Gaye Watkins And Michael Posner, U. S. Assistant Secratary of State
Human Rights First is an organization that needs little explanation. It creates respect for people’s human rights and justice around the world. According to Human Rights First they ”help to ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny and violence. They also know how to give a darn good party. With the help of their Vice Chairman Tom Bernstein, President of Chelsea Piers Management, is it any wonder. The Pier was the host to Human Rights First’
s Awards Dinner and fundraiser which raised 2 million dollars.
Breaking away from the traditional dinner program, NBC News Special Correspondent and MC for the night Tom Brokaw, sat down with Michael Posner for an interview on stage. Michael Posner, Founding Director of Human Rights First and now the Assistant Secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, spoke of his new experiences as an Obama appointee. He also touched on his recent conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regarding her lack of discussion of human rights in China during her recent visit, his commitment to keeping the pressure on for women’s equal rights worldwide and weapons out of the country of Darfur, Africa. Speaking of Darfur, Posner said “The tragedy is everyday.”
. Honorees Sandra Cavalho, Brazilian human rights defender and Principe Gabriel Gonzalez, Colombian human rights advocate, accepted their awards and spoke of their determination to continue being a voice for people in their countries who are at times ignored or silenced. With all the weighty topics of the evening, ending the night with Colombian and Brazilian inspired desserts and dancing to a great Brazilian band left everyone shouting for more.