Burlington Forum on Coexistence, December 7
Event Marks 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
BURLINGTON, VT – In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the equality, justice and human dignity for all people – Grace Initiative Global and The Episcopal Church in Vermont are organizing the Burlington Forum on Coexistence at the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, 2 Cherry St., Burlington, VT, on December 7, 2018, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This Forum follows the spirit and rationale of the Boston Forum on Coexistence in a Democratic Society held on December 8, 2017.
During the Boston Forum, the participants agreed that the organizers should build upon the goals and outcomes of that Forum and hold fora in other parts of the United States. Therefore, drawing upon this inaugural Forum, we propose a series called the Forum on Co-Existence in a Democratic Society. This Forum will emphasize the recognition and respect of the dignity of every person, a principle underscored in the Universal Declaration. Regrettably, this fundamental right diminishes when it comes to accepting difference due inter alia of gender, race, religion or nationality.
Respecting the dignity of all people is integral for coexistence in a democratic society. When we honor the dignity of another person, we treat him or her with respect. This dignity and respect transcends race, gender, religion, economic status, or even the part of the country one resides. In this regard, the basis for respecting the dignity of others exists universally, independently of a person’s social utility, abilities, race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or religion. Respecting the dignity of others is critical for a peaceful and inclusive democratic society.
We will invite faith leaders and representatives of civil society, including those who work to combat economic inequality and violence, and those who defend migrants, refugees, and people marginalized by gender, race or religion.
To this end, the purpose of the Forum is to promote a platform for dignity, respect and coexistence, and a road map for addressing the continuation of a heightened hatred, anger, exclusionary outcry. We look for paths of healing and for nurturing positive discourse, with a commitment to fundamental human rights, dignity, respect, and coexistence.
On December 10, 1948, in the wake of the horrors of WWII, the International community convened to commit to respect the dignity of all humankind. We hope to revive this spirit of commitment to human rights on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during the Burlington Forum on Coexistence.