A Long Way to Go, toward the full realization of our Human Rights

On June 26th, 20 community participants attended the Dorothy Cotton Institute’s  Human Rights Workshop to gain a common understanding of the international human rights framework and how it can be applied to local social justice issues efforts they care about.

Workshop participants are working on accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation, access to affordable healthcare, human rights education for parents and caregivers, advocacy for the rights of incarcerated people, diversity and inclusion on the college campuses, the rights of  immigrants, the rights and voices veterans, the rights to healthy affordable food, fair housing, and the right to live free of drones.

Margo Hittleman and Kirby Edmonds led the half-day workshop, asking people to draw on their personal experiences of injustice and the challenges of speaking up or  intervening on your own or others’ behalf.

At one point, participants lined up on a scale of 0-100 to illustrate and discuss how well they think the rights articulated in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, (CERD). are being upheld and fully expressed in our community.  Their assessment: sharing their perspectives and examples of discrimination and disparate impact based on race and ethnicity, it seems we have a long way to go toward compliance and protection of CERD. In some ways, our society has been moving backwards by allowing the erosion of protections against racial discrimination.

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One important action to consider: examine what our local anti-discrimination ordinance actually covers, and what kind of discrimination is left out!

Another action to consider: get into the practice of re-framing the social issues we are working so hard to transform, by

  • using the language and lens of our universal human rights, to recognize and describe social justice and ecological needs and standards,
  • advocating to meet our national and local obligations to bring our laws and practices into compliance with human rights treaties, and by
  • fulfilling our mutual responsibilities to respect and protect the dignity of all. 

Welcome to the Human Rights Movement!

visit: www.dorothycottoninstitute.org

or follow Dorothy Cotton Institute on Facebook

DCI is a project of the Center for Transformative Action

DCI Gala Photos

Ambassador Young, Dorothy Cotton, Cal WalkerThe Dorothy Cotton Institute Gala and Celebration of International  Human Rights Day–Dec. 10, 2013 was a huge success, with over 220 people attending.

All photos are by Kathy Morris http://kathymorris.net/

Vincent Harding, Dorothy Cotton, Hans Ulrich, Linda KellyThanks to all who joined us, and to the many people who sponsored a ticket for so that someone else could attend. It was a remarkable evening, featuring a keynote  from former Mayor of Atlanta Ambassador Andrew Young, 2013-12-10 22.49.54 - CopyFellowship of Reconciliation Presentation of  the 2013  Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards to human rights leaders and educators Ms. Dorothy Cotton and Dr. Vincent Harding, and a performance of Spirituals and Freedom Songs by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.

Vincent Harding and Gala GuestsJ. Haltom and students2013-12-10 22.20.28 - CopyBob Harris, Mimi Melegrito, Sofia Villenas

Mimi Melegrito sang “Without a Song” in honor of Dorothy.

International Fellowship of Reconciliation guests2013-12-10 21.25.58 - Copy2013-12-10 20.52.36 - CopyGala Guests

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The Human Rights Commission celebrated their 50th Anniversary at the Gala!

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Laura Branca and Rabbi Brian Walt

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We closed out the evening dancing to DJ Apia Awa.

All photos are by Kathy Morris http://kathymorris.net/

Pete Seeger Dies at 94

A warrior for peace & justice has passed. His music and energy were infectious even if you didn’t care for folk music. For those of us who do love folk music, Pete Seeger was an inspiring example of musicians who turn people onto songs from around the world, speak out for justice, human rights and a clean environment.
Pete Seeger, a longtime champion of American folk music, died Monday. He spearheaded a folk revival in the 1950s and spent a life championing music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change. via Reuters

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/arts/music/pete-seeger-songwriter-and-champion-of-folk-music-dies-at-94.html?hp&_r=0

DCI Gala and Dinner, Tues. Dec. 10

Celebrate International Human Rights Day, with honored guests:

Andrew Young Ambassador Andrew Young

DorothyCotton-1 Ms. Dorothy Cotton

Vincent Harding in Nabi-Saleh Dr. Vincent Harding

  • 6:00 Reception & cash bar with jazz and r&b by Fe Nunn and Friends

  • 7:00 Dinner with jazz by Harry & Eric Aceto, Doug Robinson & Chad Lieberman

  • 8:00 Program with Emcee Cal Walker

  • Remarks by Ambassador Young

  • Fellowship of Reconciliation Presentation of  the 2013  Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards to Ms. Cotton and Dr. Harding

  • Spirituals and Freedom Songs by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers led by Baruch Whitehead

In Ballroom of the Trip Hotel (formerly the Clarion), One Sheraton Drive, Ithaca, NY

$125 per plate. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Dorothy Cotton Institute.

Click here to purchase tickets online or sponsor others’ attendance.

The Dorothy Cotton Institute is a locally based non-profit organization providing workshops on Human Rights Education, the Citizenship Education Program for the 21st Century, and is working to build a global community of human rights leadership.
DCI is a project of the Center for Transformative Action and an organizing member of the Building Bridges initiative.

Heather Taylor in Zambia

Human Rights attorney, Heather Taylor, former member of the Dorothy Cotton Institute Steering Committee, sends greetings from Zambia, working on behalf of widows and orphans. Please read her blog.

Greetings friends and family:

Check out my new blog!  View quarterly and other updates about my advocacy work for widows and orphans who are victims of property grabbing in Zambia.
Please consider partnering with me and contributing to this awesome mission.  Praise God and abundant thanks to my financial supporters!
You may make a tax deductible donation by credit card: www.ijm.org/getinvolved/internshipsupport  Click on “Support Intern/Fellow” and select my name, “Heather Taylor”, from the fellows list in the dropdown menu.
Sincerely,
Heather L. Taylor