Liverpool Launch 29 Nov 2010
Following its recent relocation to Liverpool, Rights and Humanity hosted its Liverpool launch on 29 November 2010, 6.45-8.15pm in the Anglican Cathedral. This regional event was to symbolise Rights and Humanity becoming part of the City Region and Merseyside’s commitment to human rights and responsibilities.
The event was co-hosted by Liverpool City Council and supported by the Mayor, Leader of the City Council, NWDA, Liverpool PCT and other City leaders.
Approximately 850 people attended the event. About 250 individuals from local schools, networks, organisations and community groups were actively involved in the event itself, through participating in acts or choirs, volunteering in the organisation of the event, or producing banners and artwork for display in the Cathedral. Entertainment during the evening was provided by Brouhaha, a professional arts organisation; Batala Liverpool, a Brazilian-style percussion band; the Health and Wellbeing Puppets; the Inspire Choir of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service; DaDaSings; Maghull High School Choir; Sankey Singers; the Quartet of Peace, an innovative South African string quartet celebrating the four South African Nobel Laureates; Sense of Sound; and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Stunt team which supplied two officers to abseil from the roof of the Cathedral to deliver Rights and Humanity’s Principles of Responsibility. Trustees are most grateful that these artists provided their services free of charge or for a considerable discount.
A central theme of the event was the commitment to the Rights and Humanity’s Principles of Responsibility. City Leaders from the public, private and civil society sectors and guests were invited to sign up to Rights and Humanity’s Principles of Responsibility. Seven local community groups; Liverpool Community College; Alder Hey Children’s Hospital; DaDa (Deaf and Disability Arts); Everton in the Community; Fairbridge; Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service; and residents of Wavertree made banners depicting each of the seven Principles. Seven ‘voices’ of Merseyside’ communities, ranging in age from a young child to older people, read out the Principles.
Leading up to the event, four films were produced by Jess Shaughnessy of iCityMedia, coordinated by Jon Egan of Aurora Media, which involved local poets from the Dead Good Poets Society. This included one about the history of Liverpool as a City of innovation and social progress through a poem “The Spirit of Liverpool” by Sarah MacLennan read by the pupils of Childwall Sports College.
These various ways of involvement in Rights and Humanity’s Liverpool Launch celebrations encouraged individuals and groups to think about human rights and what Rights and Humanity’s Principles of Responsibility mean to them. We have heard that this process of developing the banners and readings promoted considerable discussion among the groups and provided a positive experience of empowerment for the groups involved. For instance, it led the students of the Community College to pursue their own research into human rights.