The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
April 1, 2016, Rights Reading
April 1, 2016
Our weekly roundup of what we’re reading: a few select articles from the front lines of human rights that we don’t want you to miss.
1.“Time to Turn Olive Garden’s Good Food Rhetoric into Reality,” by Kari Hamerschlag and Hannah Hafter, Food Tank
“Fixing our broken food system won’t work if we only focus on one part of the problem. By adopting the following principles Darden can turn its citizenship ideals into meaningful action for customers, communities, farmers, the environment and thousands of Darden restaurant employees.”
This piece, coauthored by UUSC’s own Senior Program Leader for Activism Hannah Hafter, outlines the case for Olive Garden — and its parent company, Darden Restaurants — to adopt Good Food Principles. These principles call for fair working conditions, environmental sustainability, more humane treatment of animals, support for local economies, and better health and nutrition. UUSC is part of a robust coalition that is pressing the restaurant giant toward ethical practices through the Good Food Now! campaign. Join us! Sign the petition and share with your friends, family, and networks today.
2.“The Syrian Refugees and Us,” by Leon Wieseltier, via Emerson Collective
“We recognize that their appeal for our assistance is made not only on the basis of sentiments but also on the basis of rights. They have been dispossessed of many things, but not of their human rights. Nobody — not Assad, not ISIS, not Putin, not Khameini, not the fascists of Europe — can deprive them of their humanity. Indeed, in their courage, and in their devotion to their children, and in their dream of democracy, they are giving us all lessons in humanity.”
This moving reflection from the son of Holocaust survivors draws heartfelt parallels between the refugee crisis of World War II and today’s refugee crisis. If you have felt desensitized from ongoing news coverage, read this and allow it to sink into your consciousness. It will breathe new life into your commitment to showing up and taking action to support Syrian refugees.
3.“Sajad, 15 — safe in Austria,” by UNICEF
“In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe. One in four of them was a child. Children on the move have specific vulnerabilities and protection needs, and their journeys — by sea or over land — pose significant risks for them and their families, as well as challenges for European countries where people are on the move and at final destinations.”
This powerful photo essay from UNICEF shares the story of Sajad, a young refugee living with disabilities whose family survived the harrowing trip from Iraq to Austria. It highlights the added difficulties that children and people with disabilities face when seeking safety and refuge in the midst of humanitarian crises. That’s why UUSC works with grassroots groups on the ground who are especially situated to meet the needs of people who are too often left out or overlooked by relief efforts.