The Associated Students Human Rights Board is organizing 24 events highlighting social justice issues today through Saturday as part of Human Rights Week, culminating with a performance from rapper Immortal Technique at 8 p.m. at Casa de la Raza.
The series kicks off today at 5 p.m. with a screening of the documentary “Road to Guantanamo” in the MultiCultural Center Theater as well as a discussion on women’s issues entitled “Together We Can: How Men Can Be Allies to Women” in the Women’s Center Conference Room. The week will also feature a multitude of workshops, discussions, film screenings and demonstrations presented by various student groups including Men Against Rape, Black Student Union, Environmental Affairs Board, United Students Against Sweatshops, Womyn’s Commission and many others.
Santa Catalina Multicultural Awareness Chair Vanessa Ramos, a first-year anthropology major, said events will give the campus a comprehensive look at modern threats to liberty in a global society.
“There are events going on from every spectrum of human rights you can think of,” Ramos said. “You literally have issues from indigenous rights to modern technology and how we run food systems to [prevent] human rights violations and [the possibility of] not getting food we need.”
Tuesday’s Worker Appreciation Dinner, sponsored by the A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs Office, will allow students to dine with campus workers and their families from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Corwin Pavilion. Events such as Wednesday’s “The World at War” — a forum to screen videos and encourage discussion about civil wars worldwide — take on an international scope.
HRB Chair Sophia Armen said the group aims to educate the participants about social issues often unnoticed by the student body.
“This week is to challenge students,” Armen said. “While there are people on campus who are organizing and doing amazing things, there’s still an incredible lack of encouragement by our own association for students to get involved. This campus needs to wake up. We cannot afford the luxury of inaction.”
Fourth-year art history major Shae Xu’s film “Project Queer Love” depicts how the qualities of love transcend sexual and gender identity norms and will premiere Thursday at 7 p.m. in the MultiCultural Center Theater.
Armen, a third-year global studies major, said the film will expand students’ understanding of the vast scope of human rights and how to advocate on its behalf.
“We’re not only trying to define human rights in the way it’s … stereotypically looked at,” Armen said. “It’s about understanding that these rights are in everything, from the right to gender identity to expressing sexual orientation to fundamental human rights to the right to education.”
First-year sociology major Elana Nelson said the events center on the universal concept of human dignity.
“I’m attending Human Rights Week because I think it is extremely important for people to educate themselves on issues going on in our world,” Nelson said. “We live amongst so many different people, which is why we need to be aware that not all people are being treated as equals and with respect.”