Hometown Heroes

“The destiny of human rights is in the hands of all our citizens in all our communities” –Eleanor Roosevelt

This Thursday, December 10th marks the anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights (UDHR).  Each year,  numerous ROP member groups use this occasion to honor a person in their community whose efforts to advance human rights stand out from the crowd.

This year, perhaps more than usual, we are hungry for our hometown heroes.  They represent the spirit of our community, vibrant and united.  When many of our community members (and ourselves) are staying home, hunkering down, and just trying to get through these tough times, holding up a hometown hero reminds us that we are connected. Hometown Heroes are the people in our communities who reach out even when it’s difficult and work to ensure our communities strive to guarantee us all the basic rights outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Every town has a Hometown Hero. Maybe there is a person at your local Community Action Agency who is making the extra effort for this year’s One Point Homeless Count (in late January) to make sure an accurate count happens and your county gets at least some of the needed funds to help our growing homeless populations. Or maybe you have a local elected official that’s acted above and beyond their duty, reaching deep into the local community.  Or perhaps it’s a member of your local human dignity group who has really exemplified one of the points of the UDHR (link to it here).

Lincoln County Coastal Progressives are honoring County Commissioner Bill Hall for his work building a healthy and just community.  They have gathered letters of appreciation from Samaritan House for his work with homeless persons, from the Solid Waste District for his work on community sustainability, and from Citizens for Clean Air for his help in getting the county to use integrated pest management in controlling invasive species.

United for Peace & Justice in Benton County is honoring the Methodist’s Church Youth Ministries Director Julie Monk for her work with youth.  In her ministries, she dialogues with youth about issues like war and peace, poverty and racism, and environmentalism.

It’s not too late for your group to chose your Hometown Hero this year.  Download this certificate and fill it in. Pick up a frame.  Call the media. Set up a short ceremony.  Email cara(at)rop.org if you’d like a sample press release.

Then, let us know back at ROP who your hometown hero is, and we can put a feature up about them on our website (and yours!).

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