All YPL locations will be closed Sunday, Feb. 12 & Monday, Feb. 13 in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & Monday, Feb. 20 in observance of Washington’s Birthday.

International Human Rights Day

In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, declaring that all human beings are entitled to equal dignity and rights race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. December 10 is internationally recognized as Human Rights Day.

While all human beings deserve dignity, freedom and justice, there are many around the world who are marginalized, abused and facing inequalities. Global challenges such as ​​pandemics, conflicts, social and economic inequalities, racism and climate change can especially impact vulnerable communities.

There is no simple solution to the problems of inequality in our world, but there are some things in your control. Protecting human rights means standing up against inequality and hate, and supporting programs and organizations that seek to protect human rights and uplift marginalized communities. 

Do research to find nonprofit organizations in your community that you might want to support. Some local nonprofits include Feeding Westchester and Girls Inc. Westchester, or the Yonkers-based organizations Greyston Foundation and Yonkers Partners in Education.

Reading about the injustices and challenges faced by those around the world can also help you gain a better understanding about the importance of human rights. Check out this recommended reading list from Human Rights Watch, and check out some powerful stories and memoirs listed below from your local branch.


Alison Robles is a part-time clerk at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for fantasy, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.