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Quincy Celebrates 60th Anniversary Of Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Press Release

Quincy Human Rights Commission celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 9th at the Thomas Crane Library from 7-8:30pm. The program started of  a welcome address and reading of High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN) Ms. Navanethem Pillay’s  message commorating the 60th anniversary  of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Congressman William Delahunt’s (US Congressional Appointee to the UN)  message wishing the Quincy Human Rights Commission and the community of Quincy, a Happy 60th anniversary by Kumu Gupta, Chair of the 60th Anniversary celebrations and Vice Chair of Quincy Human Rights Commission. Following the reading’s  were  two presentation’s by Tom Fabrizio of the Mayor’s office; the first one was  Mayor Koch’s proclomation announcing December 9th to be 60th anniversary Human Rights Day in Quincy which was followed by  presentation of Rep. Brue Ayer’s citation to Kumu Gupta for proposing and taking the lead in planning the 60th Annviersary festivities.

The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Rev. Sheldon W. Bennett of the Church of Presidents, who is on the Advisory Council of the United Nations Association of Greater Boston. Rev Bennett spoke of Quincy’s historic connection to the UN which involved a visit by the General Assembly of the UN subcommittee in 1946  to Quincy, as part of a search for possible venue’s to house the permanent headquarter’s of the UN, before New York City was chosen.  “When I first thought of doing something to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, little did I know that the trail would lead right back to our back yard…”, said Kumu Gupta.

Reverend Bennett’s talk was followed by a “Greeting from Across the Globe” with participants from the community and the Quincy Human Rights Commission welcoming the audience in various languages like Turkish, Chinese, Portugese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, French, German and Afghani.  Midway into the program, Ron Adams , founder of Operations Day’s Work program at Broad Meadows Middles School was asked to say a few words about his students and the after school program on ODW’s 10th anniversary. Broad Meadows Middle School is one of the 7 pilot schools that started the program at a national level with US AID, in which students volunteer after school to  help school projects in developing countries .  The students who were in the audience were asked to take a bow, while those in attendance applauded the tremendous efforts of these wonderful children.

The two Guest Speakers for the evening were Myriam Zuber of the New England Anti Defamation League (ADL) who spoke about ADL’s No Place For Hate program for Communities across the Commonwealth, of which Quincy is a member. And Ann Yeomans, Chair of the Quincy Human Rights Commission who spoke on the international  impact of the Declaration of Human Rights and its implementation.
The last item for the evening was  a short traditional Indian classical dance by Manjul Nair, a student from the Triveni Dance School of Brookline. The program ended with light refreshments of international flavor being served.

Among  the highlights of  the 60th anniversary celebrations, were a 60th Anniversary commorative edition ( pocket book version) of the Human Rights Articles (obtained from the UN) and a mini booklet of Human Rights theme based paintings , a project of the Swiss Government (obtained from Swiss Consulate, Boston) both which were given free to all who attended the program.

The audience also had a chance to visit the booths of Operations Day’s Work, Physician for Human Rights, South Shore Coalition for No Place For Hate and Quincy Human Rights Commission at the event, to find out more on how to participate in the respective efforts.

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