00B Opening: Keynote Presentation - Livestream
Dr. Dan Prinzing, Executive Director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights & Tai Simpson, Organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance
The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights was founded for the purpose of constructing a memorial to human rights in Idaho’s capital city. That vision became a reality when the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was dedicated to the public in 2002. The site is the only memorial to Anne Frank in the United States, is one of the few places in the world in which the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is on public display, and is recognized as an international Site of Conscious.
Identified as the educational arm of the Memorial, the Center provides programming and resource onsite in the Memorial, offsite in classrooms and communities throughout Idaho, and online reaching national and international audiences.
We envision an inclusive society where Idahoans take responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights; where everyone is valued and treated with equal dignity and respect; and where everyone’s human rights are a lived reality.
As an education center, the goal is to empower others to be upstanders in the classroom, community and country.
"The Storyteller" is Tai Simpson's name in the Indigenous language of the Nimiipuu nation (Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho). As a direct descendant of Chief Redheart, Tai takes great pride in serving her community as an organizer, activist, and advocate. Tai catalyzed her racial and social justice activism while studying Sociology and Political Philosophy & Public Law at Boise State University. Her experience at Boise State prepared her for the work she does in the community today. .
Tai is an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance. In 2018 and 2019, the Indigenous Idaho Alliance drafted the proclamations for Indigenous Peoples Day for the State of Idaho and the city of Boise. In 2020, the Alliance helped to draft HCR033 Concurrent Resolution acknowledging Missing & Murdered Indigenous Peoples Day that passed in the Idaho legislature in March.
As a Social Change Associate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, Tai focuses on violence prevention and response within Idaho’s tribal communities. In 2019, Tai gave a TEDxBoise talk exploring the belief that Indigenous “old ways” need to come back in style, made new. The old ways are principles on which many Indigenous communities build their social and political narratives. As an antiracism activist and community leader, she uses contemporary and traditional Indigenous storytelling to depict the lens of “old ways” and how they protect the sacred, builds strength in the community, and keeps nature in balance; these principles support her work to champion radical inclusion, equity, and liberation.
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