Please join us in celebrating the birthdays of these notable figures and applaud them for their work in Social Justice.
*The Museum of Social Justice would like to hear from you! If there is a notable figure who was born in January and should be recognized in our Monthly Birthday posts, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit by December 15, 2016. The winner will receive a prize.
Liu Xiaobo (December 28, 1955)
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese writer, professor, and human rights activists who advocated for political reforms and the end of the communist single party rule. Liu served as the president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center from 2003 to 2007. He participated in the Charter 08, a manifesto comprised of Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists and was detained due to his participation. In 2009, he was arrested for suspicion of inciting subversion of state power and sentenced to prison for eleven years. Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his nonviolent fight against fundamental human rights in China in 2010.
Kimmie Weeks (December 6, 1981)
Kimmie Weeks is a Liberian human rights activist who experienced the First Liberian Civil War when he was nine years old. Weeks and his mother were forced into a Liberian refugee camp. At age 14, Weeks organized the community to promote the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty that sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. In 1994, weeks co-founded the Voice of the Future Inc., an organization advocating for the rights of children in Liberia. In addition, Weeks also founded the Children’s Disarmament Campaign with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The campaign called for a deadline for disarmament of child soldiers. Weeks continues to advocate for children’s rights around the world and received several awards and recognition for his work.
Simon Wiesenthal (December 31, 1908 to September 20, 2005)
Simon Wiesenthal was a Jewish Austrian holocaust survivor who became known as an Austrian Nazi hunter after World War II. He dedicated his like to track down and gather information on fugitive Nazi war criminals so they could stand trial. In 1947, he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre, a center to collect information about war crimes specifically crimes against the Jewish people during the Second World War. The center has uncovered over a thousand Nazi war criminals. In 1985, Wiesenthal was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.