Home Local News Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day December 6

Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day December 6

by Cass Teague
Muriel Nolen, Executive Director, Tennessee Human Rights Commission (photo by Julie Brinker)

Tennesseans gather each year in December for the Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights. You are invited to join the Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day on Wednesday, December 6. During the event, leaders are acknowledged and awards recognize human rights champions in three categories: Rising Advocate, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement.

Muriel Nolen, director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, will serve as master of ceremonies for the affair. Rev. Davie Tucker, director of Metro Human Relations Commission, will comment on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and how it applies locally. The president of the Nashville Cordell Hull chapter of the United Nations Association, David Whitfield, will speak on the 75th Anniversary of the UDHR. The theme, “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All,” will be explored by a special panel.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Ludye Wallace, who served on the Metro Council of Nashville and Davidson County for twenty-eight years, and has served the Nashville Chapter of the NAACP in various roles for decades.

Outstanding Service Awards are going to the following: Tamika Braden, who founded The HELP Center in Nashville in 2014 to help prison inmates get good-paying jobs, continued education, and support after they return to their homes; Jenn Garcia, who has been dedicated to serving youth in Davidson County and Middle TN with the Oasis Center for nearly 20 years; and Martesha Johnson Moore, the Nashville Metropolitan Chief Public Defender, a Nashville native and the first African-American to be elected to this position who has devoted her entire career to public defense work.

Rising Advocate Awards will go to Kosar Kosar, an organizer at TIRRC, advocating on behalf of immigrant/refugee communities across TN; and Zacnite Vargas, President of the Tennessee chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) who has been instrumental in forming the Health Equity Coalition, addressing health disparities in Davidson County.

A committee of human rights organizations, nonprofits, and advocates, including the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, Tennessee United for Human Rights, the Scarritt Bennett Center, the Nashville Cordell Hull chapter of the United Nations Association, the Church of Scientology and others, work together each year to plan the event.

“Human Rights Day is a day to remember past advances in human rights, to honor those who have made our lives better. It’s also a day to refresh and restore and be inspired for the following year, and a sort of annual reunion of the state’s various agencies and organizations who work daily to make human rights a fact,” says planning committee chair Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology in Nashville. “The day centers around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and this year we focus on how human rights advance universal freedom.”

Tennessee United for Human Rights is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to forwarding the knowledge and protection of human rights by and for all Mankind.  It is the Tennessee chapter of United for Human Rights International. The Human Rights Day event will take place on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 5:00 pm, at the Church of Scientology, 1130 8th Ave S, Nashville TN 37203.

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