Rosa Parks

source: wikimedia commons

One of the icons of the US Civil Rights movement looked an unlikely hero but proved to be someone whose strength of character belied her appearance. Rosa Parks was born on this day in 1934.  In the face of the overt racism of 1950’s America, Rosa famously refused to give up her seat on the bus, as black people were expected to do for white people. She was arrested, and the resulting Montgomery Bus Boycott proved to be one of foundational events of the Civil Rights Movement. For more on Rosa Parks:

Rosa Parks Legacy

International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

NAACP

 

 

Rosa Parks

source: wikimedia commons

One of the icons of the US Civil Rights movement looked an unlikely hero but proved to be someone whose strength of character belied her appearance. Rosa Parks was born on this day in 1934.  In the face of the overt racism of 1950’s America, Rosa famously refused to give up her seat on the bus, as black people were expected to do for white people. She was arrested, and the resulting Montgomery Bus Boycott proved to be one of foundational events of the Civil Rights Movement. For more on Rosa Parks:

Rosa Parks Legacy

International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

NAACP

 

 

Human Rights Day

source: United Nations

On this day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Article 1.

  • 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

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Click here for the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Click here for the history of, and other information about, the UDHR. And click here for more information about Human Rights Day.

source: United Nations

Banned Books Week

BBW-logoSeptember 21-27 is Banned Books Week in the United States, as established by the American Library Association. We can observe it in Canada too.  We live in a society where we believe everyone should learn to read, that reading is important, and that people should have the right to read what they want to read.  So many of our fundamental rights and freedoms are represented in the fight for educated, literate citizens to have control over what they read.  Sadly, our society also has powerful forces that work against those freedoms.  Sometimes those countering forces are well-meaning, hoping to protect us from lies, hate, propaganda and such. Sometimes these countering forces are even necessary, as we seek to protect children from pornography and other age-inappropriate material.  Yet a free and vital democracy requires that individuals, not the state, determine what is acceptable reading material and what is not acceptable. Parents must be able to protect their children from the mistakes of society, yet the state must also protect children from the mistakes of their parents. There are no easy answers in all this, yet that is not a reason to shy away from this vital issue.

World Press Freedom Day

worldpressfreedomdayEvery year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence. (unesco)

For more information:

UNESCO

UN News

Globe and Mail

Freedom to Read Week

What do the following titles have in common?

harry mock rye tale bibl orig


munroAll of these are titles which have been challenged.  Somewhere in Canada in the past 30 years, individuals or groups have tried to have these books removed from schools, libraries and bookstores.  The list of challenged authors includes Canadian Alice Munro, the 2013 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

Rosa Parks

source: wikimedia commons

One of the icons of the US Civil Rights movement looked an unlikely hero but proved to be someone whose strength of character belied her appearance. Rosa Parks was born on this day in 1934.  In the face of the overt racism of 1950’s America, Rosa famously refused to give up her seat on the bus, as black people were expected to do for white people. She was arrested, and the resulting Montgomery Bus Boycott proved to be one of foundational events of the Civil Rights Movement. For more on Rosa Parks:

Rosa Parks Legacy

International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

NAACP

 

 

Banned Books Week

September 21-27 is Banned Books Week in the United States, as established by the American Library Association. We can observe it in Canada too.  We live in a society where we believe everyone should learn to read, that reading is important, and that people should have the right to read what they want to read.  So many of our fundamental rights and freedoms are represented in the fight for educated, literate citizens to have control over what they read.  Sadly, our society also has powerful forces that work against those freedoms.  Sometimes those countering forces are well-meaning, hoping to protect us from lies, hate, propaganda and such. Sometimes these countering forces are even necessary, as we seek to protect children from pornography and other age-inappropriate material.  Yet a free and vital democracy requires that individuals, not the state, determine what is acceptable reading material and what is not acceptable. Parents must be able to protect their children from the mistakes of society, yet the state must also protect children from the mistakes of their parents. There are no easy answers in all this, yet that is not a reason to shy away from this vital issue.

World Press Freedom Day

o we really need World Press Freedom Day? Take a look at some of these statistics:

Press Freedom in 2013
source: Reporters Without Borders

Freedom of the Press is one of the fundamental requirements of democracy. Citizens are not free when the state restricts their access to information, or when the state fails to stop others from doing so.

Violence is a threat to the press in many parts of the world. However, even here in North America, where we live in one of the most democratic societies, control of our free and open access to information is an ongoing battle.

Learn more:

Freedom to Read Week

What do the following titles have in common?

harry mock rye tale bibl orig


munroAll of these are titles which have been challenged.  Somewhere in Canada in the past 30 years, individuals or groups have tried to have these books removed from schools, libraries and bookstores.  The list of challenged authors includes Alice Munro, the 2013 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

The Day We Fight Back

Millions of people around the world are lending their voices to protest mass surveillance and the infringement on our rights to privacy and freedom.  Check out the following links to learn more:

thedaywefightback.org

The Day We Fight Back: What You Need to Know (PC Magazine)

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Democracy Now

source: thedaywefightback.org

 

 

Martin Luther King Day is January 20

In the United States, the 3rd Monday in January is a National Holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. While it is not a holiday in Canada, Canadians and people all over the world will take some time today to acknowledge the tremendous legacy of Dr. King as a champion of freedom, equality and peace.   mlk

In the school library we will be taking the opportunity to view footage of Dr. King’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington. Please be sure to join us!

Learn more: