Tag Archives: January 15th

Recognizing Idaho Human Rights Day

Idaho Human Rights

Since the turmoil of the 1950s and the 1960s Civil Rights movements throughout the United States, America has come a long way to recognizing and ensuring that all Americans are treated equally, despite the color of their skin, their heritage or their beliefs.

The state of Idaho created a human rights commission that has sought to provide such equality and rights to not only non-Caucasian citizens, but those over forty who have been discriminated against in areas of employment as well as those who have physical disabilities. Their commission is dedicated to ensuring that all people, ‘regardless of race, sex, color, religion or national origin, disabled or over forty’ are not discriminated against.

Driving such an effort is massive education endeavors in schools, starting at the elementary school level and reaching into college classrooms. Voluntary compliance of their mission goals is obtained mainly through educational and community efforts that seek to alleviate the difficulties unique to any age group or race within the state of Idaho. One of the biggest challenges the commission faces is the elimination of any discrimination based on their founding factors. Nevertheless, the continued influx of minority population groups in Idaho, as well as throughout the United States, as well as the number of Idaho residents who live at or below the poverty level continues to climb. Efforts to provide community and state aid to every resident of Idaho is one of their major goals, as is introducing federal anti-discrimination laws that will ensure that people over forty, no matter what the color of their skin or native language, have employment opportunities well into their sixties.

Idaho Human Rights Day is a day to celebrate diversity and heritage, dreams and inspirations. Leaders of the Human Rights Commission come from all walks of life, from state government workers to teachers, to religious workers and business owners. Students as well as housewives all have a say in determining the course of their state when it comes to equal and basic human rights for all residents of Idaho, regardless of skin and language barriers. The members of the board are as diverse as the people they represent, and are mixed ethnically and spiritually. Despite differences however, they serve as a model to what they are attempting to achieve, and that is a state that holds no resident back from equality and gainful employment.

The commission encourages public participation on local, county and state levels and offers seminars and events that serve to perpetuate their mission and goals. Idaho school districts teach children of all school age levels that with diversity comes strength and unity. They promote activities in schools that are geared to celebrating differences in backgrounds, cultures and languages for the betterment of not only the state of Idaho, but also America.

Idaho Human Rights Day, celebrated every January 15th, has served as an example to many additional states around the country, and is a leader in their dedication to providing equal education, housing and employment opportunities for all. Despite past history in both Idaho and throughout the country, anti-discrimination laws and behaviors continue to change for the betterment of all. While such goals are not without risks and continue to cause strife for many, the determination of Idaho’s state government is a shining example for all.

Human Rights don’t merely belong to those who hold power in any country, but every human being on the planet. The United States has come a long way in providing equality for all Americans, but has a long way to go to ensuring that every American is protected and covered by laws, regulations and guidelines that allows each citizen of the United States to follow the dreams of the founding fathers; the right to the pursuit of happiness.

When Is Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Day

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. spent most of his adult life promoting equal rights for African Americans in the United States. He was a man who saw no distinctions between black and white, and strove to create a society in which people of all colors and religions could live, work and worship side by side. His peaceful efforts to unite the races brought him worldwide attention during the 1950’s and 1960’s, only to end with his violent death in 1968.

Martin Luther King stood for equality, and it didn’t matter if one was Chinese-American, or Mexican-American or Native American; he felt that everyone deserves the same chances as everyone else to make it in America. As the world’s first ‘melting-pot’ society, King believed that opportunity should not be limited by race or social status. King brought his point across in a non-violent manner that clashed with the anti-war protests of the 1960’s as well as the nation’s experience with Black Right’s activists like the Black Panthers, and their nemesis, the group of white supremacists called the Ku Klux Klan. Martin Luther King endured countless threats and beatings from those who wished to perpetuate a separated society, and he went to jail over two dozen times, defending the rights of all races.

Martin Luther King tried to teach young people that tolerance and opportunity belonged to all people, not just a favored few. He instructed his followers to do so through peaceful and instructive lessons that seek to unify one of the greatest free countries in the world.
Martin Luther King day is observed on a national level on his birthday, January 15th, or every third Monday of every January. The day, officially declared a national holiday in August of 1983, was observed for the first time in 1986 in many states, but it wasn’t until January 2000 that every state in the Union officially recognized the day as a federally observed day of remembrance. While federal buildings and banks are closed in honor of the civil rights leader, most schools and businesses remain open. Mostly celebrated by human rights’ activist groups, Martin Luther King Day is taken as an opportunity by schools throughout the nation to teach tolerance and unity among all races, creeds and beliefs. It’s a day when many volunteer their services within communities. Many labor unions and civil rights’ groups promote the holiday every year, which serves to shine a beacon on King’s desire to provide fair employment and pay wages for everyone in the workplace, whether male or female, black, white or brown. For the most part, nonprofit organizations and those associated with civil and human rights celebrate the holiday, while schoolchildren around the country are taught about King’s life and beliefs. Children are encouraged to volunteer or to partake in special school activities that serve to perpetuate King’s legacy on the younger generation.

It is clearly understood today that while Martin Luther King Jr., was by no means a perfect man, his ideals have withstood the onslaught against his personal and political beliefs and habits. The institution of a national holiday in King’s honor has inspired some to question the naming of a national holiday after one single person. The only other national holidays observed in the honor of a single person are Washington’s’ birthday and Columbus Day, among a few others that are celebrated as state or regional holidays.

As King’s widow, Coretta Scott King wrote, “The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic… let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy… a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress.”

Martin Luther King Day celebrates unity in the pursuit of the American dream, one that must remain available to all races and creeds and socioeconomic status.