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David Starr Jordan High School Hosts International Youth Summit with Youth Representatives Attending a Three Day Youth for Human Rights International Youth Summit

October 7, 2005 -- Mayor James Hahn was first to declare Youth for Human Rights Day International on the 1st of October, 2004, on the south lawn of City Hall, where more than 600 elementary students from 13 schools participated in an interscholastic summit. On the 3rd of October 2005, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa acknowledged the Day and the International Youth Summit held at David Starr Jordan Senior High in the Watts district of Los Angeles. A state Resolution was passed by Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally (D-52) honoring the school
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 and recognition was extended by Councilwoman Janice Hahn (Council District 15) and Dell Huff, Education
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 Deputy of County Supervisor Yvonne Burke (District 2.

 “  Today our leadership students interacted with student delegates from around the world.  
The Summit was moderated by Gino Montesinos, a Harvard Drama School grad and successful film actor. He challenged the delegates and the students to find ways to spread the knowledge of the principles covered in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Al Johnson, Counselor at Jordan High who worked closely with event organizers to produce the Summit said, "Events such as the one held at Jordan High School are extremely rare. Today our leadership students interacted with student delegates from around the world. Initially they talked amongst themselves and soon it was as if they knew each other very well. They exchanged emails, shared a great lunch and most importantly, they were able to discuss issues that included freedoms, student involvement in making change, their own improvement and that of others. Finally, when the delegates left our campus, many of our students were sad but now they know that they have the task at hand to continue to involve others in the work of making the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights become a reality."

By conference end, three projects were initiated for international implementation by delegates and students. These include a network coordination project, a religious commonalities project, a project to teach children using a YHRI human rights education
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 package and a translation project to reach youth who speak in local dialects.

YHRI President, Mary Shuttleworth, stated that Youth for Human Rights
International is there to back up youth in their efforts, and provide them with tools to carry out their cause. The first tool created to overcome ignorance of human rights worldwide and stop human rights violations is a booklet, “What are Human Rights,”which enables youth to understand that they have human rights and what they are. The award-winning music video, UNITED, has resulted in an international movement for human rights, and has now inspired a film festival to give youth a forum to address human rights issues through the medium of film.


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