25th Annual Nassau County Human Rights Awareness Day Conference

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On February 9th, 2011, Bethpage High School Student Civic members along with other students from high schools across Nassau County participated in the 25th annual Nassau Country Human Rights Awareness Conference at Adelphi University. The theme of "Your Human Rights Are My Responsibility" reflected the workshops of this year's conference. Presented were; Hate Crimes 101 - The Continuum of Prejudicial Behavior presented by Alisty Keneth of AJK Diversified; If Your Words Had the Power/ Passing Along Dare to Care, Herstory Writers' Workshop - Erika Duncan (a program offered for schools, social service agencies and institutions); Here I Stand: Silence Only Empowers the Oppressor, presented by Mineola High School's Increase the Peace Club; and From Your Facebook Page to Your Prom Date: Students' Rights, presented by the NY Civil Liberties Union, led by Samantha Fredrickson, Esq. Director just to name a few.

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano made the morning keynote address to the packed crowd at Adelphi Student Union despite having left Albany at 4am that morning. He expressed how important such a conference and its values are in today's world and how he felt that his address would emphasize that point to today's youth.

The afternoon presentation was a dramatic rendition by Adelphi students of "The Laramie Project: The Portrayal of the story of Matthew Shepherd, a gay young man who was tortured and killed by two other young men in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998.

The bus ride home lent itself to discussion from the students and their inspiration at attending the conference. Now comes the task of incorporating this awareness in our daily lives.

Bethpage Student Civic members in attendance were: Leila Dastgheib-Beheshti, Holly Josephs, Jerry Kim, Michelle Mason, Nicole Scagliola, Christina Wing. BHS Student Civic advisor, Jacqueline Jill Rito is also a member of the Nassau County Human Rights Awareness Conference Advisory Board.