NCTC Gainesville to host Human Rights event

Elizabeth F. Dieter | Apr 25, 2017

Date: April 26, 2017
Place: Activities Center
Displays and Information Sharing: 10:00—12:00 Activities Center
Program: 12:00-1:00 Board Room
Contact: Pat Ledbetter, (940) 668-4235;

North Central Texas College will present the annual “Focus on Human Rights” program on Wednesday, April 26, in the Student Activities Center from 10:00 to 1:00.  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. As Margaret Mead pointed out, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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, Abigail’s Arms, CASA, Keep Texas Beautiful, VISTO, and Solum, CTI 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 many men and women working every day toward that progress, both locally and globally,” said Ledbetter.  “This gives the college an opportunity to acknowledge their work and spread their messages.” 

Tables will be set up in the Activities Center by 11:00. Then at 12:00 in the Board Room (adjacent to the Activities Center) 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 join us on April 26 to share and learn about this multi-faceted work.

At the 2016 Focus on Human Rights program, students visited with the representatives from Abigail’s Arms about ending violence and assault.