“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home…where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity without discrimination…Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
This was the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt, a principle architect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted sixty-nine years ago today. She understood the power of American leadership—she personified it—and she knew that the most effective way to lead is by example—by living our values.
And yet on this Human Rights Day, we are witnessing a stunning abdication by the United States of its historical leadership role in the world, leaving a vacuum that authoritarians and tyrants are rushing to fill. When President Trump cozies up to dictators, alienates our allies, and denies protection to vulnerable refugees, he undermines the international structures and norms that have helped secure American interests for decades.
You and I have a different vision: We know that respect for human rights is not some fuzzy sentiment; it is the foundation of peace, justice, and security.
That’s why today we celebrate the brave and generous men and women like you—veterans, lawyers, corporate leaders, people of faith, activists—all over our country who are working alongside us to protect human rights and defend American ideals.
President and CEO