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Catalogue Blog

First and Final

“A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed part of the ever-changing human world. A name is the most basic characteristic of our human rights: no matter how poor or how rich, all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the expectant blessings of kindness and virtue.

– Ai Weiwei

Thank you to all those who came to celebrate with us yesterday — and congratulations and welcome to the new Catalogue honorees!

Growing Up LGBT

The Human Rights Campaign has published “a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17,” delving both into their present challenges and expectations for the future:

With an increase in public awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and the strikingly high number of LGBT youth who are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations, it is critical that we get a better understanding of the experiences, needs, and concerns of LGBT youth.

[...] They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools. They remain optimistic and believe things will get better. Nevertheless, the findings are a call to action for all adults who want ensure that young people can thrive.

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As Justice

You cannot possibly have a broader basis for any government than that which includes all the people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights.

Our country is the world — our countrymen are all mankind.

I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice [...] I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — And I will be heard.

– abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison, born today in 1805

Justice Day

On July 17, 1998, the Rome Statue took effect, leading to the creation of the International Criminal Court. Yesterday, July 17, marked the 13th annual International Justice Day. As David Tolbert wrote for Al Jazeera English:

As we acknowledge International Justice Day on July 17, calls for accountability for human rights abuses resound across the globe, from Cairo to Washington, from Bogota to Kinshasa, from Srebrenica to Colombo. The demands for justice are today a driving force of social change and popular revolutions, and their reach now extends to those at the highest levels of power. Those leaders have, from time immemorial, been deemed untouchable and often afforded immunity in furtive and shabby deals that shielded them from prosecution “for the sake of peace”. That day is passing.

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It is essential the past be confronted, the truth be told, victims’ injuries be redressed and steps be taken to ensure institutions that perpetrated crimes — such as the police and military — be reformed. Thus, in addition to the work of international and national courts, broader justice strategies are essential in transitional societies.

It’s a straightforward point, yet a profound challenge: when a crime cannot be prosecuted, or a trial is not enough, how can we assure that injuries are redressed? And moreover, how can we ensure that voices are heard, that stories are told?

Women’s History Month

We are nearly to end of March — and thus, near to the conclusion of Women’s History Month. And in visiting the National Park Service exhibit on Eleanor Roosevelt, this particular quotation caught my attention:

Champion of domestic social reform, economic justice, and human rights, Eleanor believed citizenship demanded participation, saying “We will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them.”

This month does indeed focus on women’s history, but in remembering and honoring great women leaders of the past, we must strive to give women and girls the resources to become great leaders in the future. Since the successful passage of the 19th Amendment, and since Roosevelt’s tenure in the White House and the United Nations, this country has made incredible progress: in education for women, in representation, in leadership. Yet countless women still need and deserve the resources to make their own personal progress — which is why non-profits focused on women and girls are such vital parts of our community:

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