AIUSA Appoints New Executive Director Margaret Huang

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rk5stc0wI’m delighted to share the news that Amnesty International USA’s Board of Directors has appointed Margaret Huang as the organization’s Executive Director, effective immediately.

As you know, Margaret has played a key leadership role at AIUSA for the last several years, and she has worked in partnership with the Board, members, and staff to strengthen the organization in order to protect people’s human rights – no matter who they are or where they are. Over the last couple of years, donations and membership in AIUSA have increased, as supporters nationwide have been galvanized by our campaigns and advocacy work on key human rights issues. Margaret’s leadership has been central in bringing this stability and growth. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Where Is My Brother, Adel?

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By Ali Barazi

Adel Barazi was 28 years’ old when he was arrested on 11 August 2012. A group of armed uniformed men raided his family’s house and arrested Adel and three other family members and friends without presenting any official warrant or giving any information about the reason for their arrest.

It is so heartbreaking both to see a family member arrested without any reason but dreaming of a better future for his country and to know nothing of his whereabouts though already more than three years and a half now in detention. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Meet the 2016 Ginetta Sagan Award Winner: Julienne Lusenge

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Ginetta_SaganSilence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.” — Ginetta Sagan 

This year we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of The Ginetta Sagan Fund (GSF), an Amnesty International USA program through which we are privileged to honor and assist remarkable women from around the world who are changing the lives of millions for the better. Our awardees have included women whose work has shaped their local and global worlds, women who have often put their own lives on the line to defend the rights of others. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

The Road to the AGM

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March 24, 2016 – AGM Road Trip Playlist 1

The road to Amnesty International USA’s Annual General Meeting and Human Rights Conference technically began in April of 2015, when the AIUSA Board of Directors chose Miami as the host city for our 2016 conference. The literal road trip to the conference began on March 24, when events staff and interns packed the boxes of materials and equipment that we will need to pull off a successful AGM. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

One Letter Can Change a Life. Millions Can Start a Human Rights Movement

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By Maya Delany, Amnesty USA Student Activist Coordinator for Western Massachusetts

Last December, I arrived at my student group’s annual Write for Rights AmnesTEA event and was greeted by dim lighting, steaming beverages, and our group members sitting in a circle writing letters. I poured myself some tea, read summaries of each case, and started writing a letter to the King of Saudi Arabia about Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger who has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for simply expressing his opinions.

Last year’s Write for Rights, with hundreds of thousands of people worldwide writing a record-breaking 3 million letters and email actions SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Much to Be Thankful For

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By Meredith Reese, Missouri State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator (SDPAC)

It had been twenty-two years, seven months, twenty-two days and countless hours since Reggie Clemons was sentenced to death until, on November 24, 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out not only his sentence but also his murder conviction in its entirety. They sent the case back to the state, who has sixty days to decide whether to retry the case. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Will you stand with Teodora?

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Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, one of 12 cases in Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign this fall, has been in prison since 2008 because she suffered a still-birth.  

Teodora still has 23 more years to serve out of a 30-year prison sentence, which is supported by El Salvador’s draconian abortion law. El Salvador has a total ban on abortion, meaning that abortion is illegal even if a woman’s or girl’s life or health is at risk, if the fetus is not viable, or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

I Choose to Be a Radical, Unapologetic Human Rights Activist

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by Gerry Carolina Rivadeneira, 2015 Ladis Kristof Fellow

March 8, 2011. This was the day my activist self was born.

I remember it was a hot sunny day in the middle of Miami, Florida. I was standing on stage with a microphone in my hand and I told the crowd, “We are here for Women’s Rights! Women’s Rights here and worldwide!” The microphone became my tool for advocacy as I was standing there on top of the stage, rallying the participants before the 5k Walk 4 Women’s Rights began. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Is Your Activism Grounded in Anger?

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151024_1043Photos by Eli Bartz Photography

“Is your activism grounded in anger?” my friend asked. We sat around in the dimly lit restaurant after a day of workshops, panels, and planning at the Midwest Regional Conference vigorously discussing and debating this question. Our conversation went on for hours, drowning out time and the waning voices of our fellow diners. It had been a long, energizing day, and our minds were racing. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amnesty International USA

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Last November, we decided to send our sixth delegation of organizers and human rights observers to Ferguson. In response to requests from community members, AIUSA staff and members chose to go through training, to bear witness, to stand for accountability, and to lift up the voices of community members living their human rights.

These choices reflect a commitment to live our values in a way that recognizes that local human rights abuses are global human rights challenges. Amnesty sections, structures and offices from Hong Kong to Venezuela, and from Brazil to Turkey have made important changes to bring their work closer to the ground. Part of that shift for us here has meant a commitment to working more closely with communities who are most impacted by human rights abuses here at home. And by embarking on an ambitious body of human rights work, at AIUSA we also knew we would have to examine the ways our structure and staffing reflect that same commitment. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST