Boise Cuts the Ribbon on the Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights 

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Harrison Berry

If there were two messages the speakers at the Sept. 20 ribbon cutting for the Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights wanted the audience to hear, they were that it was a community-built space, and that it was as much a classroom as a call to action.

"It's not enough to think about and talk about human rights," said Wassmuth Center Executive Director Dan Prinzing, who emceed the ceremony.

The classroom is a stone-and-steel breezeway on the eastern end of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, and includes human rights-related quotes, video and photographic educational materials, and stately benches.

It's named after Marilyn Shuler, the Anne Frank Memorial co-founder, longtime director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission and Wassmuth Center board member whose storied career included decades of advocacy for marginalized people and, famously, being an integral part of the Gem State's response to the white supremacist group Aryan Nations. She died in 2017.

click to enlarge - Jyoni Tetsura Shuler, Marilyn Shuler's grandson, cuts the ribbon on the Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Jyoni Tetsura Shuler, Marilyn Shuler's grandson, cuts the ribbon on the Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights.
The civil rights leader's accomplishments and activities were so numerous that in 2017, when Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) introduced a tribute to her, House Concurrent Resolution 48, it was "pages long." There was one accomplishment, however, that Rubel said she wished Shuler had lived to see.

"I truly wish we could have honored her during her life by passing the Add the Words legislation," Rubel said, referring to adding "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to Idaho's human rights law.

Following remarks from Prinzing; Idaho State Independent Living Council Executive Director Mel Leviton; actor Wesli Spencer and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Marilyn's grandson Jyoni Tetsuro Shuler cut a ceremonial ribbon on the classroom. 
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