CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A local Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) and the local chapter of Amnesty International will be hosting a weekend long series of educational, entertainment, and spiritual events to highlight local, national and international human rights issues.

Billed as the first annual Charlotte Human Rights Weekend, the event will take place at New Life MCC, meeting at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900 The Plaza. The events start Friday, June 20, at 7 p.m. with a screening of the documentary, “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” a Sundance Festival selection of first-person accounts of Iraq’s infamous prison. There will be discussion and refreshments.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., the church will host “Sounds of Freedom!”, a benefit concert, with performances and musical offerings by Volatile Baby, the Charlotte Community Drummers, “One Spirit” choir from Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte, Gordon Roque and the New Life Choir. Short first-person accounts of “What Human Rights Means to Me” will be given by Adrianna Taylor (Latin American Coalition); Myra Clark (Center for Community Transitions); Ashleigh Taylor Andrews (Time Out Youth); Tonda Taylor (NC Stop Torture Now); Tommy Yarborough (Urban Ministry Center). Refreshments and additional entertainment will follow.

On Sunday, a community potluck at 6 p.m. and a 7 p.m. worship service will take place honoring the work of Time Out Youth and Charlotte’s Amnesty International chapter founder Tonda Taylor. The “Tonda Taylor Human Rights Award” will be bestowed annually.

Since 1984, New Life MCC has been serving the Charlotte area as an all-inclusive Christian church, and is part of a denomination which has its historical origins in the LGBT community. This community worships weekly at 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings. New Life invites all to “Come as you are, believing as you do.”

If you go:
New Life Metropolitan Community Church
meeting at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
1900 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-334-0350 .