Preview of UD Human Rights Day Vigil

Julia Pucci
Contributing Writer

The university is sponsoring its second recognition of International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 to call awareness to the treatment of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

University of Dayton students, faculty and staff are invited to gather for a candlelight vigil in recognition of International Human Rights Day and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The vigil will take place at the Butler County Correctional Complex, 705 Hanover St., on Dec. 10. This is the second year for the vigil, and it serves as a call for dignity and justice for immigrant, refugees and asylum seekers.

“We learned that Butler County Correctional Complex subcontracts 10 percent of their beds to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” said Joel Pruce, assistant professor in the Human Rights department. “ICE maintains detainees there, so we thought about using their presences in our region as an opportunity to organize folks around human rights abuses associated with immigration enforcement and using that place as a site to gather.”

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The candlelight vigil consists of standing in the correctional complex parking lot with speakers, music and prayer maintaining an overall tone of somberness and seriousness. The purpose of the vigil is to gather attention to the injustices against immigrants and to recognize that although this issue is not on the forefront of news it is still a problem regarding basic human rights.

“Even though it has moved away from the front page, the very poor treatment and exclusion of immigrants who so desperately need to escape violence and extreme poverty in their own countries still exists,” said Nick Cardilino, associate director of Campus Ministry. “The United States is still treating them as less than human. If that’s still happening, we need to keep up the pressure and not let legislators, administration, ICE and whoever else forget or think that we are forgetting about this issue.”

The University of Dayton has a mission of being a university for the common good, and this event allows students, faculty and staff to act on that mission and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Attendees have the opportunity to gather and give a voice to the immigrants, refuges and asylum seekers who cannot defend their basic human rights.

The candlelight vigil will take place between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. with buses leaving campus at 7 p.m. to take students to the event. More information on departure location can be found on the Human Rights Center’s Facebook page.

The vigil is free, and you can register here.

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