Springtime, as the temperature rises, get out, meet your neighbors and raise your voices
I am always looking forward to the springtime. I love to see the temperature get warmer and this year it happened early. Now that the weather is nice, get out and meet your neighbors. Last year, at about this time, I was at a rally for health care and at the rally was the sign “Health Care is a Human Right”. Someone in a car saw the sign and screamed that the sign was wrong. After that, I was thinking about it and I looked in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I found it in Article 25. It says “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”. The United Nations created the Declaration in 1948.
Yes, We have had a document on human rights for 62 years. Now we have in the city of Duluth, A Human Rights Commission, which works to follow the declaration.
The commission was formed October 2001. Many community leaders thought it was needed to have a city commission based on Human Rights. Fifteen people can serve on the board and there are currently 8. The commission is working on issues like the achievement gap and racial discrimination in employment. The achievement gap refers to the disparity in our school district’s graduation rates. African American and Native American children have a much lower rate of graduation than white children.
I have served on the commission for one year. It is a volunteer group that is appointed by the Mayor. In that year, I have learned a lot about the truths and myths about Duluth. Everyone has basic human rights and the commission is ready to listen when those rights are violated. I am excited to be a part of this group. If you have a complaint to file, the first step is to phone Bob Grytdahl, the Duluth Human Rights Officer at (218) 730-5630.
In April, there are a lot of events, many of them working for social justice, make sure you attend them. Now is the time to get your voices heard. Now is a better time than later.
Yeazle is active in many community-base organizations. He is the chair of TPAC, a board member of Duluth Neighborhood Housing Services, vice-president of the Hillsider board, treasurer of the Central Hillside Community Club and serves on the Human Rights Commission. He is active in many other committees working to eradicate poverty and injustice.