“Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up for Your Rights”
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF Burlington) in partnership with UVM’s Center for Cultural Pluralism is sponsoring a free program on The Importance of Eleanor Roosevelt to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Critical Reflections on Friday, October 11th at 7 PM at Billings-Ira Allen Lecture Hall, 26 University Place in Burlington. The featured speaker, Dr. Blanche Wiesen Cook, is a historian and author of a 3-volume, definitive biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.
This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Eleanor Roosevelt’s work chairing the committee that drafted this historic document: a testament to the enduring universality of the values of equality, justice, peace, and human dignity. The UDHR represents a milestone in the history of human rights, setting forth the 30 fundamental human rights that are to be universally protected.
In this time of spreading nationalism and gross violations of human rights across the globe, Eleanor Roosevelt noted that it is necessary of us all to work for human rights and peace. “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. … Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Many individuals in the United States are unfamiliar with the UDHR. Dr. Cook’s presentation will help students and adults learn about, promote, engage and reflect on human rights with the goal of encouraging everyone to stand up for human rights, every day. As Jamaican Bob Marley sang: “Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
Dr. Blanche Wiesen Cook is the author of 3-volumes about Eleanor Roosevelt: Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884–1933 (published 1992); Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2, The Defining Years, 1933–1938 (2000); and Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962 (2016). Volume One was awarded the 1992 biography prize from the Los Angeles Times. A New York Times review of the third volume called the entire biography a “rich portrait” of the “monumental and inspirational life of Eleanor Roosevelt. NPR included the third volume in its “Best books of 2016.”
This program is supported in part by the Vermont Humanities Council, American Civil Liberties Union of VT, Amnesty International Champlain Valley, WILPF US, Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust, Ben and Jerry’s Community Action Team, Green Mountain Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, WILPF Burlington, and the University of Vermont (UVM): Center for Cultural Pluralism; Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies; College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; College of Education and Social Services; Honors College; Larner College of Medicine; and Graduate College.