October 20, 2022

By Ian Sloan, UNA-NCA Human Rights Committee Member

On October 20th, 2022, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., UNA-NCA’s Human Rights Committee hosted a celebration of Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s 138th birthday. This year’s celebration included a warm welcome from UNA-NCA’s Board Chair Jill Christianson, heartwarming speeches from Eleanor through uncovered footage and a recorded speech by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, and breakout room interactions throughout the night. In the third consecutive year of the celebration being virtual, the Human Rights Committee highlighted the Former First Lady’s impact on human rights protection and advocacy efforts.

Between those moments was a slideshow acknowledgement of the following human rights movements influenced by Eleanor, as her impact had no limits in time or geography:

1. Day Of The Girl Child’s 10th Anniversary
2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ 74th Anniversary
3. United Nations’s 77th Anniversary

Participants were also divided into two sets of engaged breakout rooms. The first centered on discussing the achievements of the Former First Lady and how human rights advocacy could serve as a template for how to provide aid to marginalized groups during the pandemic. The second provided participants a space for expressing how the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) could better our society’s implementation of laws securing the rights of self-identity, representation, and equal protection of all human beings.

In addition to welcoming the attendance of current UNA-NCA members and supporters, the Human Rights Committee was enthusiastic to receive guests unfamiliar with UNA-NCA, who were interested in learning more about the organization and the human rights legacy of Eleanor. This aforementioned openness to the public in this celebration of Eleanor represented one of numerous examples on how UNA-NCA prioritizes inclusivity and cordiality for event attendees.

To learn more about UNA-NCA membership and other volunteer opportunities, click here.

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