Human Rights Celebration

January 3, 2017

Human Rights Celebration
“Kindling New Fires of Hope”
CWU of Cape Cod MA

On Tuesday , January 17th, Church Women United of Cape Cod will hold its eleventh Annual Human Rights Celebration at 10am at Our Lady of Victory Parish Center in Centerville
The Church Women United Human Rights Celebration was started in 2006 in the hopes of bringing to light those who are working towards equality for all. Awards have honored amazing women and men whose work has made an impact on their community or on the world at large. The use of the words “human rights” dates back to 1858 when Frederick Douglas protested the lynching of a black man as a violation of a person’s human rights.

We take this time to remember that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms… without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (Excerpt taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by the UN in 1948).
These words should be in the forefront of our minds as we support, work towards, and fight for the rights of all humans. This is the same message that Jesus gave while on earth. When he said, “Love one another as I have loved you,” he did not mean for us to love just some people, he truly meant for us to love everyone. This has been the message of CWU since our beginnings in 1941 and will continue to be one of the pillars that supports and drives our movement.
This year’s honorees include :
Lisa Brown, a teacher at Nauset Regional High School, who has always stood up for the rights of others and educated her students to do the same. Her class (EARD) Exploring and Respecting Differences Courses is built on the foundation and philosophy of educating and exposing students to Civil Rights, Humanitarian, and Global Activism issues, concerns and movements that impact our communities and the world. Some of her students have been influenced so much, that in their adult life, they have travelled to Haiti to continue with the Humanitarian cause that she had educated and instilled in them as they continue to help these less fortunate people.

Tracey Crago is the Director of the Falmouth VIPS Program (Volunteers in Public Schools) From the original 8 volunteers, the program has grown to include 1000 volunteers and is a model for programs throughout the region. The mission of VIPS is to encourage, train, and support volunteers of all ages to work with students, faculty, and administration and to facilitate partnerships between the school and community. This includes mentoring, peer groups, career education, and more. The Volunteer corps logs more than 40,000 hours each year.

Tom and Judy McCullough are retirees to Cape Cod and serve as Board Members for the Cape Cod Council of Churches. When Calvary Baptist Church burned 5 years ago, and its nightly feeding program was in danger of being lost, Tom and Judy were the first organizers to establish what was supposed to be a “temporary” dinner program at Faith Assembly of God. Now — 5 years later — Judy has personally organized the cook-carry-serve model of over 140,000 meals to our food insecure neighbors. Together, Tom and Judy have initiated and steered the reconstruction a ServSafe kitchen at Faith Assembly of God, and have inaugurated a permanent, nutritional feeding program for both families and individuals at that site.

Rev Patti Ricotta has been an advocate in the struggle for Human Rights, working tirelessly for women’s rights ,which she connects to an understanding of God’s call for Biblical equality. This led her to seminary and to ongoing work in Africa and the USA. While in Seminary she co-founded the 501c3 non-profit Life Together International (LTI) LTI’s compassionate service projects have included providing educational fees for impoverished students, funding medical assistance to girls and women who are victim of disease, birth defects, breast cancer and high risk birth deliveries including HIV/AIDS Cesarean deliveries and funding for clean water systems. LTI spreads God’s message of the value of each individual in the body of Christ as a necessary part of the interdependent whole.

All are invited to join us for this event. The cost is $10 and includes brunch. Reservations should be made by January 15th to mmachh@verizon.net or call Bev Hammel at 508-833-8942.

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