A December to Remember
So much has happened in 2013--growing national acceptance of same sex marriage, health care reforms, global political shifts--and yet, there is still much to be done in the human rights arena.
In this season of giving, we remember those who make a difference in our lives. This year, please consider making a donation to the Salem Award Foundation in someone's name, or as yourself, and give the gift of good will.
The upcoming events and dates below are opportunities for all of us to recognize and remember those who speak out and take action to alleviate discrimination, promote tolerance, and achieve justice for victims of
December Dates of Note
December 6 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Ratified: Abolition of Slavery (1865)
The 13th amendment formally abolishing slavery in the United States was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. The amendment provides that, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
This amendment, along with the 14th and 15th, forms a trio of Civil War amendments that greatly expanded the civil rights of Americans. Learn more.
December 10 Human Rights Day
In 1950, the UN General Assembly proclaimed Human Rights Day, to bring to the attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
This year's Human Rights Day theme, 20 YEARS: WORKING FOR YOUR RIGHTS, marks the 20th anniversary of the Vienna World Conference. This conference lead to the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and
presented the international community a common plan for the strengthening of human rights work around the world. Learn more.
December 16 240th Anniversary of The Boston Tea Party
In 1773, one of the iconic nonviolent protests in U.S. history happened in Boston. Sixty demonstrators known as "The Sons of Liberty," disguised themselves as Native Americans and destroyed the East India Company's entire tea supply in defiance of a tax that Americans had not authorized.
Protestors boarded the ships at night and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode contributed to the escalation of events that lead to the American Revolution. Learn more.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Born on December 16, American anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978) was known for her outspokenness regarding social issues such as women's rights, child rearing, population control and world hunger. Mead traveled to the South Pacific at age 23 to study primitive peoples for her doctoral research. The resulting book, Coming of Age in Samoa, pushed Americans to see other cultures and understand the complexity of the human experience. It remains a best seller to this day. Learn more.
December 27 First trial held for Hutus connected with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. (1996)
In 1994, a bloody civil war broke out between the two main ethnic groups of Rwanda, the Hutu and the Tutsi. After the Hutu army seized power, it waged an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against the Tutsi population that resulted in over 800,000 lives lost. Learn more.
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