Thursday’s lunch hour was a chance for a crowd of about 200 to recognize the campaign toward human rights in Idaho. Young and old people alike gathered at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial for the dedication of the Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights.
The outdoor classroom, named after the co-founder of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, will have room for 35 people and include a digital kiosk that will help tell the stories of marginalized groups throughout Idaho, as told in their own voices.
Several dignitaries were on hand Thursday, including state Sen. Maryanne Jordan, a former Boise city councilwoman who helped spearhead a law that prohibits discrimination for reasons of sexual orientation and identity; Boise Mayor David Bieter, who signed that legislation into law; and A.J. Balukoff, a former Democratic candidate for governor.
Thursday’s dedication also unveiled the Spiral of Injustice sculpture, designed to start conversations about human rights.
But the classroom, and the rest of the Anne Frank memorial, isn’t just a place to reflect on human rights, said Wesli Spencer, an actor who spoke at Thursday’s event. Instead, it beckons people who believe in human rights to take action for them, he said.
Several quotes Spencer recited spoke to the responsibility of good people to stand up against hatred. The most relevant to Idaho was from former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus: “Let us always reject the forces of hatred and bigotry.”