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Tennessee Human Rights Day Celebration Showcases Future Leaders

International Human Rights Day occurs every year to commemorate the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948.

Nashville, TN, December 15, 2011 --( In Tennessee, Human Rights Day has become “a day to reflect and look at lessons learned and battles won, while various human rights groups join forces and commit to creating an even better future,” according to the website

This year the event planning committee turned a new corner in showcasing our future leaders. “We introduced the Rising Advocate award, which was given to two remarkable individuals that we’re counting on to continue to fight for our rights,” says Co-Chair of the planning committee, Rev. Brian Fesler. The Rising Advocates this year included Remziya Suleyman, formerly of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and MarQo Patton, a graduate of Fisk University who is now a corps member of Teach for America.

The event also showcased artwork from students at Antioch High School who created murals and graphic designs depicting one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fesler commented, “The more students know about the Declaration, and their human rights, the more they will fight to preserve rights for everyone.” Artwork was on display in the hallway leading to the main auditorium of the Public Library where the event was held. It was also scattered throughout the program booklet and will soon appear on the website

The event has centered around the annual presentation of the Human Rights Lifetime Achievement awards since 2009. Awardees this year were Dr. Sheila Peters who has worked with numerous human rights organizations over several decades and is now a professor at Fisk University, and Mr. Jerry Lee who served as President of the Tennessee AFL-CIO for over ten years, and is among the first to initiate this celebration in Tennessee.

The event planning committee includes the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, Church of Scientology, My Global Voice, NAACP, the United Nations Association and Women for Maintaining Education and Nutrition. If your organization would like to participate on the planning, email and for more information on the event, visit

Contact Information
Human Rights Day
Julie Brinker

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