The Tennessee Celebration of
International Human Rights Day

Honorees at 2019 Celebration

Our Shared Humanity: Rooted in Hope

Date: December 10, 2020
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Venue: Virtual This Year!

Join us for the Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day!

Tennesseans gather each year on December 10th to celebrate International Human Rights Day. This year, the event will be held virtually. During the event, leaders are acknowledged and awards will go to human rights champions in three categories: Rising Advocate, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement.

The Rising Advocate Award will go to Nashville’s 2020 Youth Poet Laureate and advocate for human rights, Alora Young.

The Outstanding Service Award will go to Rev. Becca Stevens, who is founder and president of Thistle Farms and has served as the chaplain at St. Augustine Chapel for more than 20 years; and Dr. James Hildreth, the 12th president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are going to Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr., a civil rights activist and veteran of the Freedom Riders; and Rev. V. H. “Sonnye” Dixon, the lead pastor at Hobson UMC, known as a passionate advocate for public education, a champion of human and civil rights for all people, and a person unafraid to speak truth to power in political, social, education and religious communities.

Mel Fowler-Green, director of Metro Human Relations Commission, will comment on our theme: “Our Shared Humanity: Rooted in Hope.” Rashad the Poet will do a performance piece to help lift people out of a year filled with chaos. A panel incorporating the theme will be moderated by Beverly Watts of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. Panel members will be former Commissioner Jocelyn Wurzburg and past Human Rights Rising Advocate Awardee Justin Jones.

A committee of human rights organizations, nonprofits, and advocates, including the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, Scarritt Bennett Center, Tennessee United for Human Rights, the Church of Scientology, and others, work together each year to plan the event.

“This year more than any before we have a need to acknowledge the goodness in mankind. Human Rights Day gives us a chance to do that, while also recharging our batteries for the year to come,” says planning committee chair Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology in Nashville. “The day centers around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and implementing the articles in that document are the best chance we have for human survival.”

Want to help with the event? Contact us!

Download Last Year’s Program Booklet (pdf)