 2018 event, four Rising Advocate Awards will be given to those who have made great strides for human rights and show even greater promise for the future. They are Anne Barnett & Odessa Kelly, both with STAND UP Nashville, who were instrumental in making sure the "Do Better Bill" passed earlier this year; Fayo Abadula who co-founded Oromo Youth of Nashville, a mentorship group for the Oromo youth and anyone from the African Diaspora interested in pursuing a college degree; and the Community Oversight Now coalition which recently successfully got Amendment 1 passed which will create a Community Oversight Board for the police in Nashville, and has advocated for social justice and civil rights.

The award winners in the category of Outstanding Service are Dawn Deaner, who has served unselfishly as Nashville’s Executive Public Defender and stood strong against a criminal justice system fraught with injustice; and Tom Negri who has served on nearly 20 boards and action committees including the YWCA and Conexion Americas as well as taking a leading role on Nashville for All of Us, the initiative to defeat the "English Only" bill.

Lifetime Achievement awards will be presented to King Hollands, who fought for civil rights as a student of Fisk University during the Nashville sit-ins; and Dr. Blondell Strong Kimbrough, a lifelong advocate for civil rights and justice.

International Human Rights Day is ticketed at $10, with proceeds going to fund students attending Model UN. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit NashvilleHumanRights.org.