Social justice a serious mission
I appreciate the social justice calendar printed in the September/October issue of NYSUT United. Awareness of dates and events allows us, as educators, to learn more about the issues confronting the people of our world. We can then share our new insights with students and colleagues.
A group often overlooked and/or oppressed are the indigenous people of our world and minority religious groups.
The International Day of the World's Indigenous People was first proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1994. It aims to increase awareness of the many issues confronting Native People — the importance of honoring arrangements between states, their citizens and indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize indigenous peoples' rights to their lands, for example.
Religious Freedom Day, Jan. 16, was established by President Obama to celebrate passage of Thomas Jefferson's pioneering Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia. "All men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion," Jefferson wrote.
Whether it is the persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran, attacks against Christians in Pakistan or discrimination against Muslims in the United States, religious intolerance is a problem.
Kurt Fetter | Fort Plain TA
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