Human Rights

Dec 23 is "Human Light" day. Here are some other Humanist Holidays

Humanist Holidays – Dec 23 is Human Light

Here is a short list of various days and events which have been developed by humanists around the world.  The IHEU endorses World Humanist Day (21 June), Darwin Day (12 February), Human Rights Day (10 December) and HumanLight (23 December) as official days of Humanist celebration, though none are yet a public holiday.


Humanists may also recognize other dates, such as
HYPATIA DAY, March 15 A pagan, and probably an atheist, Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced mathematics and the science of astronomy in her time. Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity.
“All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”  —attributed to her, unverified

EARTH DAY,  April 22

PI DAY, March 14
Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the U.S. month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.[2]
Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 227 is a common approximation of π.[3]

 for something truly encompassing, see

CARL SAGAN’s COSMIC CALENDAR  (illustrations at this link)
Cosmic Calendar is a scale in which the 13.8 billion year lifetime of the universe is mapped onto a single year. At this scale the Big Bang took place on January 1 at midnight, and the current time is mapped to December 31 at midnight.  At this scale, there are 434 years per second, 1.57 million years per hour, and 37.7 million years per day. The concept was popularized by Carl Sagan in his book The Dragons of Eden and on his television series Cosmos as a way to conceptualize the vast amounts of time in the history of the universe.

The Peace by Piece Initiative: Competing Narratives and Competing Truths of Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Conflict

The Peace by Piece Initiative: Competing Narratives and Competing Truths of Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Conflict Call to Dialogue

Israeli-Palestinian dialogue is often criticized as a method of “normalizing” the conflict or “preaching to the converted.” Goals to reconcile disparate narratives between “Palestinian” and “Israeli” positions are frequently cited as impossible, if undesirable, owing to the sensitivity of the past and the desire to maintain the independence of the narratives involved. Efforts to foster tolerance are continually viewed as cloaked tactics of perpetuating uneven power relations, maintaining the status quo, and furthering “facts on the ground” that are inimical to brokering final and lasting peace, security, and justice. Together, these criticisms of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue are indicative of, on the one hand, a desire to respect the disparity between so-called “Israeli” and “Palestinian” narratives and historiography and, on the other, a growing need for alternative models of dialogue that focus on mutual understanding, respect, and dignity, rather than striving for what are increasingly considered chimerical aims of reconciliation and tolerance.

In view of these criticisms, the “Competing Narratives and Competing Truths” (CNCT) project has three main goals: (1) to engage in dialogue as an end in itself, viz., for participants to enter into dialogue as a means to bring about greater mutual understanding, dignity, and respect for the multitude of narratives and truths endemic to Israeli-Palestinian peace and conflict; (2) to develop a model of dialogue as a corrective to the salient criticisms of traditional dialogue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict noted above; and (3) to provide qualitative information about the assumptions, reasoning, logic, and mythoi behind the competing narratives and competing truths of Israeli-Palestinian peace and conflict that can advance interlocutors’, facilitators’, and researchers’ understandings of the inherited, Diasporic, trans-generational, and intergenerational perspectives of Israeli-Palestinian peace and conflict in a Canadian context.

The CNCT project seeks graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty—with informed opinions of Israeli-Palestinian politics—as partners in dialogue
Tuesday April 9, 2013 9:00am – 3:00pm
University of Toronto’s Multi-Faith Centre
Registration is limited.

If you have any further questions, we invite you to contact our executive director, Matt Gordner (PhD Student, University of Toronto, Dept. of Political Science), at

Write for Rights with Amnesty International on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10th

Write for Rights with Amnesty International on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10th
Prepare yourself to save a life on December 10th 

Narges Mohammadi
is detained in Iran for defending women's rights. See her letter-writing action.

It's time to get ready to Write for Rights!
We've shown that together we can save lives, and you can once again be a part of our massive, life-saving effort on December 10, as Amnesty International mobilizes its full world-wide membership to take action.

Be a part of Write for Rights 2012 by SIGNING UP NOW.

You can choose to write one or several letters, sign an online petition, or organize a Write for Rights event with your friends, family or colleagues - one of hundreds of events we anticipate across Canada, and one of thousands taking place around the world on International Human Rights Day.

Last year Amnesty International supporters in 80 countries wrote over 1 million letters on International Human Rights Day!  

We know that the influence of letters or a huge petition tips the balance and persuades a government leader to do the right thing. We know that our efforts get results.

Will it be YOUR letter that tips the balance and saves a life? 

Each letter-writing case featured this year also allows you to write a letter of solidarity and bring hope to people who can feel hopeless.

Sign-up to write on your own | Sign-up to organize a letter-writing event with friends, at your school, at your office

If you are unable to join us, please consider buying

Human Rights Day, Dec 10: Amnesty Letter Writing Events in GTA

OISE/U of T is holding a Writing for Rights event on December 10, 2010 10:10 pm
in association with the Adult Education and Community Development dept and esp. Interchange, a peacebuilding network.
Location: 252 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON Contact: (647) 402-7535

Amnesty International Toronto Office is holding a Writing for Rights event on Dec 10, 2010 3 – 8pm
Stop in any time from 3-8 pm to write letters, watch videos, hear guest speakers on the hour and enjoy refreshments.
Location: 1992 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON Contact: (416) 363-9933 x 328

Group 18 – Toronto is holding a Writing for Rights event on Monday December 13th, 2010 7:00 pm
As every year our small AI group will meet at our regular meeting place: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave on Monday December 13th at 7pm. We intend to write as many letters as possible; light refreshments will be provided.
Location: 60 Lowther Ave, Toronto, ON Contact:

OISE/U of T is holding a Writing for Rights event on 10 am – 4 pm
For students, faculty, staff, alumni, and open to the public! Come through the lobby to the coffee shop.
Location: 252 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON Contact: (647) 402-7535

Harbourfront Community Centre is holding a Writing for Rights event on December 10, 2010 12:00 pm
Getting all the staff and students of the Harbourfront Community Centre to take time on December 10th, 2010 to write a letter regarding International Human Rights Day.
627 Queens Quay W , Toronto, ON Contact: (416) 553-0547

News: Anti-Gay Evangelist appointed to Immigration Board

Doug Cryer, former director of public policy for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, has been appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

Cryer's appointment has many people worried because of statements that he made publicly in 2006 on, where he said that the church has a right to say that homosexual behaviour is sinful, just as it can say that adultery is sinful. "It is part of God's teaching," he said, though he was also critical of a church that mass-mailed a homophobic pamphlet which included an article titled The Plague of this 21st Century: The Consequences of the Sin of Homosexuality (AIDS). "This kind of brochure helps to reinforce the negative stereotype of Christians," Cryer said at the time.

During his time at the Evangelical Fellowship, Cryer actively campaigned against same-sex marriage, arguing that it could have a "negative impact on children."...

(When) NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow submitted Access to Information (ATI) requests for the selection criteria, she was given pages of blacked-out notes that were unusable.

"He does not have any in-depth experience on any immigration and refugee issues," Chow says. "From his CV, he has no experience serving on the tribunal or connected with administrating the law, so I can't see how he would qualify to be an Immigration and Refugee Board member." Chow also suggests that Cryer's appointment is likely because he was a failed Conservative candidate, having run in the 2004 general election as the candidate for Wascana in Saskatchewan, and that he previously served as the legislative assistant to a Conservative MP.