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Northeast Times | February 5, 2023

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“Do you know your rights? You should.” This phrase is being pondered by Westlake Academy students this week as part of a campaign to help promote International Human Rights Day. The UN General Assembly proclaimed Dec. 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948, forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.
During the opening flag gathering Monday, the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was read followed by an interactive presentation of the 30 rights. Posters are placed around campus this week with thought provoking images and facts, and students are encouraged to write their thoughts on life-size paper cut-outs in the shape of people. Today, a video about everyday human rights was shown to each class.
At the end of the week, students will be sent an email inviting them to participate in Amnesty International’s electronic letter writing campaign, which highlights 10 specific cases of injustice. This will be a way for students to reflect on the week, as well as take action.
Human Rights Awareness Week is the first in a series of monthly awareness campaigns at Westlake Academy that will bring more international awareness to the school. Future campaigns, which correlate with the UN calendar, will include Holocaust Victims Day, International Mother Language Day, World Water Day and World Day for Cultural Diversity and Dialogue Day.
These campaigns pair beautifully with the Academy’s philosophy as an International Baccalaureate World School. “The idea is to empower students to change the culture at Westlake Academy through leadership opportunities, mentoring, learning about local/national/global issues, and forging their own identity as a global leader by connecting with a variety of communities,” said Heather McCown, director of student life.
For more information about Human Rights Day, go to