Why Be Certified in Human Rights?
Welcome to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Certification Program and to a new opportunity to learn more about, reflect more about, and act on your commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, ethics, respect, and civility.
Idaho has not always had a good reputation as a place where diversity was welcomed. In years past, Idaho was often seen as the cradle of the Aryan Nations and its supporters; more recently, a statewide conversation has focused on the value of inclusion and diversity in education and in the business community.
Comments from business leaders in support of diversity tend to be both philosophical (“This is the right thing to do”) and practical (“We want to attract and retain the best people”). As a result, most businesses – and educational institutions, non-profit organizations, civic groups, and so on -- tend to have statements of value that stress the importance of respecting human dignity and reaching out to all segments of society.
Yet, those value statements mean little unless the philosophy is backed by practical commitment. And that commitment must be more than an abstraction. It must be real and it must be perceived to be real.
The Wassmuth Center’s new Certification Program is based on that reality. It provides a way for an individual to acquire deep understanding of the core values of diversity, inclusion, ethics, respect, and civility; to reflect about how those values impact work and personal life; and to decide what action can be taken, one person at a time, to bring those values to the workplace or the community. As a final category, participants consider the role of the “Upstander,” the person who lives those values out on a daily basis.
Why is certification important? For the individual, certification is a formal recognition of a specific skill set that focuses on human rights and human dignity. For a business or organization, having employees or members who have earned certification is evidence that value statements are backed by knowledgeable, thoughtful, and meaningful commitments.
And for Idaho, each successful certification is a reminder that people of good intent and goodwill – people like you -- are creating a new reputation for the state as a place where human rights and human dignity are at the heart of daily living.