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A Lesson in Human Rights at the Local Level

Pat Davis remembers the incident like it was yesterday. At just 14, she was working part-time at the candy counter of the local dime store, when the full-time employees went on strike for six weeks to try to unionize. Pat walked the picket line after school. The effort to unionize failed. And afterward, Pat recalls, “I was warned not to talk with anyone about the strike or I would lose my job. I never forgot that threat.” That early experience led to Pat’s interest in defending human rights. In college, for instance, she volunteered with the ACLU. “I saw what’s involved in the fight for human rights,” she said, “and the effects on those whose rights are violated.” And later, Pat and her husband, Gil, began giving regularly to Human Rights Watch.

“I like the political approach that Human Rights Watch takes to effecting change,” Pat said. “The organization has a growing presence in the U.S. and around the world.” Then the couple decided to deepen their support. So they set up a legacy gift with a charitable gift annuity, a gift that pays them a steady income. “The regular payments augment our income,” Pat said, “so it’s a win-win partnership.” But it’s not just the benefit they receive – it’s the benefit to humanity. “We believe in the work Human Rights Watch is doing and are proud to support them,” Pat said. “Human Rights Watch is influencing real change.”

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