Honoring 75 years of Human Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Every year, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission honors the work of Tennesseans who advocate for the human rights in their communities.
(Nashville, TN – December 5, 2023) - December 10th marks International Human Rights Day. The day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations on Dec. 10, 1948.
The UDHR, its preamble and 30 articles, represent the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone, and that every person is born free and equal in dignity and rights.
The UDHR strengthened the human rights movement and was the first time in history the United Nations outlined universal civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights for all human beings. It has been translated into over 500 languages and has inspired more than seventy human rights treaties in existence today.
Each year human rights advocates around the world celebrate International Human Rights Day. This year marks the 75th anniversary that the Declaration was established, and the theme will be “Dignity, Justice and Freedom for All”. Tennesseans will celebrate International Human Rights Day on Wednesday, December 6 from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the Nashville Church of Scientology Community Hall.
At the Tennessee Celebration for International Human Rights, Day, individuals will be honored for their commitment to advancing human rights. Honorees include:
- The 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award: Former Metro Council Member, Ludye Wallace,for serving his Davidson County community for nearly 30 years.
- The2023 Outstanding Service Award: Tamika Braden, Founder and Executive Director of the HELP Center; Jenn Garcia, Vice President of Action, Advocacy and Education with the Oasis Center; Martesha Johnson Moore, Chief Public Defender at the Metro Public Defender’s Office; and Kelly Sue Waller, Director of Southern Crossroads.
- The 2023 Rising Advocate Award: Kosar Kosar, Organizer with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition; Zacnite Vargas, President of the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.
The event will also feature panel discussion on this year’s theme, “Dignity, Justice and Freedom for All”. Moderated by The Tennessean’s Opinion and Engagement Director, David Plazas, the panel will discuss present day issues in human rights and feature panelists Samar Ali, Research Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University, and Rabbi Michael Danziger, Senior Rabbi at The Temple.
In honor of Human Rights Day, Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seek equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Whether advocating for the rights of new Americans, supporting formerly incarcerated peoples, or leading their communities as civil servants, the 2023 honorees and panelists
are living examples of concerted citizen action. This year we celebrate those who are advancing human rights in Tennessee and renew our commitments to creating communities there is dignity, justice, and freedom for all.