NCTC holds annual human rights event

Elizabeth F. Abu | Apr 13, 2018

North Central Texas College will present its annual “Focus on Human Rights” program on Wednesday, April 25, in the Student Activities Center on the Gainesville campus from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Students enrolled in the college humanities course, Human Rights, will be joined by a variety of local organizations to share information about the work being done to improve quality of life in our community, our state, our nation, and our world. 

Students in the course are required to select a human rights activist organization and follow its work for a semester. Then they prepare brochures and visual displays and set up tables on campus to distribute information about the group. According to Pat Ledbetter, who teaches the course, “My goal is to introduce them to the hard work necessary to achieve social change and to demonstrate that individuals, like them, can make a big difference.” 

To demonstrate the power of individuals working together, the class invites local organizations to participate by passing out information and explaining their work to students and community members.  Organizations such as Red Cross, CASA, Abigail’s Arms, United Way, Meals on Wheels, and Second Time Around will be available to share their aspirations for our community. 

“For this project, we define ‘human rights’ very broadly,” said Ledbetter.  “Most of the students select national and international organizations, but I think that so widens the focus that we risk losing sight of what is being done in our own neighborhoods.  Many years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt, noted that human rights begin in ‘small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, and equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the large world.’ Our community has people working every day to further these rights, and this gives the college an opportunity to acknowledge their work and spread their messages.”

Tables will be set up throughout the event, and at noon each group will present a brief description of its work.  Anyone interested in participating by setting up a table please call Pat Ledbetter at 668-4235 or email Everyone is welcome to participate on April 25 to share and learn about this multi-faceted work.