human rights day History

Human Rights Day 2002

The first Terre Haute Human Rights Day was held April 12, 2002. University faculty, students, and community leaders joined to celebrate and sponsor a variety of learning activities. Workshops and panel discussions were held throughout the week. Mrs. Eva Kor, a Holocaust survivor, led a remembrance program and Dr. Joe Feagin, a founding member of the U.S. Army's diversity training, was the featured presenter. His remarks emphasized that social change requires commitment, planning, and determination. Dr. Feagin spoke to three different groups, including members of the Terre Haute youth chapters of Amnesty International and NAACP, and ISU's Alpha Kappa Delta Chapter (Sociology Honorary Society). Martha Jordan of the Martin Luther King Center gave an a capella vocal performance and an official declaration marking Human Rights Day was issued by Terre Haute Mayor Judy Anderson.

Human Rights Day 2003

More than 1500 people attended events associated with the second Human Right Day on April 10, 2003. Participants were welcomed by ISU President Benjamin, Dean Diane Michelfelder, Mayor Judy Anderson, and Vigo County School Superintendent Dan Tanoos. Art contest winner Amanda Greene was recognized and her winning entry, "Freedom," was featured on the cover of the day's program. Eva Mozes Kor, Holocaust Survivor, was Honorary Human Rights Chair. Jesse Taylor, Director of Region V of the U.S. Dept of Justice's Community Relations Services, gave the Keynote Address. Featured speakers included Bernardine Dorhn, Director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University's School of Law, Claire King of the National Advisory Board for Teaching Tolerance at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Shayna Plaut, Regional Human Rights Coordinator for Amnesty International. Theatrical productions highlighted the contributions of Eugene V. Debs and Emma Goldman. Many participants joined the Terre Haute Abolition Network for their monthly witness against the death penalty.

Human Rights Day 2004

On April 15, 2004, a standing-room-only crowd heard Georgetown University Law Professor and former U.S. Congressman Father Robert Drinan, S. J. deliver the Plenary Session address, "The Human Rights Revolution: History and Hope," followed by a lively question and answer session. Welcome remarks were delivered by ISU President Lloyd Benjamin III, Principal Mick Newport of North Vigo High School, and Indiana Civil Rights Commission Director Sandra Leek. Tuskegee Airman Pompey Hawkins was introduced as one of Indiana's National Treasures. The program featured cover art by Tyler Phelps of North Vermillion High School (photograph, Will Work for Work) and Kristina Bittles of Greencastle High School (pastel and charcoal drawing, Freedom). ISU Community Service Fellow Eric LaFary was our Master of Ceremonies. A wide variety of workshops were presented by visiting speakers, including N.A.A.C.P. Deputy General Counsel Angela Ciccolo, J.D., Amnesty International's Christopher Watson, Rose Hulman Unity, Indiana AFL/CIO Organizing Institute's Michael Wilmore, Indiana Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Samuel Norvanis, African American Institute for Policy Studies Director Efia Nwangaza, Terre Haute N.A.A.C.P.'s Youth Council, Sister Kathleen Desautels, S.P., Rose Hulman's Jewish Culture Club, St. Mary-of-the-Woods'Social Justice Club, CODA, the Sisters of Providence, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Terre Haute's Abolition Network. More than 300 people played "The Poverty Game," presented by ISU Social Work students. Representatives from 25 social service and community organizations staffed information tables. Many participants joined the Abolition Network's monthly Witness Against the Death Penalty. ISU's Theater Department presented staged readings of Joan Halden's Nickel and Dimed for high school students and the general public. More than 2000 people took part in the various presentations and events and Steering Committee members committed themselves to an even better Human Rights Day 2005!

Human Rights Day 2005

An estimated 2500 people participated in various events organized for Human Rights Day 2005 on April 14th. The day began with "It's a Small World After All," sung by members of ISU's Early Childhood Education Center Chorus, whose director, Gail Gottschling, received a United Nations musical globe in appreciation of their performance. Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke, ISU President Lloyd Benjamin III, Civil Rights Commission Director Gregory Kellam Scott, J.D., and Master of Ceremonies Eric LaFary, ISU Graduate Student in the Dept. of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, welcomed those assembled. Assistant Director LaNeeca Williams of the ISU Diversity/Affirmative Action Office introduced Indiana National Treasures Jean and George Umemura and presented them with a plaque in recognition of their triumph over adversity and appreciation of their exemplary human spirit. The plenary address, Children's Rights Around the World, was given by A. Widney Brown, J.D., of Human Rights Watch, and drew a crowd of more than 500 students, faculty, and community listeners. The theme of Children's Rights was illustrated by the program's cover art, including an excerpt from Ana Coniglio's mixed media handmade book, Bedtime Stories, and a digital photo, Right of Passage? by Josh Rankin, Travis Allison, and Kelly Knight. The art exhibition featured more than 60 pieces by students from four counties. Presentations and workshops included representatives from a wide variety of organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Center for Wrongful Conviction's 8th Day Center for Justice, Amnesty International, the Council on Domestic Abuse, the AFL/CIO's Organizing Institute, UCLA's Geffen Institute, World Vision, the Sisters of Providence, Terre Haute NAACP's Youth Council, Rose-Hulman Unity, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. "Guilty Until Proven Innocent," presented by exonerated death row prisoner Kirk Bloodsworth, was cited by many as particularly moving and effective. Information tables staffed by representatives of more than 20 organizations lined the halls outside Dede I and the "Poverty Game" drew hundreds of enthusiastic participants. An original play, An American Lynching: The Emmett Till Story, written by ISU graduate students George Potter and Monique Mosley, was presented as a staged reading for more than 200 high school students at noon and an additional 300 community viewers at 4 o'clock. An enthusiastic crowd participated in the Terre Haute March Against Hate just after this presentation. A pizza supper for marchers and a reception honoring winning entrants in the art exhibition wound up the day's activities. Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke proclaimed April 14th, 2005, as Human Rights Day and the City Street Dept. re-named a section of North 5th Street "Human Rights Way" in recognition of our community's commitment to freedom, justice, and peace.

Human Rights Day 2006

Once again, a record crowd took part in Human Rights Day on the beautiful Indiana State University campus. Our 2006 theme, The Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, fostered an explosion of local activism in addition to the day's program. ISU's campus-wide effort of staff, students, faculty, and administration raised $12,000 to underwrite House # 51 for Wabash Valley's Habitat for Humanity's selected family. The house was completed and occupied in June! HRD participants also donated $300 in cash and 200 pounds of canned goods to the Catholic Charities Food Bank. This year's Mistress of Ceremonies was ISU Criminology graduate student, Melissa Long. Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke, ISU President Lloyd Benjamin III, and North Vigo High School Principal Mick Newport welcomed those assembled. Indiana National Treasure, Mother Bettie Davis of Terre Haute, was profiled and introduced by Terre Haute N.A.A.C.P. Youth Council's Korrie Williams. Mother Bettie was surprised to see more than 250 audience members wearing t-shirts with her name and image! Human Rights Day plenary speaker Sister Mary Scullion of Philadelphia's Project H.O.M.E. was introduced by Sister Jenny Howard of St.-Mary-of-the-Woods College. Sister Scullion encouraged those present to hold politicians accountable for improving communities by using public money for the public good. Both D.C. Kitchen's Robert Egger and California Bay Area's B.O.S.S. Director Boona Cheema emphasized cooperative efforts among local social service agencies and businesses to create new work training initiatives which can lead to empowerment and self-sufficiency for those currently living in poverty. By popular demand, exonerated Death Row prisoner Kirk Bloodsworth returned to recount his ordeal and urged those present to work for social justice. In collaboration with ISU's English Department and Cunningham Memorial Library, Dr Francisco Jiménez spoke to a group of 200 middle school students about his childhood experiences in a family of poverty-stricken migrant workers. Students prepared for this event by reading and studying his award-winning novel, The Circuit. Dr. Jiménez also met with ISU faculty and students, who were greatly moved by his candor and humility. HRD participants saw Living Voices' dramatic presentation, La Causa, which profiled César Chavez and the struggle for farm workers' rights. Poverty--Its NOT a Game, presented by ISU's Social Work Department, occupied the entire 4th floor of HMSU this year and set an attendance record. The art exhibit, Edged Out--Poverty and Separation, also drew its largest audience ever. The winning entry was Just One Chance (Solamente una Oportunidad) by Terre Haute senior Robert Powell of McLean Education Center. The Terre Haute Stop the War in Iraq group sponsored the installation of Arlington West, featuring white crosses to represent fallen American soldiers and Dr. Ralph Leck spoke about ethics and war. Workshops and a debate rounded out the program and featured high school students from Terre Haute N.A.A.C.P. Youth Council (a panel on A Living Wage), students from North Vigo High School's Amnesty International (a panel on volunteer opportunities to fight poverty), and college students from Rose-Hulman's Unity and ISU's Great Ideas Philosophy Clubs, who debated Gay Marriage: Pro and Con. Table displays highlighted local community and social service organizations. Terre Haute's March Against Hate was followed by a pizza supper at The Fountain, where all were treated to live music provided by Terre Haute North Vigo's Close Enough to Jazz combo.

Human Rights Day 2007

This year's theme, The Right to Freedom of Expression, introduced "Speakers' Corner" to participants in Terre Haute Human Rights Day. An open microphone was available for two hours at The Fountain on our beautiful Indiana State University campus. Good weather, earnest speakers and listeners, and excellent spirit contributed to the success of this event, which was managed by Terre Haute Stop War on Iraq, ISU's Sociology Department students, and the Great Ideas Philosophy Club. Attendees began calling it "The Rant," in the best tradition of free expression. The Arlington West installation near The Fountain, sponsored by Terre Haute Stop War on Iraq, again served as a reminder of the cost and sacrifice associated with war. The Human Rights Day 2007's Mistress of Ceremonies was ISU Communications major, Michelle Jordan and she introduced the videotaped presentation of this year's Indiana National Treasure award to Indiana's U. S. Rep. Julia Carson of Indianapolis. Peter Ciancone, Special Asst. to Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke, Lloyd Benjamin III, ISU President, and Mick Newport, Terre Haute North Vigo High School Principal, gave welcoming remarks at the Opening Reception. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Sichan Siv was introduced by ISU Political Science Professor Dr. Michael Chambers. Ambassador Siv spoke eloquently about his experiences as a refugee/escapee from Cambodia, including his perspective on the challenges and opportunities awaiting those who relocate to the United States. His book, Death and Rebirth: Up From the Killing Fields, was published later in 2007. Sister Ngwang Sangdrol was introduced to those assembled by Indiana Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Claudia Peña Porretti, J.D. Sister Sangdrol later spoke, with assistance from a translator, about her personal journey from champion of free speech jailed for many years in Tibet and now relocated in the United States as the result of international efforts by Amnesty International and other groups. A panel discussion on freedom of the press was moderated by Dave Cox (Sisters of Providence) and featured Craig Klugman (Editor, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette), Stephanie Salter (Asst Editor, Terre Haute Tribune-Star), and Warren Watson (Director, Journalist Institute for Digital Education, Activities and Scholarship at Ball State University). Afternoon workshops included: Porretti's talk, "American Civil Liberties Union - Guardian of the First Amendment"; NAACP Terre Haute Branch Youth Council's panel on "Free Expression and Music Lyrics"; Bill Stant (Indiana Green Party Co-Chair) on "Human Rights and Single Issue Movements"; photo-journalist Maia Wechsler's presentation, "Social Justice and Documentary Art"; Dr. Ralph Leck (Marian College) on "The Science of Sexuality and the Politics of Sexual Freedom," and Terre Haute North Vigo High School's Amnesty International sponsor, Linda Lambert's presentation, "Anti-Torture Activism." POVERTY - It's NOT a Game took over the 4th floor of HMSU and the ISU's Social Work Department students wowed hundreds of participants during their four hour stint. This year's Human Rights Day program included more performance venues than ever, including a Writers' Workshop and concert by Carrie Newcomer (folk singer/ human rights activist from Brown County, Indiana), an entertaining dance presentation by Condiments Upon Request (Terre Haute Ryves Hall Youth Performers), and the extraordinary Exonerated, a play featuring local performers directed by Ann Venable, which brought many in the audience to tears. This year's art exhibition, Freedom Through Expression, included more varied exhibits than ever (a chair, several dioramas, videotapes, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and inter-active pieces). The winning entrant was Individuality, a bright red papier-mâché piece by 9th grader Katie Richards of Rockville Jr/Sr High School. ISU's Affirmative Action/ Diversity Office led participants in the traditional March Against Hate parade around campus, followed by pizza at The Fountain. The Human Rights Day 2007 Steering Committee thanks all participants, presenters, and sponsors for their contributions and devotion to this effort. We did it together.

humans rights day 2008

The 7th annual Human Rights Day theme was Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights—The Right to Participate in One’s Government. College chapters of Young Democrats, College Republicans, and the American Democracy Project were joined by community activists from the League of Women Voters, the Indiana Green Party and the Feminist Majority to encourage wider participation in all public realms. ‘Speakers’ Corner’ featured an open microphone for two hours at The Fountain. The Mistress of Ceremonies was ISU political science major, Analyssa Noe. Welcoming remarks came from ISU President Lloyd Benjamin, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, and North Vigo High School Principal Mick Newport. The Indiana National Treasure award was presented to Charles D. Burks (Indiana native, WWII prisoner of war and retired U.S. Marshal chosen for the special unit of fifty which provided security for the integration of several schools—including the October 1960 integration of the New Orleans School District, where he escorted Ruby Bridges to her first grade class. Frances Moore Lappé, nationally known advocate for democratic change and author of Diet for a Small Planet and Getting a Grip, gave the plenary address, encouraging those in attendance to make a difference in their own communities. Workshop sessions included presentations by ACLU Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk (Indiana Voter ID Case - at the time pending before the United States Supreme Court), Sentencing Project Executive Director Marc Mauer (Prison, Race, and Voting Rights), Jenny Howard, Sisters of Providence Anti-Racism Team (Confronting Racism Through Community Organizing), Living Voices Multi-Media Presentation {Hear My Voice: Win the Vote), National Green Party Chair Brent McMillan (Ballot Access for All), Sister Kathleen Desautels (Beyond Voting: the Many Faces of Democracy), ISU and Terre Haute NAACP Youth Councils (Use Your Voice and Your Vote panel and Tunnel of Oppression display), Women’s Studies Panel (Impact of Women’s Suffrage), Darlene Hantzis (America’s Democracy Depends on America’s Youth), and Brian Morton (Voting Theory). ISU’s Social Work Department students recreated the popular POVERTY—It’s NOT a Game simulation, while the Vigo County League of Women Voters sponsored a voting machine demonstration along with voter registration. Historic photographs of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s were on display in HMSU Gallery, along with a copy of Norman Rockwell’s lithograph The Problem We All Live With and an excerpt from John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley which inspired Rockwell to depict Ruby Bridges integrating her New Orleans school—accompanied by Indiana National Treasure Charles D. Burk. ISU's Office of Diversity led participants in the annual March Against Hate around campus, followed by pizza at The Fountain. In addition, Living Voices and Off the Streets performed that evening at the Ryves Youth Center, followed by a free neighborhood dinner. The Civil Rights exhibit was also displayed at Elementary School in Terre Haute, where the framed Rockwell lithograph was presented to the students on behalf of Human Rights Day. Every student received a copy of The Story of Ruby Bridges. Thanks to all presenters, sponsors, and participants for their attendance and contributions as we look forward to Human Rights Day 2009.

humans rights day 2009

Terre Haute Human Rights Day # 8 concentrated on rights enumerated in Article 25 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights—The right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being of self and family (food, clothing, housing, medical care, social services, and security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one’s control). The Mistress of Ceremonies was Analyssa Noe, ISU political science major. Participants were welcomed by ISU President Daniel J. Bradley, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, Vigo County Schools’ Superintendent Daniel Tanoos, and Executive Director Tony Kirkland of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Attendees were treated to a video presentation of a quilt created by young women from the Ryves Youth Center representing Article 25. Sister Helen Prejean, noted anti-death penalty activist and author ofDead Man Walking (1993 Pulitzer Prize nominee) and The Death of Innocents (2004) gave the keynote address to an enthusiastic audience packed into HMSU Dede I. She stressed the right to a fair trial, to humane treatment for prisoners, and access to adequate legal advice—with special emphasis on the fact that the United States is out of the world’s mainstream in not outlawing the death penalty. She also mentioned the disproportionate numbers of minorities among death row inmates. Sister Helen also visited an elementary school in Vigo County to speak with 3rd graders who had been studying human rights. Featured speaker Dr. David Brunsma, Sociology Professor at the University of Missouri and author of The Leading Rogue State: The U.S. and Human Rights, explored the ways U.S. citizens can become involved in the global struggle for human rights in his talk entitled “We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: Human Rights and US. ”Morning workshop sessions included presentations by Dr. Robert Stone, Emergency Care Physician from Bloomington and Director of Hoosiers for Commonsense Health Care; Matt Pearcey, Director of ISU’s McNair Project, speaking about gay marriage around the world; and North Vigo High School Youth Ethics Initiative Club, discussion of moral dilemmas. Sessions in the afternoon included a presentation about human rights in prison, with Warden Helen J. Marberry, Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex—including basic rights of prisoners and provision of a safe environment for staff and inmates. A panel of former Peace Corps volunteers was moderated by Linda Lambert of Terre Haute North Vigo High School. Another panel presentation, “Health Care and Poverty in the Wabash Valley,” featured Drs. Randy Stevens and Koshy Oommen--moderated by Wendy Bennett.The Greater Terre Haute NAACP Youth Council presented a panel discussing the issue of higher education and debating whether this is a basic human right. ISU’s Social Work Department students staged the POVERTY—It’s NOT a Game simulation and the Office of Diversity led participants in the annual March Against Hate around campus, followed by pizza in The Commons. Canned goods and non-perishable food items were collected for the local Food Bank. Hoosiers for Commonsense Health Care presented the PBS film, Sick Around the World, followed by a moderated discussion of problems with U.S. health care system. ISU English Education majors (supervised by Professor Stanley Evans) and 8th graders and teachers at Chauncey Rose Middle School created a program called “Falling Through the Cracks,” emphasizing the rights of special needs students and mental health issues. They read Jane Conley's Crazy Lady and viewed the film, Benny and Joon as part of this effort.


The ninth annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day focused on Article IV of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms,” with particular emphasis on efforts to end Human Trafficking.  Our Mistress of Ceremonies was Britany Dean, freshman Honors Communication student at Indiana State.  The opening ceremonies crowd of 500 was welcomed by ISU President Daniel J. Bradley, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, Vigo County Schools’ Superintendent Daniel Tanoos, and Terre Haute Human Relations Commission Director, Jeff Lorick.  The Ryves Hall Youth Center After School Program presented a video of children discussing their art work in support of Human Rights Day and poster presentations from ISU freshmen in the U.S. Diversity class were on display throughout the day.  ISU’s NAACP College Chapter mounted an interactive exhibit, Tunnel of Oppression, and the Terre Haute Catholic Charities truck accepted donations for the Food Bank.  Dr. Mary Burke of Carlow University, founder and director of the Project to End Human Trafficking, gave the keynote address.  She called for increased efforts to stop human trafficking—with particular attention to the rights of victims and the need for enforcement of laws against the practice.  Juana Bordas, founder of MiCasa Women’s Center in Denver, explained the importance of multi-cultural leadership to create a global society centered on human rights.  FBI Agent Michael J. Prendergast spoke about law enforcement efforts to curtail human trafficking, including examples of cases prosecuted in Indiana.  The Ethics and Leadership Club from Terre Haute North Vigo High School presented a panel discussion, What Would You Do?, focusing on real world decision-making.  Kathleen Desautels, SP, nationally known activist, compared present-day human trafficking to slavery and stressed that some societal systems perpetuate the practice.  Haley Volpintesta, Columbia U Masters in Human Rights, stressed that youth participation in the sex trade is increasing and must be viewed as exploitative.  Dahlia Wasfi, M.D., peace activist, discussed her studies of human trafficking in Iraq.  K.P. Singh, architect and city planner, discussed the role of spirituality and inter-faith action in support of human rights.  Tarah Demant, Midwest Coordinator with Amnesty International, stressed that rape and human trafficking are often used as tools of war to undermine social systems.  Documentary filmmaker Maia Wechsler illustrated the power of visual images to educate about social issues (with a small cut from Playground, an upcoming film produced by George Clooney).  A.Theressa Bynum of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition, Inc., moderated a panel discussion, “Human Trafficking from the Perspectives of Social Science and International Relationships,” featuring Eric Anderson, Richard Lotspeich, Gurmeet Sekhon, and K.P. Singh.  They Come with Their Beautiful Words, an original, one-act play written by ISU Emeritus Professor Gary Daily and directed by ISU Emeritus Professor Lou Hackleman, was performed to two appreciative audiences in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts Bldg. The March Against Hate, organized by ISU’s College Chapter, NAACP, ended with public speakers and pizza at The Fountain.  The Steering Committee extends special thanks to our campus and community partners and our enthusiastic participants as we begin to plan for Terre Haute Human Rights Day 2011.

Human Rights Day 2011

Our tenth annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day emphasized the right to an education, as expressed in Article XXVI of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1) Elementary and fundamental education shall be free and compulsory for everyone; technical/professional education shall be generally available, and 2) Education shall be directed to full development of individuals and shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, races, religions. . .furthering the maintenance of peace. Terre Haute’s own Senator Birch Bayh was recognized as an Indiana National Treasure for his contribution to equal rights for racial minorities and women. Keynote speaker Kelsey Timmerman explained the global nature of human rights by tracing his journey to find out where his underwear was made and under what circumstances, as described in his book, Where Am I Wearing? Featured speaker T.J. Leyden described his journey from a life of hatred inside a Neo-Nazi organization to fighting against hatred and bigotry—accomplished through education. Other speakers included Joy Castro, author of The Truth Book, inspiring young girls to find their own voices to act against domestic violence; Debra Erenberg, on Human Rights activism through Amnesty International; Denise Justice, supporting educational rehabilitation incarcerated offenders; Kristen Fleschner, describing the plight of Bush Babies and child soldiers in East Africa; Sr. Jenny Howard moderating a session on “The Providence Effect” in poverty-stricken Garfield Park, Chicago; Fred Edwords illuminating the compromising effect of Creationist political activism on quality science education; El-Fadel Arbab describing his personal experience with genocide in Darfur, encouraging action to end the violence; Yvonne Creekbaum of CODA exposing children’s experiences of a cycle of violence in domestically abusive households; Sr. Maureen Freeman, Director of White Violent Center for Eco-Justice, explaining the interdependence of all creation;a panel discussion moderated by Teri Cole about bullying and violence affecting LGBT kids and teens; John Loflin describing the relevance of the hip-hop culture; two workshops describing Sycamore Safe Zones at ISU. Catholic Charities of Terre Haute collected canned goods for the local Food Bank and the Ryves Hall Youth Center presented an original anti-bullying play featuring more than 20 student actors.

Human Rights Day 2012

The Right to Decent, Affordable Housing (Article 25 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) was the central theme for the 11th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day on April 10, 2012. Approximately 500 people attended this inaugural event in ISU's beautiful Sycamore Banquet Facility on a spectacular early spring day. Keynote speaker Merilyn D. Brown, Attorney Advisor for HUD's Midwest Regional Office and former Director of the Fair Housing Enforcement Division, Office of Investigations (DC), explained the federal government's role in developing decent, affordable public housing stock. Her dynamic presentation kept audience members on their toes as she walked through the crowd--challenging those present to consider the importance of "hearth and home" in their own lives and the lives of fellow citizens. More than 600 additional participants were offered a choice of twelve workshops, including: Intentional Living, Ending Forced Evictions, Indiana's Complex Housing Needs, Foreclosures and Legal Rights of Owners/Renters, Development/Displacement in Colombia, the Right to Fair Housing, Women and the Struggle for Equality in Housing, Religion and Fair Housing, and Indiana State's Safe Zone initiative. Artistic representations of housing issues were displayed throughout the day. Canned goods were collected to support Terre Haute's Catholic Charities Food Bank and several tables featured information about community agencies in Terre Haute and Indianapolis. Following up, ISU will sponsor a Habitat for Humanity build this Spring/Summer. Join us again next year!

Human Rights Day 2013

On March 26, 2013, Terre Haute Human Rights Day #12 highlighted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.   Master of Ceremonies Jeff Lorick (Executive Director, Terre Haute Human Relations Commission) recognized ISU President Daniel J. Bradley, Terre Haute Mayor Duke A. Bennett, Superintendent of Vigo County Schools Danny Tanoos, and representatives from Vigo County South High School’s STAND group.  

The Keynote Address was given by Professor Celia Williamson—founder of the Ohio Second Chance Program, FBI commended for its service to trafficking victims.  Her challenging, fact-filled presentation was followed by candid and lively questions and answers. Session I Workshops included a presentation by David Grant from Destiny Rescue—whose organization investigates brothels, provides rescue services to child victims, and works to prevent further abuse; Tell Jake to Sleep on the Roof (an original play/Readers Theatre Presentation adapted and directed by Cathy McGuire—revealing issues surrounding women’s right to birth control); and Bafa’ Bafa’—highlighting skills and approaches to prepare for living/working in other cultures.  Session II Workshops featured Evan and Fernanda Sanchez of “Unite Here,” the Indianapolis group focusing on abuse of women during conventions and presenting a plan for changing this reality.    A Panel Presentation laid out a brief history of sex trafficking in the U.S. and made practical suggestions to the general population about how to help prevent and stop trafficking.     Kand McQueen explained Safe Zone, an ISU Office of Diversity initiative working to create a safe and affirming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ).   Session II Workshops—Kristin Garvey of the Indiana Commission for Women highlighted efforts to build capacity for women’s progress in Indiana.  Robert Naiman discussed the current drone program, encouraging Hoosiers to seek increased transparency and accountability.

Jim and Tomi Allison explained the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission court ruling of 2010.  Amnesty International hosted a workshop, “Do the Right Thing: Ethical Dilemmas,” challenging participants to recognize and apply ethical values in their own lives.   Ann Girresch and Stuart Mora (House of the Little Flower, Indianapolis) —explained their innovative approach for working with marginalized people—especially homeless women and families. Session III Workshops—A.J.Segneri explained the Stonewall Riot in 1969 and subsequent efforts to enhance tolerance. Sharon Langlotz of “Violence Against Women” gave a status report on Indiana and current, innovative approaches used to address this issue.           

Early attendees previewed The Invisible War, an investigative documentary which exposes the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military, names the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and exposes its profound personal and social consequences.