2012 Year in Review - A Year of Accomplishments for Human Rights

Top Quote Human Rights Day 2012 was a demonstration of the year's accomplishments. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) December 31, 2012 - An estimated 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor globally, according to the United Nations. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and it is the fastest growing. Of those trafficked, 75 percent are female and 27 percent are children.

    Recognizing the global need for human rights education, Tennessee human rights agencies decided to end the year with an event recognizing those leaders who've brought us through tough times and those who are shining a bright light into the future.

    The Church of Scientology joined with local and state government as well as non-profit organizations from across Tennessee to plan the state celebration of International Human Rights Day, which occurs every year on December 10th. The celebration was held in the North Police Precinct community room.

    Three lifetime advocates received awards for their work, including the Rev. Bill Barnes who has been a freedom fighter in Nashville for over half a century, attorney George Barrett who has been defending the underdog since the 1960s and Rosetta Miller-Perry who fought the civil rights fight and is the first black female publisher in Tennessee with her Tennessee Tribune newspaper.

    "Rising Advocate" awards were given to individuals showing great promise in the field of human rights. This year, recipients included Daoud Abudiab of the Islamic Center of Columbia and Cecilia Gomez who works for Free for Life International as well as Conexion Americas.

    Rev. Brian Fesler who chaired the event planning committee said, "Our goal is to inspire more people to take up the fight for human rights. We want people to know they, too, can achieve great things. That is what these awards represent."

    The program featured a panel discussion on the event's theme: "Building a Culture of Human Rights." Panelists were Rev. Sonnye Dixon who serves as President of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, Alistair Newbern of the Metro Human Relations Commission, and Patricia Pierce of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. Caroline Blackwell, Director of the Metro Human Relations Commission moderated the panel with insightful questions tackling which human rights the panelists feel they are most challenged to adhere to.

    Singer and songwriter Ross Falzone performed two songs at the celebration and Sean Smith of Southern Word performed two poems about human rights, each time receiving standing ovations.

    This event reached well beyond the 120 people who attended, as the entire event was filmed and is currently being broadcast to thousands weekly on Metro Nashville's Channel 3.

    For more information or to become involved with Human Rights Day, visit www.nashvillehumanrights.org.

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