PORTLAND — As the world celebrates International Human Rights Day on Friday, Dec. 10, Maine will join the effort by exploring ways in which the securing of human rights can help transform our society in this state.

Mindbridge and Cross Cultural Community Services plan to co-host the second Maine Human Rights Summit virtually from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. over Zoom. The first Human Rights Summit, held in 2019, provided a lens into the convergence of international and domestic human rights advocacy happening in Maine.

This year, the Maine Human Rights Summit will aim to connect, celebrate, resource and inspire those who identify themselves to be human rights defenders. Its theme, “Cultivating Presence in Maine’s Human Rights Ecosystem,” will gather community leaders, organizers, artists and healers to learn how human rights have shifted throughout Maine’s history, map where efforts are currently mobilizing to protect them, and provide insight into their visions for what a human rights ecosystem can look like.

At this time, human rights defenders are grappling with the realities of ongoing crises like COVID-19, the effects of poverty and vulnerable housing, and systemic racism, and their disproportionate effects on marginalized and system-impacted communities around the state.

A short film featuring the thoughts and perspectives of Maine human rights defenders will be debuted at the summit. Using the hashtag “I Am a Human Rights Defender,” summit participants are invited to join the conversation. They can record a one- to three-minute video sharing their perspective on what it means to be a human rights defender in Maine and email it in to [email protected].

Tickets for Maine Human Rights Summit 2021 range from $0 to $50 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/204849439187.

This conference is open to all organizers, leaders, educators, students and community members interested in learning more about human rights.

For more information, contact Joy George at 646-463-3119 or [email protected].

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