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May 31, 2008
Amnesty International’s mural unveiling celebrates UN Milestone
Friends of Amnesty International and the Harbourfront Community Centre joined artists and local residents today to unveil a mural celebrating the 60th anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Permanently mounted on the front of the City of Toronto’s Family Residence Shelter, the mural is the first in a series of 30 that depict one of the 30 human rights provisions contained in the Universal Declaration.

“The 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reason to celebrate, but it is also a time to reflect and engage people. Human rights are everybody’s business,” said Elena Dumitru, Regional Development Co-ordinator, Amnesty International.

To raise public awareness about human rights, Art in Action, a volunteer Amnesty International team, developed Project: Urban Canvas - an inspiring series of human rights murals to be created by artist and community-based groups in Toronto.

Family Residence, a City-run shelter which provides emergency services for homeless families, was asked to select a provision that captures the work that they do. After reviewing all 30 human rights provisions, Family Residence, in consultation with Amnesty International selected Article 29: “Everyone has duties to the community.”

“Article 29 reflects the service mandate of Family Residence,” said Manager Leslie Jardine, Family Residence Shelter, “and the importance of partnerships and collaboration with our local community agencies and residents.”

The Harbourfront Community Centre is a City-funded, non-profit organization. The Mural Project, which provides creative opportunities for at-risk youth, was awarded the design of the first mural in the series. With Article 29 as their guide, the young artists set out to create a mural to commemorate this important provision.

“This mural tells a story that is a lasting legacy and commentary on human rights,” said Michael Brown, Mural Project Co-ordinator at Harbourfront Community Centre who worked with the artists.

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of ordinary people who work together to achieve extraordinary results. Each day Amnesty International stands in solidarity with - and help protect -individuals and communities around the world whose human rights are under attack. The Art in Action Team is an enthusiastic group of artistic professionals who volunteer to provide creative support for the Amnesty International Toronto Organization.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents

Media contacts:
Beth Berton-Hunter, Media Officer, Amnesty International, 416-363-9933 ext. 32,
Michael Brown, Mural Project Coordinator, Harbourfront, Community Centre, 416-392-1509
Leslie Jardine, Manager, Family Residence Shelter, 416-397-1318,
Sandra Vaughan, Communications Representative, City of Toronto, 416-397-4192,



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