BY: Mary McGee, GenUN Fellow - Midwest Region
Mary McGee, the GenUN Fellow for the Midwest Region offers five ways for your chapter to make the most out of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018.
“Our hopes for a more just, safe, and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family.”
–Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director
In 2018, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights! It’s amazing to look at how much work the United Nations has accomplished since 1948, while also looking at how much potential we have to create even more change. I firmly believe that the work that we, as college students and young professionals, have put in can be seen through all the amazing fundraising and advocacy work that we continue to do.
Human Rights Day is celebrated on December 10. Below are some tips and resources that you can use to create the most educational and memorable Human Rights Day possible!
- Think of some SDGs or issues that are important to you and your chapter: Pick one, or even a couple, and plan your celebration around them. If you are stuck on what to focus on, you can always just pick a general topic and run with it. There are so many different campaigns that UNA and the UN Foundation support, you will likely have difficulty narrowing down which one(s) to support! Check out Adopt-A-Future, Nothing But Nets, Girl Up, and many others here.
- Add your voice for human rights: Record yourself reading an article of the UN Declaration of Human Rights in your native language. If you’d like, ask for volunteers to record a section of the Declaration of Human Rights in their native language, and post it on this website here. Another way that you can work to advocate for human rights is to create an Adopt-A-Future fundraising goal. There are many incentives for reaching certain monetary goals, which can be found here.
- Plan a reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: There’s an illustrated version that is found here. Also, learn more about the history of the document here.
- Host a speaker: Have someone come and talk about their work as a human rights activist or hear from someone in the community about the work that they’re doing at a non-profit or NGO. It’s easy to find professors from the Political Science or International Affairs departments that may be willing to talk about their research or experience with human rights work. In addition, search online for organizations in your local area that stand for things that relate to any of the work that the UN is trying to accomplish.
- Continue fighting for human rights for all: Learn more about what your chapter can do to “stand up” for someone else’s rights here. UNA-USA chapters can apply for funding to host a Stand Up for Someone's Rights events in their community here.
If your chapter needs any help with planning your celebration, be sure to reach out to your GenUN Fellow for your region. Find your Fellow here.