We celebrate diversity and promote human rights by educating, raising awareness and inspiring transformation in our community.
The above statement is HREI’s mission statement and our #1 focus is to grow acceptance of and tolerance for individual differences in our community and to build awareness of the importance of all people’s human rights.
Lofty goals or unachievable?
I think everything is possible, and it is my hope our citizens in Kootenai County, and surrounding areas, as well as leaders in our cities and institutions will join HREI Board of Directors and staff to achieve on-going success.
HREI can’t do it alone, nor is it a one-time fix. Since the 1980’s when this area was faced with the Reverend Butler and his band of white supremacists spreading hate and violence, peace loving, compassionate North Idahoans came together to say No to Hatred, in all forms. We know that story, and we know we must be vigilant to ensure this does not happen again.
But it is only through education of citizenry, particularly our youth, that we can avert similar situations that threaten and diminish our values of respect, dignity, and equality for all people.
All one has to do is to be aware of daily injustices of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and intolerance. It is present, it is subtle, and it is here. Not everywhere, not daily, but… we must ask ourselves if we will stand up for what is right?
Perhaps Elie Wiesel, in his Nobel Peace Award Acceptance speech said it best – “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Human rights are being challenged everywhere in the world. Events of today in other parts of our country are frightening and a reminder we must educate our children and teens to stand against hatred and bigotry in all forms and protect equal rights for citizens of North Idaho, and elsewhere.
Please help us educate and inform students in our schools, through our programs and activities. Let us provide workshops and training for educators and the business community.
We can only do our work through your generous financial contributions and volunteer support.
My thanks to you on behalf of the HREI Board of Directors and staff,
We would like to invite the North Idaho community to the 4th Annual Diversity Symposium at North Idaho College on Tuesday, April 16