This day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and recognizes the milestone document that was drafted by representatives with legal and cultural backgrounds acknowledging the rights of every human being regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political opinion, national or social origin, property, or class status.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains relevant 70 years later where many have adopted its message into their personal values and promote equality in their day to-day lives. The Bay Path community is proud to recognize and support Human Rights Day by sharing what BPU does to bring awareness and acceptance into the community. Bay Path’s clubs and organizations are dedicated to tackling important issues, and strive to make a difference in the constantly changing world.
Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Life; Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Elizabeth Cardona, commented on how various clubs and organizations are coming together to celebrate Human Rights Day and bring awareness to students this year:
“The Multicultural Office, African American, Latina, Asian, Native American leaders club (ALANA) and Student Government Association (SGA) are partnering to host a UN Human Rights event for students on Sunday, December 10, 2017. The event will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the UN's formal inception of this international effort to advocate for peace, equity and justice.”
The event also includes remarks from Director of the Honors Program and Associate Professor of History, Robert Surbrug, addressing human rights in six countries. Students will have the opportunity to engage in interactive activities that increase critical thinking, cultural awareness and knowledge of trending issues around the globe.
Student Government Association President, Bianca Romero ’18, discusses how this event is significant to student growth:
“The Student Government Association will be collaborating with the Office of Multicultural affairs and ALANA to host an event in honor of Human Rights Day. This event is very important to us because it will bring awareness to our campus community that there are still people out in the world fighting for the rights that we have. Hopefully this event will have others feeling thankful for the rights they are blessed with, such as getting an education or having freedom of speech. Having college students come together to recognize this as a community helps us grow and become advocates for change when we enter the world after graduation.”
Members of the United Sexualities and Gender (USG) alliance commented on their group’s active involvement advocating for human rights:
Peter Testori - Executive Director, Center for Online & Digital Learning Division of Research and Academic Resources; USG Advisor -
“We held the first annual LGBTQ+ Symposium on Sunday 11/19 and it was a great success. It was attended by 42 people (and those were just the ones that signed in!). The day meant a lot to the group and the attendees. Topics including gender and sexuality were presented about, and it was a great step toward creating a more inclusive
Sierra Cannon ’20 - Member of USG -
“At the symposium, we featured a timeline of LGBTQ+ history that provided context for the LGBTQ+ community’s current position in fighting for our rights while also acknowledging the victories we have achieved. It really opened people’s eyes about our struggle and how far we have come. It was great to build awareness and be surrounded by a supportive community that wholeheartedly advocates for and acknowledges the rights of every human being.”
Acknowledging and celebrating rights in our own communities can help to make a larger impact in the region and around the world. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she explained that taking action in acknowledging and supporting human rights can make a larger impact in even the smallest areas:
“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 map of the world...unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”