On December 10, 2008



                                                                                                                       -in progress


                  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) remains a beacon of human values, a powerful instrument that expresses the aspiration and hopes of humanity to belong in community in dignity with others. Yet the Declaration’s promise of “freedom from fear and freedom from want” –as articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt, remains, for too many, an unrealized vision. That is why we are placing such emphasis on ongoing learning, at the community level about human rights as a way of life. It  puts in the hands of women and men, youth and children a deep understanding of what human rights means in education, health, food, housing human security, sustainability and livelihoods. It provides the essence of human dignity. In building this powerful force, if informed, people join to create a powerful tool to pave the road for the full realization of human rights for all. In the human rights city, learning and dialogue about the relevance of human rights to people’s daily lives contributes to the community’s initiation of actions that are informed by the holistic human rights framework. In doing so, we accept and commit to realizing human rights as our historic articulation of universal values.


                  December 10, 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the UDHR. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of its authors who held a firm belief that these principles were truths for Americans to live by. On this day, citizens of the nation’s capital led by individuals and organizations affirm their commitment to human rights by declaring Washington, D.C. a Human Rights City- that is in the process of realizing human rights.


                  A Human Rights City is one whose residents and local authorities, through on going discussions and creative exchange of ideas, come to understand that human rights when widely known as a way of life,  assists in identifying the issues and informs the actions in our D.C. communities,  for meaningful, positive economic and social change.  As a Human Rights City, Washington, D.C. will be joining other human rights cities around the world where Inhabitants have undertaken ongoing learning and claiming their human rights, bringing forth a viable vision and mission for the 21st Century. .

On the 10th of December, 2008, Human Rights Day,

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Community representatives and City officials will be endorsing this historic effort

Washington DC will be declared


The first Human Rights City in the United States!


This effort was  facilitated by: PDHRE, People’s Movement for Human Rights Education (www.pdhre.org) and the American Friends Service Committee-D.C.(www.afsc.org) and endorsed by (in progress):  D.C. Office of Human Rights, , Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, DC Jobs With Justice, Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition (Free DC), Hispanic Congregation National City Christian Church, Fellowship of Reconciliation/D.C. Chapter, Washington Peace Center, Sociologists without Borders (partilal)

For more information,  jikambana@afsc.org  or call Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana at (202) 544-0324.