November 12, 2014
The fabulous Equitas Gala Cocktail will be held again this year on the top floor of Cirque du Soleil headquarters in Montreal (the famous 7th Heaven Room!). Be sure to save the date: February 12, 2015. The event will be a gey-together for all concerned citizens (young professionals, business people, activists for social justice, human rights defenders, students, etc.) who want to support a worthy cause while having lots of fun and in good company. It’s is also an occasion for a unique evening out – circus-style! – just two days before Valentine’s Day. Proceeds will go to Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education. Montreal artist Charles Biddle Jr. would like to personally encourage you to attend this event. In this interview, he explains why Equitas – and the Gala Cocktail in particular – is close to his heart.
Equitas: Why is it important for you to participate in the Equitas Gala Cocktail?
Charles Biddle Jr.: Humanitarian causes speak to me. We live in a privileged society, it’s true, but a society that is in a world where there are a lot of human rights violations and injustice. Thanks to Equitas, I have the opportunity to help build a future where human rights are more respected. It sometimes takes an occasion like this to say: “Listen, make an effort, it’s worth it!”
E: What is Equitas to you?
CBJ: Equitas is an organization that has been working in human rights education since 1967. It is an international NGO that equips human rights defenders, everywhere in the world, to sustainably transform their communities. More importantly, Equitas is an organization which was founded right here in Montreal by engaged Quebecers (including Thérèse Casgrain, committed to advancing the rights of women; John P. Humphrey, co-author of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights). We have every reason to be proud of Equitas, of its international reputation and we have a thousand reasons to support its humanistic mission by participating in events like the Gala Cocktail.
E: What importance do you attach to human rights education?
CBJ: Human rights education is fundamental! People with knowledge of their human rights are an empowered people. I firmly believe that education should be the first place to invest for the development of a country, to develop tools for sustainable change. One can draw an analogy with the story of the fisherman who gives fish to a hungry man: if the fisherman simply gives fish, the man will eventually be hungry again, but if he teaches the hungry man to fish, he gives him the tools that allow him to control his destiny. This is what Equitas’ education programs accomplish around the world.