A stand against tyranny, injustice
By NICK JOHNSON
Published April 4, 2007
A new event that aims to promote tolerance and raise awareness about basic human rights is coming to downtown this weekend.
The Human Rights Walkathon is scheduled for Saturday in North Straub Park.
The event is organized by the Tampa Bay chapter of the Youth for Human Rights, a group that volunteers to educate people about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The chapter is part of an international organization that uses presentations and public service announcements to spread information.
This will be the first local event in support of the chapter, which was founded by Travis Weber in 2005.
Amina Mobley, 17, is a Youth for Human Rights member who has been active in the group for more than a year.
She said the group was a fun way to become involved.
"Our purpose is to educate kids about what human rights are," Mobley said.
"So many people are unaware, and if you're unaware of your rights, you can't stand up for them," she said
The group fulfills its purpose by visiting schools and organizations and providing informational pamphlets and DVDs about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The declaration was created by a United Nations committee including Eleanor Roosevelt in 1948, and has been used as an international standard of human rights.
The public service announcements that the youth group promote focus on each of the 30 stated rights in the declaration.
Event organizer Linda Drazkowski said she hopes that the day's activities will help raise money to support the organization's educational efforts.
She would also like to see the walkathon become an annual event.
The walk begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public.
Registration is free, but donations will be accepted. T-shirts will also be available for $10.
The walk is only about a third of a mile around the park and should be manageable for people of all ages.
Included will be speakers of various faiths.
Entertainment will include dance groups, gospel singing and a classic rock band.
There will also be booths from the Youth for Human Rights and other local organizations.
"I wanted to do something that people could participate in," Drazkowski said.
"It's something all the different groups can come together and agree on."
Nick Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 893-8215.
For more information or to register for the walkathon online, visit www.humanrights walkathon.org. For more information on the Youth for Human Rights organization, visit www.youthforhumanrights.org.