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From 16 to 365

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2020

National Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10, which just so happens to be the final day of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This day is designed to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (UDHR) statement proclaiming inalienable rights entitled to every human being. With ongoing civil unrest occurring worldwide, it is pertinent the UDHR is central to addressing systemic injustices.

Activism fighting for human rights isn’t a 16-day activity, but rather a year-round effort. These holidays, recognized not only by the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) or other communities, are designed to educate the public on issues of concern and advance activist efforts to constitute change.

Advocacy throughout generations is required in order to bring about significant social change, as it starts with the community. Below are efforts to transform 16 days of activism to a yearlong initiative:

  1. Educate
    Whether it be yourself or others, the most effective way to heighten the discussion surrounding issues of concerns is through education. These educational efforts may include attending community forums, town halls, enrolling in courses focusing on different communities, watching documentaries, and reading books. Ultimately, education is an attempt to advance one’s knowledge surrounding a topic and furthering their efforts to engage in valuable discourse.
  2. Get Involved with Legislation
    Work with respective individuals to understand existing legislation and analyze how it affects its target communities. Collaborate with peers and colleagues to push for legislation protecting vulnerable communities. These efforts can go as far as local, state, and federal laws.
  3. Run for Office
    Involvement in student government provides a chance to cultivate a positive impact on their school. Student government often exposes students to valuable connections, which then advances their outreach for activism.
  4. Participate in Protests and/or Campaigns
    This form of activism enables self-expression and conveys powerful messages regarding certain issues. These efforts may be in-person or online through blog posts, social media posts, multimedia content, and more.
  5. Volunteer in Community Service
    Dedicating time to an organization working directly with those impacted oppressive efforts exposes volunteers to the community firsthand. Volunteers then gain more knowledge regarding the situation, builds empathy, and deepens their understanding of what is going on in their community. Ultimately, this can advance education efforts, push legislation, and strengthen protest/campaign efforts.

Although activism may not always be visible, yearlong participation is certainly powerful. Activism looks different for everyone – as each individual has different preferences that work for them. It’s imperative to remain active during situations of injustice.

Nevada ASUN and Nevada Cares hope to foster a safe environment for survivors of gender-based violence. Although it is not an exhaustive list, both of the organizations compiled a list of local and national resources to further assist survivors through recovery.

Local Resources:

Northern Nevada –
Crisis Support Services of Nevada: 775-784-8090 (Hotline)
Safe Embrace: 775-322-3466 (Hotline)
Tu Casa Latina

Las Vegas –
The Shade Tree of Las Vegas
S.A.F.E. House
Interfaith Hospitality Network: 702-638-8806 (Hotline)

National Resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
The National Network to Eliminate Domestic Violence
RAINN: Rape Abuse Incest National Network
Stalking Resource Center