Human rights are for all people, everywhere, and under all circumstances. There are no exceptions. That is what all governments promised when they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the small committee that drafted the Declaration (1948) and the aim was to clarify the universality of human rights --- consistent with all political ideologies, all ethical systems, all world religions, and the tenets of all economic systems. The Declaration is truly international, embraced by peoples everywhere.
But then Eleanor Roosevelt made this remarkable statement:
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. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.
The Center is located in the barrio, in the tradition of Saul Olinsky, Cesar Estrada Chavez, and Barack Obama. Students who take Judith Blau's classes on human rights have the opportunity to connect theory with practice through service-learning. Their idealism and commitment inspires us. As they say, "Si se puede --Changing the world, two cities at a time." They are truly amazing and we thank them all.
Judith Blau, Director
Rafael Gallegos, Assistant Director