Published On: Tue, Dec 12th, 2023

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(LtoR) Michael J. Horswell, PhD, Dean, Florida Atlantic University; India Marshall (Spirit of Human Rights Student Award); Josephine Beoku-Betts (Spirit of Human Rights Faculty Award); Robert Kesten, Executive Director, (Accepting the International Courage in Human Rights Award for Jackie Katushab); Andrea Levine O’Rourke (Spirit of Human Rights Community Member Award) Photo: Gina Fontana, Photographic Services Inc

Florida Atlantic University and Stonewall National Museum, Archives, and Library Honor Human Rights Leaders at the International Human Rights Symposium on December 10

Boca Raton, FL – The three-day human rights event (December 8-10) on the campus of Florida Atlantic University, celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ended with accolades, awards, and a standing ovation, recognizing Human Rights Leaders. 

The LGBTQIA+  community was well represented at the symposium with the presentation of the Eleanor Roosevelt and Shulamith Koenig Courage in Human Rights award to recipient, Jackie Katushabe, who accepted the award from a refugee camp in Kenya. Stonewall National Museum, Archives and Library; Executive Director, Robert Kesten, was an award presenter, and featured speaker over the course of the 3-day event.  

Jackie Katushabe: Eleanor Roosevelt & Shulamith Koenig Courage in Human Rights Award:  Presented to mother and Ugandan refugee Jackie Katushabe, live from a refugee camp in Kenya, for her fearless work on behalf of her Kenyan refugee community, who were forced to leave their homes in Uganda. The LGBTQ+ community is under attack in these nations and often under the threat of death, still, Jackie stands up and speaks out. This kind of bravery puts her at risk, but without her voice many others would have already been murdered. We hope this recognition will save her life and the lives of others.

India Marshall: Spirit of Human Rights Student Award:  India Marshall is a third-year student at Florida Atlantic University, India is a passionate environmental and human rights activist, driving change through leadership positions through organizations like Southern Utah Wilderness Association and the Sierra Club.

Josephine Beoku-Betts: Spirit of Human Rights Faculty Award: Josephine Beoku-Betts is Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is past President of Sociologists for Women in Society (2020-2021), past co-President of RC 32 (Research Committee on Women, Gender, and Society) of the International Sociological Association (2014-2018), Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sierra Leone (2011-2012, 2018-2019) and recipient of the Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award (2014) and Florida Commission on the Status of Women Florida Achievement Award (2012).

Andrea Levine O’Rourke: Spirit of Human Rights Community Member Award: Andrea Levine O’Rourke, served as an elected official on the Boca Raton City Council from 2017-2023 and held the position as Deputy Mayor from 2020-2023. She has worn many hats, and her commitment to making a difference has never wavered.  Andrea’s strong civic commitment has been realized through community leadership with an emphasis on mentorship, placemaking, public art, culture, education, and resident involvement. She claims her most rewarding accomplishments is being a role model for young people and a leader who is committed to making her community a better place for everyone. 

Robert Kesten, Executive Director, Stonewall National Museum, Archives and Library has worked globally promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and furthering democracy. This work has taken many forms including writing and producing an award winning documentary on learning about the Holocaust at the Concentration Camps in Poland, Working on the Ghanaian Constitution, coordinating and producing events leading to Ukrainian independence, producing events for the first AIDS day treatment center in the nation, pushing for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Ukraine (the first Soviet Republic to do so).

Kesten comes to Stonewall National Museum and Archives with national and international experience, taking ideas and bringing them to life. This position brings full circle his active engagement in the LGBTQ+ community and his commitment to using history as a tool to make sense and fashion a response for today and tomorrow.

Click here for Full Event Lineup: 75 Anniversary Celebration of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Symposium.

About the Author

Discover more from The Boca Raton Tribune

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading