Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Join the Friendship Walk on September 24th

Photo Credit: Patty Mooney
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14907688

OKC Friendship Walk will Nurture Our 

Culture of Peace, Celebrate Diversity


Saturday, September 24th -- 2pm
at Oklahoma City's Myriad Gardens

The first UNA-OKC Friendship Walk will be on Saturday, September 24th, 2pm, at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City. The walk will be a part of the Turkish Festival, and it will demonstrate the rich diversity of Oklahoma's communities as well as our commitment to building a culture of peace and friendship. It will commemorate the International Day of Peace (9/21) as proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

After the Peace Walk, enjoy
some yummy Turkish cuisine.
Everyone is invited to participate. There is no charge for admission to the festival. The only requirement is for walkers to maintain a positive attitude and a peaceful demeanor. Flags, signs, and banners are welcome, as well as expressions of support for the sustainable development of our planet in a global culture of peace.

The Turkish Food and Art Festival is one of Oklahoma's premier international festivals. It will open at 10am. The festival features an inviting mix of authentic Turkish food as well as demonstrations of Water Marbling (Ebru) Art, Turkish Ceramic Arts, Calligraphy, and Henna Art. Will you be able to purchase some delicious baklava? Yes, of course, you will. It is the Turkish Festival, after all!

At 2pm, the Friendship Walk will take place. It will be introduced by Sinead Maguina, president of the OKC Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA. A welcome message will be delivered by Maureen Heffernan, Executive Director of the Myriad Gardens Foundation. Additional remarks will be offered by Kuaybe Basturk of the Interfaith Dialog Institute and Aamr Hasanjee of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Central Oklahoma.

The 7th Annual Turkish Food and Art Festival at the Myriad
Gardens in Oklahoma City will feature festivities such as
whirling dervishes, arts, crafts and Turkish cuisine.
The walk will follow a path around the perimeter of the Myriad Gardens. Walkers will be accompanied by flutes and drums.

Walkers are invited to bring signs and banners expressing support for peace, freedom, human rights, and international solidarity. (Please no partisan messages). The organizers welcome and encourage the participation of school groups, faith communities, national heritage associations, and organizations supporting the values expressed in the United Nations Charter -- peace, tolerance, equal rights, and the social advancement of all peoples.

The walk is being planned to coincide closely with the International Day of Peace (as proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations).

Sponsors of the Friendship Walk include the United Nations Association, the Raindrop Turkish House, the Respect Diversity Foundation, and other community-based organizations.

For more information: www.facebook.com/okcdayofpeace/

About the Myriad Gardens

The Myriad Botanical Gardens are located at 301 W. Reno Avenue in Oklahoma City. The Myriad Gardens is one of the metro’s most beloved public spaces, offering its visitors a 17-acre natural escape in the very heart of downtown OKC.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Celebrate Nelson Mandela Day with Us


To Honor Nelson Mandela's Life of
Service to Humanity, Your OKC Chapter of
The United Nations Association is Organizing
A Crew to Support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.


Join our Team ... Saturday, July 16th, from 9:30am to 12 Noon. 

Here are the instructions to sign up for our 3rd Annual Mandela Day Service Project. This year's project is sorting and packing food at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. If you are able to join us on Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 9:30am - 12:00 Noon, please follow the instructions below to secure your spot.

About your shift:
 
Saturday, July 16th
9:30 - 12:00pm
10 volunteers (could be more)
Sorting/Packing Food

General Information:


  • You must be at least 8 years old to volunteer
  • Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Volunteers under 18 must bring a signed Parental Consent Form.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes.
  • No loose, revealing or offensive clothing.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your shift begins.
  • Before your shift, each member of your group must register online. (Please register no later than Wednesday, July 13th). 


Here's what you need to do: 

Step 1. Go to the RFB registration page ... Enter your email address; create an account; add your name to the crew list.

...

Photo: Oklahoma Gazette
Step 4
If you aren't able to register, enter this Event Registration Code:

unaokc

You'll receive a friendly email message from the Regional Food Bank confirming that you have registered correctly.

For more detailed registration instructions, watch this video or view this PDF file.

If you have any difficulties, feel free to call our friends at the Regional Food Bank: (405)600-3161 or email them at volunteer@regionalfoodbank.org. The folks at the Regional Food Bank are more than happy to help!

There is no cost to sign up ... Please be sure to register online at least 3 days in advance of our service day ... So, register by Wednesday (so we'll be able to confirm the number of workers on our team). 

Remember to bring your energy and passion and good spirit. 


About Nelson Mandela Day


Nelson Mandela at the United Nations
Every year on July 18th — the day Nelson Mandela was born -- the UN observes "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the global culture of peace and freedom.

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

Members and friends of the United Nations Association are invited to join us in this service project.

Be sure to register online.

We hope to see you Saturday at the Regional Food Bank! 

Monday, February 29, 2016

International Women's Day in OKC

Join Us at "DC on Film Row" for
a Timely and Insightful Discussion
on Advancing Women & Girls Through STEM 


Saturday, March 5th, at 1pm -- It's Free! 

Your OKC Chapter of the United Nations Association invites you to observe International Women's Day with us on Saturday, March 5th. We'll be visiting Oklahoma City's Film Row district where we will convene for a discussion on the subject of, "Advancing Women and Girls in Society through STEM." That's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Reserve Your Seat -- Register Online Now -- Free Tickets Available while They Last
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/international-womens-day-in-okc-tickets-22474218994

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right,
but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous
and sustainable world. Read more at
www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality

Why this topic? 

Well, gender equality has always been a core issue for the United Nations. Over the course of the next 15 years, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to economic development of the world. Gender equality is one of the major themes of the UN's Goals for Sustainable Development.

Plus, science and technology are valuable tools for the advancement of those goals.

Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, writes:

"The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the power of science as a driver for human rights and dignity, poverty eradication and the protection of the planet.... More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women."  

To lift up this message, we have assembled a stellar team of local experts:

- Barbara Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer at Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma

- Amanda Harlin, Techlahoma Board of Directors, Secretary

Dr. Sezin Kadioglu, OU Gallogly College of Engineering

They will offer their own perspectives on the importance of closing the gender gap in STEM.

The panel discussion will take place from 1pm to 2pm at DC on Film Row inside of Dunlap Codding at 609 W. Sheridan Ave. We will offer light snacks and drinks. This is a free program. Find more information at our Facebook Event page.

Who Should Attend? 

Men, Women, Teens, and Children -- anyone who is interested in gender equality, careers in science & technology, sustainable development, and the future of our planet.

Priya Desai, president of UNA-OKC, says, "Feel free to bring your children to learn more." 

According to the most recent UNESCO Science Report, women account for only 28 percent of researchers across the world, with the gap deepening at the higher echelons of decision-making.

A solar engineer trainer in India. "No country can move
forward with only half its creativity, energy, and dreams." 
Irina Bokova puts this problem into a global perspective:

"Women have less access to funding, to networks, to senior positions, which puts them at a further disadvantage in high impact science publishing.  

"This calls for deep and sustained change, starting in the earliest years through improved participation of women and girls in science education, training and research activities at all levels. 

"Girls’ and women’s access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) cannot be envisaged when girls and women remain the majority of out-of-school children, youth and illiterate adults. This gap throws a shadow over entire societies, as no country can move forward with only half its creativity, energy, and dreams."  

A "Cool" Event Space

DC on Film Row is a unique venue for this program. Our friends at DC on Film Row tell us that their goal is "To celebrate the incredible diversity of creativity, innovation, and passion within Oklahoma City and to provide a venue... to those groups and individuals working to bind us all together and make our home a cooler and better place."

DC on Film Row is located inside of Dunlap Codding, 609 W Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

Support Your Local Chapter of the UN Association 

To make the event more special, we invite you to participate in a Silent Auction supporting the good work of the UN Association in Oklahoma City. Auction items include:

• Avon Spa gift basket

• Gift basket from JR Watkins

• A Dodger Baseball gift basket - has baseball, shirt, banner (no tix)

Science Museum Oklahoma offers a diverse collection
of  interactive and historic exhibits and programs.
Photo by TravelOK.com
• A Science Museum Oklahoma gift basket- has goodies and TICKETS!

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. - See more at: http://unausa.org/about-us#sthash.Myew2kX3.dpuf

Join us on Saturday as we step up our efforts for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s human rights.

Did You Know? 

When you join the United Nations Association of the USA, you are eligible to join the "UNA Women" Affinity Group. UNA Women advocates for UN programs that further women's rights and empowerment nationally and internationally.

UNA Women takes direction from the interests and passions of current UNA-USA members who convene in person and virtually, to advance important and timely issues related to women and girls. Participation in UNA Women is open to any current UNA-USA member.

See more at: UNA Women

Monday, February 22, 2016

Enjoy a Burger with Us!

Support Your OKC Chapter of
the United Nations Association


Eat at S&B Burger Joint on February 23rd; 
A Portion of Sales will be Donated to UNA-OKC; 
Only at one Location: 7640 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City. 

Enjoy a burger, support your local chapter of the UN Association. It's part of "Pay It Forward Tuesday: Dine for a Cause" -- a community service event of the S&B Burger Joint.

It's easy to participate. Visit the S&B location at 7640 Northwest Expressway (East of the intersection with Council Road).

Order anything from their menu. They are open from 11 in the Morning 'til 12 at Night. You don't need to sign up in advance. You don't need to have a flyer or mention a code. Just show up, and enjoy some great food at S&B -- only at their location at 7640 Northwest Expressway.

Whether you dine-in or carry out, S&B will donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit our United Nations Association Oklahoma City Chapter!

When you contribute to your Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association, you support unique programs and activities designed exclusively for our community. 

Example: Our UN Day Celebration of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development;
Example: Film presentations on Human Trafficking, the Empowerment of Women and Girls; and More;
Example: Special Community Talks with Dr. Marc Levin of "Doctors Without Borders."
Example: Support for Model United Nations conferences for high school and middle school students.

A majority of our community events and activities are offered at no cost to the community. It is part of our commitment to the mission of the United Nations Association -- to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. - See more at: http://unausa.org/about-us#sthash.uZmWwq9X.dpuf

For more than 40 years, your OKC chapter of the United Nations Association has supported educational activities in our community. We rely on the smart work of enthusiastic volunteers and the generous contributions of our friends and neighbors. (We do not receive any funding from the United Nations or any government organization).

Join at unausa.org
Our three main sources of funding are:

<>  Membership dues;
<>  Fund-raising events (like this one at S&B Burgers); and
<>  Freewill contributions from community supporters.

Got some extra cabbage? Donate here

When our leadership team met earlier this month, we voted to make a $450 investment in Model UN activities in Oklahoma. It doesn't sound like much, but that small amount represents about 20% of our chapter's on-hand cash resources. To sustain our programming, we need your support!

We're proud to support American leadership in the United Nations. The values of the UN Charter resonate in us: 

"To practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
"To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
"To ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
"To employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples...." 

Join us at S&B Burger Joint, 7640 Northwest Expressway, on Tuesday, February 23rd. 

Bring a friend! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Events for the Community to Enjoy

From Your Oklahoma City Chapter
of the United Nations Association: 



  • A Model UN Session for Middle School 
  • A Panel Discussion on Empowering Girls Through STEM
  • Two Great Movies
  • Plus ... Enjoy a Burger for the Cause! 


Your OKC Chapter of the United Nations Association is proud to announce an exciting line-up of activities for our members and friends in the Oklahoma City area.

Tuesday, February 16th -- 6pm

"L'auberge Espagnole" (movie)
Where: The UCO International House
912 Chowning Ave. 
Edmond, OK

We're teaming up with The Language Company of Edmond for a FREE foreign film screening at the UCO International House. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

There will be plenty of international students in the audience as well as members and friends of our UNA-OKC chapter.

The film, "L'auberge Espagnole," is about a strait-laced French student who moves into an apartment in Barcelona with a cast of six other characters from all over Europe. Together, they speak the international language of love and friendship.

Here's a short review from a reviewer in Cork, Ireland:
"The first thing I wanted to do after watching this film was watch it again (because I'd missed lots with all the laughing I did). I'm European and I've studied abroad and I've as good as lived with Spanish, french, Italian and German people. The film was full of stereotypes, which, more often than not, p*** people off, and reading some of the other reviews I see that it did p*** people off. But, this film gets the stereotypes so right I cannot fault it. Except for maybe the way the french guy became a drunken party animal. The English guy was the perfect "geezer" stereotype. Drunk, annoying, insulting but shines through in the end. As well as the stereotypes the film also got the emotional aspect of studying abroad correct. At first he's shy, doesn't know anybody, misses home, doesn't know his way around. As time progresses it becomes his home and when the time comes to leave, it is extremely difficult. A feeling people can only understand if they've experienced it. I highly recommend this film." 

The film is rated [R] for language and sexual content. See a complete description of the film at the IMDB website,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283900/

Tuesday, February 23rd 

"Pay It Forward Tuesday: Dine for a Cause"
Where: S&B Burger Joint 
7640 Northwest Expressway 
Oklahoma City, OK   73132

Enjoy a burger, support your local chapter of the UN Association. It's part of "Pay It Forward Tuesday: Dine for a Cause" -- a community service event of the S&B Burger Joint.

It's easy to participate. Visit the S&B location at 7640 Northwest Expressway (near the intersection with Council Road). Order anything from their menu. They are open from 11 in the Morning 'til 12 at Night.

Whether you dine-in or carry out, S&B will be donating a portion of the proceeds to benefit our United Nations Association Oklahoma City Chapter! Make sure you let them know what you're there to support the chapter!

"UNA OKC supports community programs and encourages active civic participation on community and global issues, and your participation in Pay It Forward Tuesday allows us to continue to provide quality public programming." 

Tuesday, March 1st -- 9am to 4pm 

Model UN Simulation for Middle School Students
Where: The University of Oklahoma, College of Continuing Education
1700 Asp Avenue 
Norman, OK   73072-6400

It's the Middle School Model United Nations Conference of the Southwest. Middle school students will practice skills that will help them through a lifetime -- knowledge and skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communications, and an appreciation for the good work of the United Nations.

Can You Volunteer to Help Lead a Team of Middle School Delegates?

Team leaders are needed to help lead discussions within the simulated country delegations. Here's how our organizer describes the job of the team leader:

"You will be a team leader from 9:30- 11:30. The topic the students will be researching is Nuclear Disarmament. Your group will be required to research your assigned country and its involvement in Nuclear Disarmament. Each group will then be given a country question sheet... and an iPad. Your job is to answer questions and assist them as they familiarize themselves with your country's involvement." 

At the end of the day students will experience an abbreviated Model UN session and will practice the concepts they learned.

If you can help on Tuesday, March 1st, please contact Vivian at vivianarmitage@yahoo.com.

Thanks! 

Saturday, March 5th  -- 1pm to 2pm

Panel Discussion: "Advancing Women & Girls in Society Through STEM" 
Where: DC on Film Row 
... inside of Dunlap Codding 
609 W Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK   73102

Just 28% of researchers are women, according to the
UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Find out more in this
Earlier this month, the United Nations celebrated the first ever International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11th). Our panel discussion is planned to coincide with International Women's Day (March 8th).

The United Nations is committed to promoting gender equality in science by advocating global access to education, training and research for women in ‪Science‬, ‪Technology‬, ‪Engineering‬ and ‪Mathematics (STEM)‬. We also celebrate and recognize the many achievements of women in the sciences.

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

We will be having someone from the Girl Scouts STEM Program join us. Feel free to bring your children to learn more.

We will be adding more information about our panelists closer to the event. Find out more at our Facebook Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/807586486053205/

Sunday, March 6th  -- 1:45pm to 4:15pm 

"A Bottle in the Gaza Sea" (movie) 
Emanuel Synagogue  
900 NW 47th  
Oklahoma City, OK   73118

We're co-sponsoring this film with the Jewish / Muslim Film Institute and many other community organizations. This is a free event. Please RSVP so that we can plan for refreshments and seating. To RSVP for this film, visit: www.jewishmuslimfilminstitute.com

For question, contact: rdfrdf@cox.net

Here's a plot summary from IMDB.com:

"Tal is 17 years old. Naim is 20. She's Israeli. He's Palestinian. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. They were born in a land of scorched earth, where fathers bury their children. They must endure an explosive situation that is not of their choosing at an age where young people are falling in love and taking their place in adult life. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront this harsh reality to grapple with it, and thereby ever so slightly change it. Only 60 miles separate them but how many bombings, check-points, sleepless nights and bloodstained days stand between them?" 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2082496/combined

Reviewers say:

"A rare jewel of a movie. Highly recommended." 

"A movie which uses no less than four languages, but its real tongue is that of peace, love and understanding; the final sequence will drive you to tears. I'm French, I do hope they will meet in my country!" 

"We see the complexity of the political situation on both sides of the divide and it gives the viewer a very realistic idea of how tragic the situation is for both sides. A truly excellent film." 


Stay Connected with us:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UNA.OKC
Twitter: @UNA_OKC
Website: www.una-okc.org
Blog: http://una-okc.blogspot.com/

Are You a Member Yet? 
http://www.unausa.org/membership


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Photos from the Program

While there are champions like these among us, the human 
rights of our people in Oklahoma will never be denied. We 
were pleased to join the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights 
Alliance in honoring more than 30 human rights heroes 
at the State Capitol on Thursday, December 10th.













The program opened with a ceremonial invocation led by Albert Gray Eagle.



"We The People Oklahoma" were honored for their efforts to call attention to
police violence as well as misconduct in the office of the Tulsa County Sheriff.































John Pettyjohn introduced himself as the son of an undocumented immigrant. A proud Marine (retired), Mr. Pettyjohn described his volunteer work in support of his fellow veterans -- including serving on a suicide intervention team.






Father Paul Zahler, OSB, PhD, presided over the Human Rights Day program. Father Paul is the founder / director of the National Institute on Developmental Delays at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee.










Our award winners are from all over the state of Oklahoma -- Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Yukon, Grove, Henryetta, Chickasha, McLoud. They represent the diversity of our great state. 








Sarah Adams-Cornell was honored for her efforts and the efforts of other Native American leaders to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. 





When Isaac Caviness spoke to the audience about his efforts to petition for change in Oklahoma's drug laws, supporters in the gallery raised a banner in support of their initiative. 


Tina Peña is a host of “Temas en Tulsa,” a television program that covers current events and crucial topics of importance to Spanish speaking and English speaking viewers. She was honored at our program. She is shown here sitting in the audience with her father, an immigrant from Peru.


Members of the Gallegos Family received an award given in memory of
their husband and father, Sergio Gallegos. On Facebook, a reader who
attended the Human Rights Day Awards program wrote: "I was particularly
moved by the work of indigenous peoples in Oklahoma and the immigrants
who came to the U.S. with nothing but hope, and have managed to educate
their children and then turn to help others. One family whose parents came
from Mexico with seven children now have seven kids with Associate's Degrees,
five with Bachelor's degrees, two with Master's, and one Juris Doctorate.
Over and over again, we heard how people from Mexico, Peru, India, and other
parts of the globe came here seeking a future for themselves and their children,
and worked hard to achieve that -- and then became citizens, humanitarians
and advocates who make our state and nation better by being here."

See More Photos taken by the Legislative Photographer: 
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/a61rp2yvk92hz6c/AAAfLPlqsK9kPmWpv2SacHaia?dl=0

Acknowledgements

The Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance gratefully acknowledges the contributions of our supporters and co-sponsors, including:

The Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA
Dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations 

Santa Maria Virgen Episcopal Church
Oklahoma City

Following the program at the State Capitiol, participants
enjoyed a delicious lunch at Santa Maria Virgen Episcopal
Church. (Photo courtesy: Otilia Fuentes)
P.E.O.P.L.E. Foundation, Inc.
Oklahoma City

La Oaxaca Bakery
1117 SW 59th Street
Oklahoma City

La Oaxaqueña Panaderia
741 SW 29th Street
Oklahoma City

Cocina De Mino Mexican Restaurant
Oklahoma City

Representative Richard Morrissette
District 92 - Oklahoma City


Saturday, December 12, 2015

All Can Do Something

Comments Delivered by
Rabbi Vered L. Harris, RJE,
on the Occasion of Human Rights Day
at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City


On December 10th, we were proud to honor some of the everyday human rights heroes who walk among us in Oklahoma. One of the recipients was Rabbi Vered L. Harris, RJE of Temple B'nai Israel. We thank her for her continuing human rights work in the state of Oklahoma. Her comments captured the essence of Human Rights, and we would like to share them with you.

I am the rabbi, or spiritual leader, at Temple B'nai Israel. Founded in 1903, we are proud to be the longest operating Jewish house of worship in Oklahoma. Thank you Wilfredo Santos-Rivera and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance for honoring Temple B'nai Israel and me with this award.

Today is the 4th day of the holiday of Hanukkah. During this Festival of Lights Jews remember a time when our ancestors were persecuted for refusing to give up our heritage and assimilate into the larger society. Our own experiences over the past 4,000 years demand we be sensitive to the plights of others.

Over 2,000 years ago the Jewish sage Hillel used to say: (Mishnah, Pirkei Avot 2:5*)

"...a boor cannot fear sin,"

Because he is so wrapped up in only himself he doesn't notice how his actions ripple out and can hurt others,

"nor can an unlearned person be pious."

Because attainment of religious heights requires deep, thoughtful study

"A bashful person cannot learn,"

Because asking questions and speaking up are imperative to true learning,

"nor can an impatient one teach." 

Because to affect others we must be patient with their journeys and overcoming their, as well as our own, ignorance.

An artist's depiction of Hillel the Elder
Hillel continued: "Those who are occupied excessively with business will not become wise."

Because wisdom involves knowing the intimacies and the breadth of the human condition,

And finally:

"In a place where there [is no humanity], endeavor to be [humane]."

How sad that there are many media reports today that show us lots of humans, but not a lot of humanity. What an opportunity for each of us to step up and fulfill Hillel's challenge!

This means we must condemn and fight and support solutions for libelous words against Muslims, discrimination against African-Americans and Blacks, inadequate educational opportunities for those in poverty, food insecurity and hunger, homelessness, disregard for indigenous cultures, insufficient medical care, violence against women, senseless shootings... Don't let our limited time limit your list.

Also in ancient Jewish texts we are told: it is not your duty to complete the work of making this world better, but neither are you free to desist from it (Pirkei Avot 2:16*). None can do everything, but all can do something.

May the accomplishments of the individuals in this room collectively inspire our legislators and civic leaders to consult the spirit and the letter of the Declaration of Human Rights. May we see the day when, as the prayerbook in my tradition says, "we are loved, each of us, for no other reason save we are human." And may we each approach our neighbors with that same intent of making their world better, because, surely, this is how we fulfill the highest purpose of our humanity.

*  The citation in Pirkei Avot may differ according to which publication of the Mishnah one is using.