Each year, the ERCBNA Advocacy Office awards the Blessed Edmund Rice Advocacy Person of the Year Award, which recognizes an ERCBNA School staff member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to promoting advocacy efforts throughout the academic year. The recipient of the 2020-2021 award is Mr. Mike Dolan, who works as the Advocacy Director and history teacher at Brother Rice High School in Chicago.
Over the last year (and for many years before), Mike has done incredible work with Brother Rice Chicago’s Advocacy Club and with various campaigns across the North America Province, inspiring students and staff to take action in advocating for a variety of human rights issues.
Whether it was advocating for racial justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, raising awareness of the challenges and causes of homelessness or teaching students about the lasting effects of civil war in Cambodia through his work with Love Without Boundaries, Mike has lived out the role of an advocate in the tradition and Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice.
His work has not only enhanced the experiences of students and staff members at Br. Rice, but has also led other Edmund Rice schools to become more involved in advocating for justice and the promotion of human rights.
We congratulate Mike on this award, and thank him and the entire Brother Rice High School community for their efforts in continuing to live out the Charism of Edmund Rice in promoting human rights and justice in their community and beyond.
“The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists” (United Nations, OHCHR).
In preparation for each UPR session, NGOs and other organizations working with human rights are encouraged to submit written reports surrounding human rights concerns in the member state being reviewed. All member states are reviewed every 5 years and in January of 2022, the nation of Haiti will complete its UPR during the 40th URP Working Group Session. The ERCBNA Advocacy Office, in conjunction with the Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM) submitted a written report in July to Edmund Rice International (ERI), which will be used to report to the UN OHCHR.
To learn more about the UPR process and Edmund Rice International’s status with and work at the UN, click here.