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First Freedom Student Essay/Video Contest
 
INTRODUCTION: On December 10, 1948, in the aftermath of World War II, the fledgling United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It was the first international protocol to define the inalienable human rights of all people. As such, it has been enormously influential in the development of constitutions, treaties, national and international laws, and organizations that promote human rights. Article 18 of the UDHR declares: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the document's drafting committee. On the 10th anniversary of its adoption, she presented a booklet to United Nations Commissioners entitled, In Your Hands: A Guide for Community Action for the Tenth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the booklet's introduction she wrote: "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world."

In 1998, 50 years after the passage of the Universal Declaration, the United States Congress enacted the International Religious Freedom Act, which outlines means of making religious freedom an important focus for American foreign policy. The Act reads in part, "Standing for liberty and standing for the persecuted, [it shall be U.S. policy] to use and implement appropriate tools in the United States foreign policy apparatus...to promote respect for religious freedom by all governments and people." Americans also sometimes wonder what they, themselves, can or cannot do - "close to home" - to advance religious freedom in distant lands.

TOPIC: (respond to both bullet points)
  • Should the advancement of freedom of religion be a part of U.S. foreign policy? If so, why? If not, why not? (Please support your arguments with academically respected sources that consider differing views.)

  • How does Eleanor Roosevelt's statement that universal human rights begin in "small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world" apply to you and the impact that you and your generation can have on the advancement of freedom of religion and conscience now and in the future, at home and abroad?

IF YOU ARE WRITING AN ESSAY, YOUR ESSAY IS TO INCLUDE:

TITLE

Identifies the focus of your presentation.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH

Attracts the reader's attention

Clearly states a thesis--the main point that you will make

Briefly outlines the other points that you will make

BODY

Explains and describes one by one your points on the topic using:

  1. Specific references to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  2. Specific references to the International Religious Freedom Act
  3. Specific examples from U.S. history
  4. Specific examples illustrating how you and your generation can or cannot advance freedom of religion
CONCLUSION

Sums up your research and reviews your main points without restating them exactly. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY OR WORKS CITED
In support of your views, cites your references and validates your research.  (Refer to

Guidelines for more details.)

IF YOU ARE PRODUCING A VIDEO, YOUR VIDEO IS TO INCLUDE:

INTRODUCTION

Provides compelling content that hooks the viewer and draws interest to the topic.

CONTENT

Presents a clear statement of purpose and message through a rich variety of images and audio.

Displays and argues your points on the topic using:
  1. Specific references to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  2. Specific references to the International Religious Freedom Act
  3. Specific examples from U.S. history
  4. Specific examples illustrating how you and your generation can or cannot advance freedom of religion

CONCLUSION

Sums up your message with a clear, persuasive and memorable ending. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
In support of your views, cites your references and validates your research.  (Refer to Guidelines for more details.)

First Freedom Center web site.

All entries must be mailed in.  No electronic entries will be allowed.

Registration Deadline: November 18, 2013

ENTRY DEADLINE: November 25, 2013

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Last Modified on September 19, 2013