The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being embraced this week with a new appreciation by the regional representative of a prominent business. The reason? The impressive new United for Human Rights center on Fort Harrison Avenue in his hometown of Clearwater, Florida.
After watching several public service announcements, each illustrating one of the 30 rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and The Story of Human Rights documentary, the man spoke of how the presentation conveys a sense of one’s own responsibility to make sure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights isn’t just “words on paper.”
“The Church of Scientology has made a great contribution to the community and the city,” he said. “I am so happy to see how your dream has materialized into this.”
He is one of a steady stream of visitors touring the new center each day, seven days a week. Some come out of curiosity, some with concerns about rights abuses in certain areas of the world, while others sign up as volunteers or to partner with the organization.
And the impact rolls out in unexpected ways. Case in point: a volunteer came to pick up a stack of human rights booklets—she wanted to hand them out around town. Not long after that, a man called in. After taking one of the booklets and reading it cover-to-cover, he realized there was something he could do to address a personal issue that was troubling him. He set an appointment to come to the center the following day.
After visiting the center, a priest, active in veterans’ affairs in the Tampa Bay area shared the United for Human Rights educational materials with colleagues. He wants to work with UHR to educate veterans on their rights and introduce them to this and other humanitarian programs represented in the six new centers.
A local event producer who decided to distribute What are Human Rights booklets at a major festival she is organizing for the Christmas season also is bringing copies to a rally organized to encourage Hispanic residents to vote.
The center is open seven days a week and is part of a complex of centers dedicated to making the humanitarian programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology available to the community including an Information Center that provides a wealth of information on Dianetics, Scientology and the Church’s Founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
There are six new facilities including the United for Human Rights, each dedicated to helping with the pressing issues that impact Clearwater and the Greater Tampa Bay area:
- A museum and operations center for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the world’s leading mental health watchdog group since 1969, responsible for helping to enact some 181 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive psychiatric practices. Its Clearwater information center features the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum.
- A new home for the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, whose international Truth About Drugs program has reached 260 million people worldwide. The program is committed to eradicating drug abuse and providing meaningful drug education to young people.
- The Criminon Florida headquarters stands as a starting point in carrying out the mission of addressing the causes of criminality and restoring offenders’ self-respect through effective character-building programs.
- A building dedicated to The Way to Happiness, the nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard. Published in 112 languages, the 21 precepts have brought calm to communities torn by violence, peace to areas ravaged by civil strife, and self-respect to millions. The new Clearwater office will provide the moral compass needed locally.
- The new downtown home of the Church’s Volunteer Ministers, part of a global movement active in 120 nations—the world’s largest independent relief force. Scientologists volunteer more than 200,000 hours a year in the Tampa Bay area alone, living by the Volunteer Ministers motto that no matter the challenge, “Something can be done about it.”