Sriyani Tidball received the Human Rights Award from Church Women United of Omaha on Human Rights Day, Oct. 25. The award recognizes individuals who have worked to bring improvements to the human condition.
An advertising and public relations professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Tidball delivered the keynote address at the Church Women United Human Rights Celebration. The annual event is intended to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enacted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on Dec. 10, 1948.
A native of Sri Lanka, Tidball has worked to combat human trafficking both globally and locally. She has also worked with the poor in Sri Lanka for many decades and, in recent years, helped with the relief and restoration work after the 2004 tsunami. She has chaired the annual Human Trafficking Conference in Lincoln for the past two years and is the adviser for the Nebraska University Students Against Modern Slavery chapter at UNL.
In 2010, Tidball received the Martin Luther King Award from Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman in recognition of her involvement in community initiatives and accomplishments in caring for others. She joined the faculty of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2008.
Founded in 1941, Church Women United is a Christian women's movement that acts on behalf of women and children throughout the world. It is organized into more than 1,200 local and state groups in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. CWU works to bring awareness to human trafficking and provide children with the basics they need to survive.
"We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation in 1789 [the French Declaration of the Rights of Citizens], the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the US, and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries."