Leading up to our 2015 human rights conference in Brooklyn, NY, March 20-22, we are highlighting six Amnesty International USA staff members and moments in their life that have helped build their career in the human rights movement! Read all six in our “Meet me at the AGM” blog series.
NAME: Anupriya Ghate
I WORK FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA AS: Digital Campaign Strategist
IN THAT ROLE I:
- Manage, create and drive human rights activism on Facebook, Twitter & other online platforms
- Do a lot of graphic design work to create resources and visually captivating graphics to maximize impact
- Create online resources and web content to support staff and activists
HOW DID YOU GET THERE?
I started working for Amnesty International USA right after I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. I joined the organization as an intern and later applied for and was hired as the Individuals at Risk team, Campaigns Associate.
In this position I learned how important technology, social media and digital activist are to the human rights movement. This motivated me to teach myself skills like coding, graphic design and database management using free online classes, tools and tutorials. Over time I built my skills in these areas by working as a freelance graphic designer and as the digital media producer at the United Nations Foundation before joining the Amnesty International USA team again!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL?
My first significant involvement with Amnesty International was when I began the exciting process of starting up the Amnesty student group at my university.
MY ACTIVIST TOOL OF CHOICE IS:
- Pen and paper
- Computer ←
WHY? The growing number of authorities and influencers on social media make online activism a powerful tool to show public support for an issue and demand justice, accountability and transparency.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST BARRIER BUILDING YOUR CAREER?
I am a first generation American born in India and raised in the US. My parents worked tirelessly to open doors for me and sacrificed so much to ensure that I was safe, happy and successful. Despite their invaluable support they were never shy about voicing their concerns about my desire to pursue a career in human rights. No one in my family had worked in this field and when I told my relatives back in India what my goals were I got a lot of eye-rolls and well intentioned advice sent my way.
Growing up and watching my parents raise two daughters while tackling countless challenges, cultural barriers and discrimination in the US gave me a never-ending source of motivation in my life. I saw all the sacrifices they made to ensure my success and I did NOT want to let them down so my biggest barrier was ensuring not only my parents but also myself that despite all the possible roadblocks, working to protect human rights was what I wanted. And it was.
This BIG life decision was hard for my parents to accept and building their confidence was no easy road. It took hours of work, a handful of internships and jobs that I found through tireless networking and HUNDREDS of emails and calls to get where I am! In the end it was all worth it because I get to support the work of courageous activists around the world.
AS AN ACTIVIST WHEN WERE YOU MOST OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
As someone who prefers to work behind a computer screen, I was MOST out of my comfort zone when I was handed a megaphone and asked to lead a rally outside the Russian Embassy!
But it was one of the most transformative moments for me as an activist!
THE MOST IMPORTANT CLASS YOU TOOK: First year of college, International Relations. My professor was a genocide prevention scholar and taught his entire course through a human rights lens.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND GIVE YOURSELF 3 PIECES OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
- Don’t underestimate the power of technology: Take some time to explore and learn computer skills like coding and graphics design using free online tools and classes
- Take in advice but don’t let people tell you that building a career in human rights is impossible. It’s a lot of work, but it’s not impossible.
- Take care of yourself & take time off to relax! Spend time with your family, friends and most importantly yourself.
The “Meet me at the AGM” blog series highlights six Amnesty International USA staff members and moments in their life that have helped build their career in the human rights movement.
There are many paths, types of work, areas of interest and specialties that make up the Amnesty movement. See how these young professionals tackled barriers, faced challenges and made a career in human rights.
Meet Anupriya and hundreds more on March 20-22, at our biggest human rights conference of the year in Brooklyn, NY. Nearly 1,000 activists are expected to attend what will likely be our largest Annual General Meeting to date. Register online here!