Stand up for human rights tomorrow and every day! Tomorrow, December 10, every year is Human Rights Day - declared in 1950 by the UN General Assembly.
From the UN's website: "This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights! Many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be widespread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.
We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the voting booth, on social media. The time for this is now. 'We the peoples' can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.
It starts with each of us. Step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence."
So, the BIG question: how do you become a better person? Here's a few ideas that I hope spark some inspiration for you:
acknowledge your privilege
I've mentioned this topic here and there throughout the blog. Being an LGBTQ, Latina female, I know the concept of being a minority all too well! But, because I straight and "white-pass", I am always reminded of my privilege and I choose to use it for good.
Channeling this privilege I was blessed with and never take for granted, I got involved with equal rights organizations at a young age and provided my services of skills, support and resources to those who don't have the privilege I do, or the loving family I have.
Think about your privilege and how this has lifted you up throughout your life. How can you give back? Or, if you don't have privilege, think about how you can kindly educate others.
take a class or attend a lecture
You owe it to the other humans on this planet: you must work to understand their stories - the stories that differ from your own.
Take a class or attend a lecture on a culture different than your own - just for the heck of compassion and continuing to grow your knowledge!
You are able to enroll in most local colleges for a single course, or just search for local free lectures or roundtable/panel events if you're on a budget.
get involved in your community
Now more than ever since Trump was elected in America, we need people to stand up for human rights! Think about a human rights cause in your community and start to get involved. Even if this simply means attending lobbying events or demonstration walks. Not everyone has the time to serve a nonprofit board!
work on your tolerance
There's a plethora of individuals in this world that are strikingly different from you - and this is always how it will be, obviously!
No matter their religion, belief system or political viewpoints, we must work towards building a sense of tolerance - and even a celebration of our fellow humans. This is certainly the hardest for me as a minority, but it is vital to making any change happen.
volunteer when you can
Sometimes this means just working a day a month in the homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Giving back to humans facing extreme poverty is crucial to us bettering our world. It can feel so much better to help them yourself and see their faces as opposed to donating cash!
donate to meaningful organizations
In addition to volunteering your services, giving even $5 helps organizations that advocate for human rights/wellbeing stay afloat!
Some organizations to choose from include: PFLAG National, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Equality Now, Habitat International Coalition, The Sierra Club, NPR, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF), World Health Organization, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), Autism Speaks, Charity: Water, Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Wounded Warrior Project and AIESEC.
Major shoutout to my amazing friends who helped me compile this list of deserving organizations! :)
complete random acts of kindness
Whether you make sandwiches for the homeless, help your elderly neighbor take her groceries into her house or pick up the slack on that huge project that's been killing your co-worker, think about how you can be a more kind, contributing member of society - I know I need a reminder sometimes!
We can get so busy and wrapped up in our own lives that these sorts of things slide off the radar. It's time we refreshed and in honor of Human Rights Day, take back the reins!
How do you plan to celebrate this day?
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THE BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.