The event was held at the Belmont Heights Little League Park, and included entertainment, food vendors, a car show, Gospel Explosion, a Kids’ Village and arts and crafts.
Youth for Human Rights participated with a booth at the event, where they educated attendees on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration lists 30 rights that people have because they are human, this includes freedom from discrimination, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to education.
Rights which in Florida were severely restricted in Dr. King’s time, commented Mimi Kintzel, Community Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology of Tampa.
“In the first half of the twentieth century, Florida led the nation in the highest number of lynchings per capita,” said Ms. Kintzel. “Peaceful protests throughout the state, including lunch counter protests, bus boycotts, the incarceration of FAMU students for their marches and the arrival of the Freedom Riders all brought attention to blatant violations of human rights.”
“Dr. King acknowledged the work by college students in Tallahassee and was inspired by their dedication, voiced through their letters to him from their jail cells. It is only fitting that Tampa honor a man who worked tirelessly for the rights of all,” concluded Ms. Kintzel.
To keep Dr. King’s dream alive, as well as educate the next generation of civic leaders, Youth For Human Rights distributed nearly 200 copies of “The Story of Human Rights” booklet. Youth for Human Rights also collected more than 300 signatures on a petition calling for the teaching of the Universal Declaration in schools.
The printing of these booklets is sponsored by parishioners of the Church of Scientology.
“Early in his research into the human spirit, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard emphasized that spiritual freedom and enlightenment were unattainable to people who were denied their fundamental human rights,” said Ms. Kintzel. “He called on all Scientologists to dedicate themselves ‘to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.’ I am very proud that my church, working with like-minded groups can really advocate for human rights.”
5,000 people overall attended the Community Festival and parade.