Launches Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign with Advance Screening of ‘Invictus’

Morgon Freeman at the Invictus special screening

Morgon Freeman at taping of the public service announcement for the campaign.

WEST HOLLYWOOD–The, a social network for peace and human rights, featuring Desmond Tutu, President José Ramos-Horta of East Timor and other Nobel Peace Prize winners, joined forces with Amnesty International, the UN Foundation, CARE, the One Campaign and twelve other human rights and peace building organizations to raise awareness for the Declaration of Human Rights Campaign with a screening on December 9 of Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Invictus.”

Actress Ann Archer and founder of Artists for Human Rights.

Actress Ann Archer and founder of Artists for Human Rights.

“Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar ( Matt Damon) to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing they can bring their nation together through the universal language of sport, Mandela and Pienaar rally South Africa’s underdog rugby team for an unlikely run in the 1995 World Cup. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, brilliantly depicts the story of how Mandela, the world’s greatest living human rights icon, used a unique sports platform to bring South Africans together and illustrates the core messages of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines 30 basic rights and freedoms to which all individuals are entitled. Nearly every armed conflict has been preceded by gross violations of these rights. Sometimes these rights are stripped away by an oppressive military dictatorship. They can also be gradually eroded in an otherwise free society.

TerriMorgan (Medium)

Terri Melkonian, the VP of Sunset Gower + Sunset Bronson Studios with Morgan Freeman.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is on the Advisory Board for the campaign, sent a special message for the launch. “The UDHR”, said Tutu, “represents the first time our world came together to make a statement about the value and dignity of human life. The nations that had gathered in the U.N. said in one voice: ‘We think that all men, all men and women, are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Warner Brothers presented a special advance screening of “Invictus” for the campaign launch held at the Pacific Design Center co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speaker Series.

Last week, a large group of Hollywood human Rights activists joined for a rare photo opportunity to support the UDHR campaign, including CCH Pounder, Peter Gabriel, Daniel Ellsberg, Joel Madden, Jamie King, Julian Sands, Keith Carradine, Priscilla Presley, Ann Archer, basketball legend Bill Walton, Lakers Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, DJ Mbenga, Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and many others. Morgan Freeman has filmed a video public service announcement for the campaign.

Billboards displaying the photos start going up around Southern California next week.

The South African Consul, Mr. Etienne van Straaten and Mary Shuttleworth Founder of Youth for Human Rights at the UDHR launch on December 9, 2009

The South African Consul, Mr. Etienne van Straaten and Mary Shuttleworth Founder of Youth for Human Rights at the UDHR launch.

“We have sixteen human rights and peace building organizations, and the City of West Hollywood, taking part in this campaign to raise awareness on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Mary Wald, Chairman and President of “Aligning this group of powerful organizations to the film – which tells an incredible story of making human rights a reality — was appropriate and a tremendous boost to the campaign.”


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