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Human Rights Week of Action Blog Series: Post 8

Photo: / AFSC

December 10th will mark DC's 10th anniversary as a Human Rights City. In honor of this important milestone, AFSC DC is planning a Human Rights Week of Action December 10-14. This week will begin on International Human Rights Day (December 10) and conclude with a community open house at ONE DC's Black Workers and Wellness Center on Friday, December 14. This blog series is a part of AFSC DC's Human Rights Week of Action. 

Author: Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana is the former Director of American Friends Service Committee's DC Peace and Economic Justice Program. Jean-Louis is well known for his dedication to advancing human rights locally and globally. In 2008, Jean-Louis led a grassroots coalition in successful advocacy to establish DC as the first Human Rights City in the United States. During his tenure at AFSC, Jean-Louis also established AFSC's Human Rights Learning Program, which seeks to expand human rights education to DC students. Through this program, DC students use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a framework to identify, define, analyze, and take action to address human rights violations in their own communities. 

Having led DC's human rights city movement for its first nine years, AFSC asked Jean-Louis to share his vision for DC in its second decade as a human rights city. Given his passion for education, it is not surprising that Jean-Louis's vision for DC's future as a human rights city is centered around that topic.

He writes:

MY VISION FOR DC IN ITS SECOND DECADE AS A HUMAN RIGHTS CITY is a full realization of its real meaning: “ A Human Rights City is one whose residents and local authorities, through on-going discussions and creative exchanges of ideas, come to understand that human rights, when widely known as a way of life, assist in identifying the issues and informs the actions in our DC communities, for meaningful, positive economic and social change”. As starter, I dream of a City where every DCPS student knows and understands the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is motivated to become an agent of peace and social justice.

Jean-Louis now serves as the Director of Partnerships for TEACH-NOW.