Friday, April 09, 2010

Scientologist Chairs Fourth Annual Human Rights Walkathon to Raise Awareness of Abuse and Solutions

St. Petersburg, FL—More than 1,200 Tampa Bay residents of all ages walked quarter-mile laps around Straub Park in St. Petersburg Saturday, March 6, to raise human rights awareness. Ms. Linda Drazkowski, Founder and President of the Human Rights Group Inc., Scientologist, mother of two and Clearwater resident, created the Human Rights Walkathon four years ago, and has chaired it every year since. The fourth annual Human Rights Walkathon, produced by the Human Rights Group in partnership with Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, featured performances by hip hop artist MC Lyte, recording artist David Pomeranz, and the Dundu Dole Urban Ballet. Speakers included Mrs. Anna Rodriguez, founder of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Mr. James Evans, founder of the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope; Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, founder of the World Literacy Crusade; and Dustin McGahee, president of Youth for Human Rights Florida.

The day before the walkathon, an article in the Fort Meyers, Florida, News-Press pointed out the vital role education plays in protecting human rights. A 15-year-old Guatemalan girl living less than 150 miles south of St. Petersburg, in Immokalee, might still be enslaved and forced into sex, pornography and field labor today had it not been for the alertness of a Florida woman who suspected she was the victim of human trafficking and reported it to authorities.

Some 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. “People who know and understand human rights will not only stand up for their own rights but also for the rights of others,” said Drazkowski.

To raise awareness of this and other crucial human rights issues, the Human Rights Group uses educational booklets, DVDs and an educators’ guide created by Youth For Human Rights International in collaboration with the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International.

For more information on these programs and materials, visit United for Human Rights at

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