#UN; #InternationalWomenDay; #Equality; #WomenParticipation; #GlobalCommemorations
UN/Canadian-Media: Underscoring the transformative power of women’s equal participation, top United Nations officials called on all stakeholders to take special measures to advance their equal participation and achieve rapid change.
Women campaigning against child marriage at a village in south-centre Niger. Image credit: UNICEF/Juan Haro
In a message on International Women’s Day, marked annually on 8 March, Secretary-General António Guterres outlined “clear evidence”, such as better social protection programs, stronger climate policies, and enduring peace agreements, when women are in governments, parliaments or peace negotiations.
“Whether running a country, a business or a popular movement, women are making contributions that are delivering for all and driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, Mr. Guterres said.
“I call on countries, companies, and institutions to adopt special measures and quotas to advance women’s equal participation and achieve rapid change”, he urged.
The UN began celebrating International Day in 1975, which was designated International Women’s Year. Over the decades it has morphed from recognizing the achievements of women to becoming a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation, in the political and economic arenas.
This year’s commemorations, under the theme, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, comes as the world continues to navigate the pandemic, which has wiped out decades of hard-won progress towards gender equality.
COVID-19 erased decades of progress
Women have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic – from being pushed into poverty, to losing jobs as the informal economy shrinks, to an alarming spike in domestic violence and the unpaid care burden.
However, in spite of the impact on their lives and rights, women have stood resolutely on the frontlines of pandemic response, as essential workers, caregivers and leaders.
“As we recover from the pandemic, support and stimulus packages must target women and girls specifically, including through investments in women-owned businesses and the care economy”, the UN chief urged.
‘No country prospers without women’s engagement’
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN-Women, the Organization’s entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, underlined the need for political will to actively and intentionally support women’s representation.
In a message, she went on to note that concrete efforts such as setting and meeting parity targets, at all levels of government; or special measures such as putting in place and enforcing quotas and policies to address representation for “real progress” on women’s leadership.
Without such measures, progress can be slower or even non-existent and easily reversed, she warned.
“No country prospers without the engagement of women”, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted, calling for women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic, and political situations.
“This is the only way we will get the real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all”, the head of UN-Women added.
‘Responsibility of our lifetimes’
We are at a pivotal moment … the responsibility of our lifetimes is upon us: to create more equitable, inclusive, just, and sustainable post-pandemic societies
— High Commissioner Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that discrimination against women is what is holding them back, not a lack of interest or capacity.
Speaking at a commemorative event at the Human Rights Council, the UN rights chief stressed that discrimination leads to laws that prevent women from controlling their bodies, owning land or accessing credit.
She called for a specific action, including special measures and quotas to “break the cycle of exclusion”, which results in a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities, social norms preventing equal access to education, as well as violence, harassment and harmful practices.
“We are at a pivotal moment … the responsibility of our lifetimes is upon us: to create more equitable, inclusive, just, and sustainable post-pandemic societies”, Ms. Bachelet added.
When women lead, ‘we all win’
Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), highlighted, in particular, the importance of women’s leadership and representation in law enforcement and the judiciary.
Their increased participation ensures more investigations into crimes against women, better policing outcomes, and successful victim-centered approaches, she added, noting that women also enable “systemic changes”, including lower rates of violence and greater integrity through diversity.
“These are major victories for public trust and effective institutions. When women lead, we all win”, Ms. Waly said, recalling the UN Crime Congress Kyoto Declaration, adopted on Sunday, in which governments pledged to remove impediments to the advancement of women within criminal justice systems.
Celebrating women leaders in the Afghan peace process
Empowering these women, and expanding women’s participation, will be critical to ensure a just and sustainable peace that protects the rights of all Afghans
— UNAMA head Deborah Lyons
In Afghanistan, the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) highlighted that 2021 is a “historic opportunity for a lasting peace” that will benefit all Afghans, reiterating that women must play a leading role in decision-making at all levels of the peace process.
“The peace process has brought to the fore strong Afghan women leaders, who have negotiated on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and rallied support in their communities for a peaceful solution to the conflict”, Deborah Lyons, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan said in a message.
“Empowering these women, and expanding women’s participation, will be critical to ensure a just and sustainable peace that protects the rights of all Afghans.”
Listen to the voices of Myanmar’s women: UN Country Team
Meanwhile in Myanmar, the UN Country Team (UNCT) applauded the country’s women and women civil society organizations for their role in Myanmar’s “slow journey towards a more democratic, peaceful and prosperous society”.
“For decades, women, across Myanmar have worked both in the shadows and in broad daylight, often at high risks to their safety and well-being, to advocate for peace, support the peace process and deliver essential services when and where there were no government services to be had”, UNCT said in a statement, praising also their contributions to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are “once again demonstrating their leadership and agency” following more than one month of instability and violence, in the aftermath of the military takeover on 1 February.
The UNCT added that across Myanmar, women, young and old are leading the call for peace, justice and democracy “with courage, braving bullets and beatings, death and detention, challenging patriarchy and social norms in the process”.
“At this time of crisis, we urge all stakeholders, in Myanmar and abroad, to listen to the voices of the women of Myanmar and we echo the words of the UN Secretary-General reaffirming the unwavering support of the UN to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.”
UN agencies together with partners also organized commemorative events around the world to mark the International Day.
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the Global Brest Cancer Initiative, which aims to reduce global breast cancer mortality by 2.5 per cent per year until 2040, thereby averting an estimated 2.5 million deaths. The agency is also hosting an advocacy event Hearing the call of women with breast cancer, where the Initiative will be presented to the global cancer community.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) highlighted the impact of the pandemic on girls, warning that ten million additional child marriages could occur before the end of the decade. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) called on the international community to take urgent steps to protect refugee, displaced and stateless women and girls facing poverty and gender-based violence due to COVID-19 and its socio-economic fallout.
Similarly, in Asia and the Pacific, the UN’s regional development arm, ESCAP, launched a new report The long road to equality, which shows that while levels of women’s representation in the region have increased, the progress “remains uneven”, both within and among countries.
#InternationalWomenDay2021; #COVID19Pandemic; #GenderEquality
New York/Canadian-Media: UN Women is intensifying its preparations for the 2021 Generation Equality Forum amidst a back-drop that shows women’s rights and leadership are under threat, and even more exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current projections show that gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years. This year’s International Women’s Day rings the alarm on rising threats to gender equality and highlights the need to build back better for a more gender-equal future.
International Women’s Day. Image credit: www.internationalwomensday.com
The official UN commemoration, under the theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum”, will feature global leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, activist and actor Eva Longoria, and Somaya Faruqi, member of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team. In addition to offering reflections on the theme of the day, they will call for a redoubling of efforts to increase women’s participation in all aspects of leadership and public life, and on finding new solutions that leave no woman or girl behind.
“We must remember 2021 as a global inflection point on gender equality – a year when women’s rights and leadership accelerated irreversibly. The Generation Equality Forum will be a catalyst for lasting change. A more equal world will be a different world. More inclusive decisions will be made, different voices heard, and different solutions created,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said: “Gender equality is essentially a question of power. A male-dominated world and a male-dominated culture will yield male-dominated results. But the opportunity of man-made problems – and I choose these words deliberately – is that they have human-led solutions. These solutions can only be found through shared leadership and decision-making; and through the full realization of women’s rights, including the right to equal participation. Realizing women’s rights will benefit all of us.”
This International Women’s Day comes at a moment where evidence is growing that the pandemic is having a disproportionate and severe impact on women’s rights – from their role as front-line healthcare workers often without adequate protection, to the loss of jobs as the informal economy shrinks, and the alarming spike in domestic violence and unpaid care burden. Now striking new data on women’s leadership further emphasizes the imperative for action:
Only three countries globally have 50 per cent or more women in parliament, and the same amount have no women in parliament at all.
Women under 30 years- make up less than one per cent of parliamentarians globally.
Women parliamentarians reported in one survey that they experienced nearly twice as much exposure to torture, ill treatment and acts of violence compared to men.
Despite the plaudits given to many women leaders for their COVID-19 response, only 3.5 per cent of the COVID-19 task forces examined in 87 countries had gender parity.
Research shows that when women are in power, overlooked policy issues, such as ending violence against women, childcare services and healthcare get more attention; there is often less government corruption and political parties are more likely to work together. For example, in Liberia during her first term as President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf introduced a specialized court to prosecute violence against women. Norway’s former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and current German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both strengthened family leave provisions and increased funding for early childhood education.
Achieving equality in leadership and decision-making is possible. The Generation Equality Forum’s Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership has developed plans to achieve gender parity in executive and legislative positions in 50 countries by 2026.
UN Women has also put forth a series of concrete recommendations from improving legal frameworks, especially through adopting and enforcing gender quotas, addressing social norms and violence against women in public life, and increasing funding to support women candidates.
Generation Equality Forum taking commitments to the next level
The 2021 Generation Equality Forum, organized by UN Women and co-hosted by the Governments of France and Mexico, in conjunction with youth and civil society, will be a once-in-a-decade opportunity to change our societies and cement women’s leadership as we recover from COVID-19. It will kick off in Mexico City from 29 to 31 March and culminate in Paris, France, in June.
Launching on International Women’s Day, the actions of the Action Coalitions, which will be a main deliverable of the upcoming Generation Equality Forum, will define the most catalytic areas for investment in advancing gender equality. The Coalitions will seek a wide range of commitments from diverse organizations – governments, nonprofits, corporations and youth leaders - on six themes ranging from Feminist Movements and Leadership to Gender-based Violence, to accomplish lasting gender equality.
Actor and activist Eva Longoria will launch at the event the new UN Women campaign for the Generation Equality Forum, #ActForEqual, to create a groundswell of awareness and action in the run-up to the Generation Equality Forum.
Other participants at the virtual International Women’s Day event will include: Élisabeth Moreno, Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities of France; Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity of Argentina, Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Xiye Bastida, Climate Justice Activist; Eddie Ndopu, SDG and Disability Rights advocate; and Aya Chebbi, Pan-African Activist and Chair of Africa Young Women Manifesto Group.
International Women’s Day around the world
In addition to the official UN commemoration, hundreds of events and activations around the world will mark International Women’s Day, including a roundtable by the African Women Leaders Network discussing women’s leadership in Zimbabwe, an audiovisual exhibition with the stories of women survivors of violence in Albania, an online photo gallery honouring “Women in Leadership” by partner agency UNOPS in Thailand, and a panel discussion in Jamaica as part of the joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative on women in leadership addressing gender-based violence in the COVID-19 environment.
For the seventh year in a row, over 90 stock exchanges around the world will raise awareness of the essential role that the private sector can play in strengthening women’s leadership, by hosting a bell-ringing ceremony.
In response to the alarming shadow pandemic of violence against women during the COVID-19 crisis and ahead of International Women’s Day, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign released its “Orange Day” UNiTE Action Circular booklet on 25 February focusing on one of its four critical work areas this year: Funding for organizations. The other three areas are: respond to survivors’ needs, prevent violence and collect data and Action Circulars on those topics will be released through the year.
Art Forum SF presents Virtually SALA Live Series 2021, episode 2 'Emerging women in today's Pakistan'
#LosAngeles; #ArtFormSF; #SALA; #MoniMohsin; #PakistanEmergingWomen; #HamnaZubair
Los Angeles/Canadian-Media: Art Forum SF virtually presents SALA (South Asian Literature & Arts), live series episode 2, 'Emerging women in today’s Pakistan - Pakistan in a new light and it’s high life,' on March 28, 2021, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am PST
In conversation with Moni Mohsin: Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Moni Mohsin, is both an author and a journalist. She began her career at The Friday Times, Pakistan’s first independent weekly newspaper, where she started her long-running, satirical column 'The Diary of a Social Butterfly.' Moni has written four works of fiction — two novels, The End of Innocence and Tender Hooks aka Duty-Free and two books of collected Butterfly columns, The Diary of a Social Butterfly and The Return of the Butterfly. Her latest novel is The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R.
Image: Moni Mohsin. Image credit: www.monimohsin.com
Hamna Zubair, a writer, editor, and culture critic, living in Karachi, Pakistan, will be in conversation with Moni Mohsin about her novels' inspiration, how she created the main characters, social media, and more.
Hamna Zubair. Image credit: Twitter handle
Hamna Zubair, a writer, editor, and culture critic, living in Karachi, Pakistan, will be in conversation with Moni Mohsin about her novels' inspiration, how she created the main characters, social media, and more.
Previously Culture Editor at Dawn.com, Pakistan's largest English-language daily newspaper, Hamna has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and has published in New York City before her work in journalism in Pakistan. Her work on feminism, the arts, and how the two intersect in South Asia has appeared in Vogue, Slate, The Herald, Dawn, and various other publications.
“Do desis yearn to be ruled by a strong man?” asks Moni Mohsin and further invites you to join a lively conversation about celebrity, society, and the cult of masculinity in contemporary South Asia.
Art Forum SF is a not for profit that strives to define and promote all art forms emerging from South Asia. Art Forum SF endeavor to present the visual, the literary, and the performing arts in their various versions, thus promoting a more extensive reach for South Asian voices.
"In the month incredibly dedicated to women, we present two women who are Titans in their field from South Asia, Moni Mohsin, a social butterfly during the day and a moth by night, and Hamna Zubair, who is deeply invested in creating and promoting diverse narratives. Eagerly awaiting their conversation on our platform of Artforum SALA," says Kiran Malhotra, Board of Director, Art Forum SF.
In October 2019, Art Forum SF debuted the South Asian Literature and Art festival with grand success, at the Montalvo Arts Center’s picturesque site in Saratoga, California. The festival featured prominent experts experienced in the cultural-literary-artistic histories of South Asian countries and in different aspects of the humanities, to give talks, have exhibitions and performances, book reading for local audiences. Learn more here.
In these "uncertain times," Art Forum SF moves to host the Virtually SALA Series 2021 with featured talks through the year till it is safe to congregate in a festival setting. Watch Virtually SALA Live Series, Episode 2 on: Facebook: www.facebook.com/southasianartforumsf and YouTube: https://youtu.be/_3T8Ya77HqQ
Follow us on Social Media @ArtForumSF, and for more information, visit www.artforumsf.org or contact:
Ambika Sahay, Executive Director at
For sponsorship, media, and marketing opportunities, contact MUKTA Advertising at email@example.com | 416.716.8582.
#UNESCO; #InternationalMotherLanguageDay; #CommonHeritagePreservation; #Covid19
UNESCO/Canadian-Media: The UN educational and cultural agency, UNESCO, has encouraged people everywhere to celebrate the world’s diversity by supporting multilingualism at school and in everyday life: the theme for International Mother Language Day, observed on Sunday.
At Kres primary school, in Cambodia, the multilingual education curriculum allows children to study in their indigenous language of Kreung, while they learn the national language of Khmer (November 2018). Image credit: © UNICEF/Antoine Raab
The annual commemoration honours linguistic diversity and multilingualism, which UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay called “this priceless heritage of humanity.”
The focus this year is on inclusion, both in the classroom and in society.
“This is essential, because when 40 per cent of the world's inhabitants do not have access to education in the language they speak or understand best, it hinders their learning, as well as their access to heritage and cultural expressions,” Ms. Azoulay said in her message for the Day.
“This year, special attention is being paid to multilingual education from early childhood, so that for children, their mother tongue is always an asset,” she added.
The COVID-19 threat
International Mother Language Day is being celebrated as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has widened inequalities in education. Ms. Azoulay said many of the 1.5 billion students worldwide unable to attend school at the peak of the crisis had no access to distance learning.
The pandemic is also threatening cultural diversity, as festivals and other events have been cancelled, with the impacts affecting creators and the media.
Ms. Azoulay underscored her agency’s commitment to promoting multilingualism, including on the Internet. UNESCO is also the lead agency for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which begins next year.
Preserving a common heritage
She said the International Day, like the Decade, presents the challenge of ensuring the diversity of the world’s languages is preserved as a common heritage.
“For when a language dies, a way of seeing, feeling and thinking the world disappears, and all of cultural diversity is irretrievably diminished,” she said.
“On this International Day, UNESCO therefore calls for the celebration of the world in all its diversity, and support for multilingualism in everyday life.”
#WashingtonDC; #USHolocaustMemorialMuseum; #InternationalHolocaustRemembranceDay
New York/Canadian-Media: The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan 27, usually a moment of reflection was observed by United States (US) Holocaust Memorial Museum after reimagining it as a transatlantic digital commemoration.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Image credit: Wikipedia
Located among our national monuments to freedom on the National Mall at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington DC, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is a living memorial to the Holocaust, and inspires worldwide citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.
The Museum provides a powerful lesson in the freedom, progress, and the need for vigilance in preserving democratic values against the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide and encourage them to cultivate a sense of moral responsibility among our citizens.
Since 1982, the Museum has organized and led the national Days of Remembrance ceremony in the US Capitol with Holocaust survivors, liberators, members of Congress, White House officials, the diplomatic corps, and community leaders in attendance.
This year the museum observed the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan 27, customarily.
The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Jan 27 was designated by the UN General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day and UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.
Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, also today issued the following statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“Today, I join Canadians in paying tribute to the over six million Jews who were murdered and the countless other victims who suffered under the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime. The pain and loss endured during the Shoah will never be forgotten.
We also honour the survivors whose stories and memories paint a vivid portrayal of suffering, courage, and hope in the face of such despicable acts...Through the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, adopted as part of our government’s Anti-Racism Strategy, Canada is equipped with the tools and resources needed to combat antisemitic attitudes and Holocaust denial...Only through effective education, research, and remembrance can we foster a society free of prejudice and discrimination.
In November, I appointed the Honourable Irwin Cotler as Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism...“Learning from our past is key to building a more inclusive future.
On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I encourage Canadians to remember the victims, survivors, and heroes who bore witness to the Shoah. Together, we will vow ‘Never Again’.”
#UN; #InternationalDayOfEducation; #Covid19Pandemic
New York/Canadian-Media: To mark the third International Day of Education on Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute to the resilience of students, teachers, and families in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic that, at its peak, forced almost every school, institute, and university to close its doors.
A teacher and her students practice COVID-19 school re-opening guidelines by wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance at a primary school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Image credit: © UNICEF/Seng
“When education is interrupted, it affects everyone”, he said, and “all of us pay the price”, stressing that education is the foundation for expanding opportunities, transforming economies, fighting intolerance, protecting our planet, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Although this disruption has led to learning innovations, he said, it has also dashed hopes of a brighter future among vulnerable populations.
Avert generational catastrophe
With that in mind, the UN chief said that as the world continues to battle the pandemic, education – as a fundamental right and a global public good – must be protected to avert a generational catastrophe.
Even before the pandemic, some 258 million children and adolescents were out of school, the majority of the girls. Indeed, more than half of 10-year-olds in low and middle-income countries were not learning to read a simple text.
“In 2021, we must seize all opportunities to turn this situation around. We must ensure the full replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education fund, and strengthen global education cooperation”, the Secretary-General explained.
“We must also step up our efforts to reimagine education – training teachers, bridging the digital divide and rethinking curricula to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to flourish in our rapidly changing world”, he said, adding: “Let us commit to promoting education for all — today and every day.”
Struggling at home
Volkan Bozkir, the President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, commended all teachers, who have adapted their classrooms and undertaken remote lessons in order to ensure continuity in education. He also applauded parents, who have done their utmost to facilitate learning at home.
“Above all, I am thinking of all students around the world who are struggling to learn at home, perhaps missing their friends, feeling frustrated or despondent about the future. Do not despair. You will get through this difficult period and you will pursue your dreams”, the Assembly President said in a video message.
He said that it is up to the UN Member States to ensure this becomes a reality.
“We need to take urgent action in this Decade of Action and Delivery to invest in our education systems, including improving access to technology so that we can recover from this tumultuous period”, Assembly President Bozkir said.
He explained that if the UN and wider international community are to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, “we need to build resilient, inclusive education systems that allow all students to return to school.”
“To do so, we must meet the needs of those at risk of being left behind. Including children with disabilities and those living in conflict-affected areas, as well as the 11 million girls who are at risk of not re-entering the classroom.
‘Recover and Revitalize Education’
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will co-host an event on Monday, 25 January, planned around three main segments: learning heroes, innovations, and financing.
The agency says that as a new year begins, now is the time to step up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the center of the recovery and the transformation towards more inclusive, safe, and sustainable societies.
In a concept note on the event, UNESCO says it is time to invest in better gearing education systems everywhere to the reality of interdependence that the pandemic has made necessary, and to making education a vehicle to foster social justice, peace, respect for diversity, human rights and democratic values.
#MuseumoftheAmericanRevolution, #MartinLutherKingJrDay2021; #Jan18; #GoogleDoodle; #InpersonAndVirtualProgramming; #FindingFreedomWebsite; #PhiladelphiaJazzProject
Washington/Canadian-Media: Born in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed every year across the United States on the third Monday of January which this year falls on Jan 18, near King's Jan. 15 birthday, to honor the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader, preacher and advocate for nonviolent social change.
Martin Luther King Jr. Image credit: Wikipedia
Since the mid-1980s, the third Monday in January has been set aside as a day of service and community to pay homage to Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., and to commit ourselves to move forward with the work he began before his life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet in April of 1968.
Located in Philadelphia, the Museum of the American Revolution (MAR), uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government.
On Jan 18 MAR observed Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day 2021 on Jan 18 with unsung patriots from the past.
Museum of the American Revolution. Image credit: www.amrevmuseum.org
Around the United States MLK day is celebrated every year on the 3rd Monday of Jan, which this year falls on Jan 18.
The life, service, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was honored by the museum over the course of MLK Weekend through many of his speeches and writings powerfully invoking the words and messages of the American Revolution and in speaking out against racism.
The visitors were able to discover the ongoing legacy of the American Revolution and learn what it takes to change the world as the Museum honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Day of Service.
During the tour of the museum various household objects that may have been used by Ona Judge, a woman enslaved to the family of George Washington were displayed.
Ona Judge. Image credit: amazon.com
Judge's story is one of several that are being highlighted by the museum in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is Monday, January 18.
Both in-person and virtual programming were offered by the museum throughout this weekend, to share the perspectives of unsung revolutionaries from the past.
Educators on the standby presented visitors with pop-up talks about the enslaved people of African descent in Virginia. Visitors also learned about figures like Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman, the first enslaved African-American to emerge victorious from a judicial freedom suit in Massachusetts.
The museum provided another way to offer some informal learning for not only students, who are unable to go to their classrooms but also for adults and families.
A special performance by the Philadelphia Jazz Project, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. was streamed by the museum on Monday morning.
In collaboration with the Museum of the American Revolution and PhillyCAM, a remarkable virtual experience was developed by the Philadelphia Jazz Project pulling together video footage from the two concerts as well as commentary from the performers and other contributors to depict Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring impact on the struggle for human rights and ongoing American Revolution.
The We Shall: A Lyrical MLK Celebration performances utilize brief excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches and sermons as inspiration and a combination of gospel, jazz, and blues music to explore the inner workings of a mind and body in struggle.
Dr. Luther King powerfully invoked the words and messages of the American Revolution in his calls for civil and economic rights while speaking out against racism throughout many of his speeches and writings.
Virtual programming was provided for those who are unable to attend in-person by the Museum of the American Revolution.
The digital 'Finding Freedom', with its interactive feature and equipped with a selection of primary sources exhibit allows visitors to explore history and the stories of African American men and women in war-torn Virginia on their computer screens, told through research-based first-person narratives.
Image credit: www.amrevmuseum.org
This year, Google is joining in the celebration with a homepage Doodle depicting the past and present fights against racial injustice.
Today’s Google Doodle depicting the past and present effect of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and actions was created by Pittsburgh-based guest illustrator Noa Denmon.
On the left side, a monochromatic view of adults and children alike are seen listening to a speech meant to be depicting Dr. King.
Meanwhile, a group of painters collaborating on a colorful mural that represents unity can be seen on the right side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Doodle.
All of the painters are wearing face masks to appropriately depict our current times.
Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021 by Google Doodle. Image credit: Google Doodle website
US National Religious Freedom Day today is a commitment to advancing religious freedom around the world
#US; #USNationalReligiousFreedomDay; #VirginiaStatute
US/Canadian-Media: Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of US Department of said that today, the United States (US) commemorates National Religious Freedom Day.
United States National Religious Freedom Day. Image credit: Unsplash
On this day, more than 230 years ago, Thomas Jefferson penned the landmark legislation of Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, embodying freedom of religion or belief in the First Amendment of the Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Image credit: Wikipedia
On this day the US reaffirms its commitment to advancing religious freedom around the world, including ensuring the right of every person to exercise their freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; change their beliefs; worship alone or in community; and teach their beliefs.
The US understands that nation flourishes when individuals can exercise their freedom of religion or belief which needs to be protected by the government and not to propagate a particular religious ideology.
On National Religious Freedom Day, the US renews its resolve to champion religious freedom as America’s first freedom and a universal human right around world.
Recognize and protect rights of persons with disabilities, UN chief urges, marking International Day
#UN; #Disabilities; #inclusion; #HumanRights
UN/Canadian-Media: The United Nations is commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on Thursday, calling for greater inclusion for persons with disabilities, and recognizing and protecting their human rights.
An adolescent boy uses a text-to-speech software to operate a computer at a special education school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Image credit: UNICEF/Pirozzi
“These rights touch on every aspect of life: the right to go to school, to live in one’s community, to access health care, to start a family, to engage in political participation, to be able to play sport, to travel – and to have decent work,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message.
While the coronavirus pandemic has upended societies globally and deepened pre-existing inequalities, persons with disabilities are among the worst affected. They are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse.
“As the world recovers from the pandemic, we must ensure that the aspirations and rights of persons with disabilities are included and accounted for in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world,” the UN chief urged.
“This vision will only be achieved through active consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations,” he added.
“On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us all commit to work together to tackle the obstacles, injustices and discrimination that persons with disabilities experience.”
‘Future cannot be like the past’ Similarly, UN human rights experts called on world leaders to ensure that persons with disabilities are fully included in the “building back better” process.
An “obvious learning” from the past few months was a “conspicuous lack of consultation” with persons with disabilities, which resulted in missing of predictable problems and negatively affected COVID-19 responses, said Danlami Basharu, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, added that only through the adoption of a human rights approach would the aim of equitable, sustainable and resilient societies be achieved.
“This includes, among others, the recognition of education as an essential element to empower persons with disabilities and to integrate them into their communities socially and politically … the future cannot be like the past, and that is what ‘building back better’ should be all about,” he said.
Impact on education Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlighted the impact of the pandemic and related mitigation measures, such as school closures, on children and young people with disabilities.
They are often at the highest risk of experiencing a disruption of their education, she added, warning that many distance learning methods do not account for their specific needs.
“It is crucial to involve persons with disabilities in the devising of solutions that are truly aimed at everyone and to learn from the experience,” Ms. Azoulay urged.
This can be achieved by developing digital resources and skills that foster inclusion, training teachers in the principles of accessible education for all, and creating accessible tools adapted to different learning requirements, she added.
“This is crucial not only for students with disabilities, but also for their classmates. All students benefit from a more inclusive education … access to education, like access to other common goods, must become universal,” the UNESCO Director-General said.
The International Day Observed every year on 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was established by the UN General Assembly in October 1992, to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues pertaining to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development.
#LibraryOfCongress; #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth; #Diversity; #NativeAmericanCultures
This is a guest post by Megan White, Visitor Services Specialist in the Library of Congress.
Library of Congress, Washington/Canadian-Media: November is Native American Heritage Month. The resources below from the Library’s collections celebrate the diversity and vivacity of Native American cultures.
Native American Heritage Month: Image credit: Pinterest
Some of these resources are rooted in deep tradition, others are modern takes on long-practiced customs, but they all offer an opportunity to foster conversations with family.
Learn about the current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, and other Native American poets: Start by reading the Poetry and Literature Office’s introduction to Joy Harjo or listening to Harjo’s conversation with former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. Then explore Harjo’s most recent project as Poet Laureate, Living Nations, Living Words, an interactive map featuring poems written by contemporary Native poets from all over the country.
Image credit: Library of Congress
Find out what Indigenous Territory you live in: Check out “Indian Tribes, Cultures, and Languages”, a digitized map from the “National Atlas of the United States of America” created by the Department of the Interior and held in the Library’s Geography and Map Division. You can also explore Native-Land, an interactive map created by a nonprofit organization in Canada, that illustrates the complexity of Indigenous boundaries in your area and throughout the world.
Watch a world champion hoop dancer perform: View a recorded webcast of Nakotah LaRance, a nine-time winner at the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. You’ll see three other hoop dancers in this webcast, including one who performs a hip hop style hoop dance.
Listen to Native American flutes: One of the most unexpected collections in the Library is the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection. It contains nearly 1,700 flutes and other wind instruments, statuary, books, music, and other materials related to the flute. Learn more about the Native American flutes in the collection with Native American instrument-maker and performer Barry D. Higgins. Then watch world-renowned musician R. Carlos Nakai’s performance at the Library as part of the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series.
Tell your own story: Story Corps and the Library of Congress work together to collect humanity’s stories. Listen to this heartwarming recording with Diane Tells His Name and Bonnie Buchanan and consider sharing your own story with Story Corps Connect.
You can find many more resources on this portal, a shared resource between the Library, the Smithsonian, the National Park Service, and other cultural institutions. In particular, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has a wealth of resources, including Native Knowledge 360 and the Essential Understandings for important considerations when talking to children (or anyone!) about American Indians.
The post was first published by Library of Congress