Oakgrove honours 40 years of work for civil rights
Oakgrove Integrated College ’s Principal, Jill Markham has invited students to remember the contribution of all those people who worked 40 years ago this weekend to promote civil rights.
Speaking at the school’s assembly, the Principal spoke of the events when people from different backgrounds came together to work for civil rights. She said: “1968 was a big year when progress was made for people all over the world in advancing their rights: France, the United States and here are just three examples. Of course, inNorthern Ireland, there will be different views about some of those events, but hopefully as people look back, they can remember that the most basic rights of all of us are human rights.”
As well as the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, students were asked to reflect this week on the occasion of Eid (the end of Ramadan for Muslims), World Teachers’ Day and the increase in the minimum wage. Ms Markham told students: “All of these things – people working together against religious hatred, trade unions standing up for workers rights, a day of reflect on the contribution of teachers - all have one thing in common: it is people recognising the basic human rights which human beings have to dignity and to be treated with respect.”
In her message, Jill Markham said: “Our city, Derry or Londonderry will be celebrating this weekend the 40th anniversary of what is known as the civil rights movement. There will be major events this weekend, with the Irish President leading the commemoration in the Guildhall on Saturday. Oakgrove will take opportunities during the year to reflect on the events 40 years ago.”
Speaking as Principal of a UNICEF Rights Respecting school, Jill Markham set a challenge to young people to address the issues affecting the city and the world today just as people had done 40 years ago.
“As we prepare for a weekend which is important milestone for our city, let’s hope that all of those who worked 40 years ago for civil rights would be proud of the contributions of people now to a better city and a better world.”