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By Jennifer L. Warren
BEACON – Just look for the woman with the huge, radiant smile covering her face as she joyfully bounces up and down jogging, running-moving through the streets of Beacon, radiating positive vibes, contagious hope and just plain love for everyone. Whether it’s at sunrise, midday, or sunset, you will spot her, and be better for having had the transforming encounter.
Lifelong Beacon resident, Tara Simmons, is on a powerful journey, and she wants to take as many people as are willing to join along with her. The spark was ignited last October when a person close to Simmons tried to violate her basic human rights-ones she didn’t even know existed, never mind had the right to protect. That day, after enduring years of similar disrespect, everything changed; something inside of Simmons spoke loudly, and she listened. She had become enlightened about a critical document, containing the 30 basis rights ALL are entitled to, no matter the circumstances.
“I stood up to this person because I knew my rights, and everything had changed from that point on,” recalled Simmons, who said she just happened to stumble upon them because someone took them from her. “I had ‘flipped it,’ turning a negative situation into a positive one, something we all have the ability to do at any time.”
Simmons formally dubbed her “calling,” Flipit4Life, and explained how if you take the “Flipit” phrase backwards, each of the letters stand for her guiding mantra, “Turn Implied Powerlessness into Living Fearlessly.” That vision came first, flourishing when she coupled it with her newfound Human Rights knowledge.
Motivated by the historical document created in 1948 by The Human Rights Commission, and containing such caveats as; all of us being born free and equal, no one having the right to discriminate against another, the right to life, and the right to not be enslaved as well as not be tortured, Simmons wanted to now empower others in the same manner she had been. A runner, who had been training for an April, 2020 marathon pre-COVID, Simmons decided to mesh her passion for the sport and overall respect for all with a new goal: a 100 mile run, spreading awareness of the 30 Human Rights, and even a bit more: “The message encompasses all of the injustices we see in life,” explained Simmons, who chose an October date for its Domestic Abuse Awareness focus.
And so, that century trek will kick off at 2pm on October 3, 2020, when Simmons will set out at the State’s Capitol, Albany, at “The Egg,” situated in a plaza, used for live performances and symbolic for its many surrounding buildings of law and justice and wrap up her ultra run the next day, October 4, in the late afternoon, at home, in the City of Beacon. Along the way, there will be a visit to the Grace Smith House, a revered place that holds a deeply personal place in Simmons’ heart. During the final two miles of the run, there will be a march down Beacon’s Main Street, where participants will hold up signs, proudly displaying each of those 30 Human Rights; booklets delineating specifics on each one will also be distributed. For Simmons, the message of respect, along with EVERYone’s right to it, has been slowly evolving over the years; the time to finally unleash its potency is drawing closer, and she could not be more joyful about sharing it.
“If you don’t know you have these Human Rights, you can’t demand and protect them,” affirmed Simmons. “I’m intent on spreading the awareness of them because I want to live in a community that intentionally respects and protects one another at all times, no matter what.”
The finish line will be located at Beacon’s Long Dock Park, at the Waterfront. Two tents will be set up: Flipit4Life, providing tee-shirts, wristbands and Human Rights booklets; there will also be one for Beacon Family Service, providing crucial information on how people can get help if they feel their rights have been violated.
If you wish to donate to Simmons’ cause, you can do so by logging on to: Flipit4life.com or by going to: Flipit4GSH, directly giving to the Grace Smith House, which serves those dealing with domestic violence.