Join Amnesty in Miami for AGM 2016!

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#OurWorld

Every spring, Amnesty International holds its national conference, or Annual General Meeting (AGM). The conference is a great opportunity for Amnesty members and human rights activists around the country to gather and meet, learn more about various human rights issues, learn strategies for better activism and leave feeling inspired to do more! This year’s AGM takes place in Miami, Florida during the first weekend in April and this year’s theme is “Change Our World.”

Agenda

The conference agenda isn’t set in stone, but prepare for a jam-packed weekend with great speakers and even better info to add to your human rights activism! Activities start at 10:30 a.m. EST, but the official opening isn’t until 3:30 p.m. Attend early if you’re in (or interested in) a leadership position with Amnesty. Otherwise, come at 3:30 for the official opening, or earlier at 2 p.m. for a human rights action (the specific details for the action are TBD).

How to Attend

There are a couple of things you need to know if you wish to attend the conference.

  1. Registration: You need to register for the event by March 28. Early bird registration costs $145 for non-Amnesty members and $120 for Amnesty members and ends Feb. 29. Membership is NOT INCLUDED in the registration fee. There are discounts for students, senior citizens and those on a limited income. You can register for the conference on Friday or Saturday of the event as well.
  2. Travel and Lodging: The conference is at a hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center. Amnesty does have a special rate for rooms at $199/night. Make sure to mention your Amnesty International affiliation to receive the special rate. The rate only lasts until March 4, so book as soon as possible. If the hotel is already full, then there are plenty of other options nearby.
  3. If you are a minor, or are considering bringing your children to the conference, then this waiver needs to be filled out and signed.

Amnesty STL Travel Arrangements

At this time, the St. Louis local group does not have any travel arrangements set. If you’re interested in attending the conference, then it’s best to plan your travel and lodgings on your own. We will announce any changes to the travel arrangements.

Hope to see you in Miami! Please contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding the conference!

 

April Business Meeting Wednesday

Amnesty Business Meeting aprilIt’s April! This means spring is finally here! It also means that our monthly business meetings are moving from the second Tuesday of the month to the second Wednesday of the month. We made this change to allow those who have Tuesday commitments, but still want to be involved with our chapter, to attend at least one of our meetings each month. The time and place of these meetings are the same. So, if you are available this Wednesday at 7 p.m., then consider coming to our upcoming business meeting.

Did You Miss Our Annual General Meeting?

Amnesty International’s annual national human rights conference took place over the weekend, and a few of our members were able to attend. Most of the meeting will be spent updating everyone on what happened during the conference, which includes session recaps, any important information regarding the national organization, and anything else that’s noteworthy (Edward Snowden made a surprise appearance by video, which I think is pretty darn awesome). Besides Snowden, one of the things that the group will be updated on are the resolutions the members voted on during the final day of the conference. These resolutions dictate organizational direction and policy and are created by members during the regional conferences.

Another point of business for tomorrow’s meeting is that we will be deciding our next book club meeting. Every few months, our chapter chooses a human rights book to read. We give ourselves about two months to read the book, where we discuss the contents of our choice at an upcoming meeting. If you want to participate in our next book club discussion, then please come on Wednesday so that you know which book we will be reading. Below is a list of the titles that have been suggested so far, and we be among the choices:

(1)  Phillip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families — about the Rwanda genocide – Full Summary & Reviews
(2)  Death to the Dictator! – A Young Man Casts a Vote in Iran’s 2009 Election and Pays a Devastating Price by Afsaneh Moqadam – Full Summary & Reviews
(3)  Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon – Full Summary & Reviews
(4)  Iran Awakening by Sharin Ebadi (Nobel Peace Prize Winner) — a short and engaging book about the impact of the Islamic revolution in Iran on women’s rights and free speech – Full Summary & Reviews
(5)  Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir – edited by Sanjay Kak — a collection of writings by Kashmiris telling their own stories about the 2010 uprising in Kashmir – Full Summary & Reviews

April  Business Meeting Details

Who: Amnesty International members and human rights advocates

What: A meeting to discuss our upcoming events, as well as provide a recap of the Annual General Meeting that took place over the weekend.

When: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Hartford Coffee Company, on the corner of Roger and Hartford, located in the Tower Grove area. We meet in the front dining area.

Why: Because there’s much to talk about and much to be done!

photo credit: Sorin Mutu via photopin cc

Updates and Upcoming Events for 2014

Amnesty International events 2014The next two months have a lot going on, so pay attention! We have several events coming up in the next eight weeks, including two movie screenings and our annual conference in Chicago. If you haven’t been to a chapter meeting recently, or even if you have, then below is everything you need to know about what’s happening in March and April regarding human rights activism. We hope that you join us for at least one event or meeting.

Dirty Wars Screening

In partnership with the Peace Economy Project, the Instead of War Coalition, and Webster University, we are hosting a screening the Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars. The documentary is based on a book by the same name, discussing the US’s covert war on terrorism and its use of unmanned drones in countries where the US has not declared war. Below is the information regarding the movie screening:

  • When: Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Webster University Library Conference Room
  • Address: 101 Edgar Rd, St. Louis MO, 63119
  • Cost: Free

Besides the screening, Rafia Zakaria of DAWN, a Pakistani newspaper, will be attending the event for a post-screening discussion. The discussion will involve the content from the documentary as well as Pakistan’s involvement and coverage of the issue.

No Fire Zone Screening

Exactly one week from our Dirty Wars screening is another moving screening at the exact same location and at the exact same time. This movie screening is hosted by the Webster University chapter of Amnesty International and will feature the documentary No Fire Zone. This human rights documentary talks about abuses in Sri Lanka.

  • When: Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Webster University Library Conference Room
  • Address: 101 Edgar Rd, St. Louis MO, 63119
  • Cost: Free

Annual General Meeting

April 4-6 is the annual general meeting, or the yearly national human rights conference for Amnesty International. This year’s theme is “Bring Human Rights Home” and the conference is in Chicago at the JW Marriott Hotel. Our chapter is attending, so we really hope that you’d like to come with us, or at least see us there at some of the great seminars.

On the agenda for this year’s conference:

  • Redefining Justice: The State of Criminal Justice & Human Rights in the US & Around the World
  • How Social Media Helped Abolish the Death Penalty
  • Activism Through Arts
  • Defend Human Rights by Learning About Fundraising
  • The Time is Now! Making Women’s Rights a Global Reality. Focus: North Africa – Egypt and Morocco
  • LGBT Rights are Human Rights: Getting to Know the Movement

We will be discussing transportation at our upcoming March business meeting (details below), so if you are interested in attending you don’t have to go by yourself. Please stop by so we know that you’re interested and can include you in our plans.

New Tentative Meeting Schedule

To allow more members to come to more meetings, we are making a slight change to our meeting schedule so that we can accommodate those who have Tuesday night commitments and could never make it to a meeting. Our new tentative meeting schedule, which will take effect in April, is as follows:

  • The business meeting will be moved to the second Wednesday of the month. So, our April business meeting is Wednesday, April 9.
  • The letting writing meeting will remain scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of the month. The April letter writing meeting is scheduled for April 22.

Hopefully, this change will allow you to attend at least one of our meetings per month. This change also allows more members to facilitate meetings. Please let us know if you have any thoughts on the proposed schedule or if you are willing to help facilitate either a business meeting or a letter writing meeting.

Next Amnesty International Meeting

To clarify, the March meeting is still scheduled for March 11, which is the second Tuesday of the month. April is when we make the change to the second Wednesday of the month. The March business meeting is especially important to attend if you want to come with our chapter to the conference in Chicago, but it’s always great to attend our meetings if you’re interested in human rights activism at all. Below are the meeting details:

Who: Amnesty International members and human rights advocates

What: A meeting to discuss upcoming events and current affairs.

When: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Hartford Coffee Company on the corner of Roger and Hartford. We meet in the very back past the patio.

Why: Because there’s much to talk about and much to be done!

Meeting Tomorrow at Mokabe’s!

amnesty general meetingFor tomorrow’s business meeting, we will be meeting at Mokabe’s instead of Hartford. The reason is that the bulk of our meeting will be a presentation from Emily on LGBT rights. Since Mokabe’s is a very gay-friendly coffeehouse, we thought it would be a fitting location for this meeting. The meeting is still from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, and is only about two blocks from Hartford on the corner of Grand and Arsenal.

Besides the presentation, we will also be discussing the upcoming Annual General Meeting in Washington DC, which is about a month away. This will be an incredibly valuable and important meeting to attend, so please do so if you can. We also understand that tomorrow is the State of the Union, Mardi Gras, and Lincoln’s birthday rolled into one, so if you don’t have any plans to do any of these three things, please attend our meeting.

Once again, we want to note the location change. Tomorrow’s meeting (and tomorrow’s only) will be at Mokabe’s on the corner of Grand and Arsenal. It will not be at Hartford. We will return to Hartford for our letter writing meeting later this month. The meeting is still from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Use Your Power Next Month at the AGM

agm 2013It’s Annual General Meeting time again! This year’s Amnesty International conference will be held at The Hyatt Regency Bethesda near Washington, D.C. from Friday, March 22nd to Sunday, March 24th (note that the location has switched from the American University School of Law)! This year’s conference theme is Use Your Power, emphasizing how individuals can use their power to effect change in the world. Our chapter is planning on attending, so if you’d like to come with us or meet us there, then register today! Spaces are limited this year, so register early.

We don’t yet have a full agenda for the conference (we will post it once we know) but this year’s AGM is still going to be an exciting one. Don’t miss out on an amazing lineup of human rights defenders, organizers, and change makers during our conference sessions which address crucial human rights issues — such as discrimination against women as drivers of the MENA uprisings, the disappearance of trans-migrants in Mexico, the barriers preventing LGBT persons to access justice in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the role of the U.S. government in protecting human rights at home and abroad.

Congressman Jim McGovern, filmmaker Carlos Lascano, performer Luis Saldana and band members of Sins of the Loose Buttons are among our confirmed guests. You’ll also be given the opportunity to Use Your Power during a rally action for the Arm’s Trade Treaty, so if you haven’t been to an Amnesty conference before, or even in a while, this one is a must-attend. The AGM is one of the biggest events of the year for the chapter and for the organization, so make sure to register today or to let us know your interest in attending. Hope to see you there!

Amnesty St. Louis 2013 – What to Look Forward To

amnesty international 2013Events for the Amnesty International St. Louis chapter have come to a close for 2012. No more meetings, no more big events, no more action besides the action we take as individuals on our own time. Although we could reflect on our previous accomplishments, we are choosing instead to look toward the future and to think about what we’ll be doing next. Here are some things to look forward to in the first few months of 2013:

  • Jan. 8 – First business meeting of the new year! One of our members will be doing a presentation on human rights in China. It’s a great way to start 2013 right.
  • Jan. 22 – First letter writing meeting of the new year. Hopefully we will also have good news regarding some of our write-a-thon cases, or even the Reggie Clemons case.
  • Sometime in January – Results from the Reggie Clemons special hearing. After the week-long hearing in September, we should hopefully have a ruling in January. If not, then February at the latest.
  • March 22-24 – Amnesty International’s Annual General Meeting in Washington DC – This is one of the biggest events of the year, where members from all over the country come together to learn about the issues, to learn how to be better activists, and to network with other members from our state and from other states. Our chapter plans on going a day early to lobby our members of Congress, since we’ll be  in the neighborhood. Hopefully, you’ll join us!

Save the Date – 3 Upcoming Amnesty International Events

2013 Annual General MeetingJust because the holidays are coming up doesn’t mean that we’re taking a break on our human rights activism. Far from it! We still have a few more events coming up in 2012, with one big one coming up in 2013 (see pic). We’re excited, and we hope you can attend at least one of them!

Write-a-Thon

Saturday December 8, 4-9 p.m.- Mark this date, as this is when we will hold our annual ‘Write-a-Thon” to celebrate Human Rights Day. During the Write-a-Thon, we write letters on specific cases in conjunction with Amnesty International chapters around the country. This is meant as a big push on these particular cases so we can see some progress. We’ve previously held this event at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, so more details will be sent out once we get the green light from them. If you can, please come to this one to at least write a letter and to enjoy a free beer (last couple years we each got a free beer).

Yearly Holiday Party

In December, we only have one meeting instead of two because our second one if often too close to Christmas. This year, that one meeting is on Dec. 11, where our tradition is to bring desserts for a potluck and to write holiday cards to prisoners of conscience and their families. It’s out last meeting of 2012, so come if you can!

Annual General Meeting

At the Regional Conference in Chicago this past weekend, we received an official announcement on the 2013 AGM (Annual General Meeting). Due to budget constraints, it will be held at American University’s Washington College of Law on March 22-24 in Washington, DC. There aren’t any additional details regarding programming. However, if people can make time on the Friday or Monday connected to the conference this could be an opportunity to meet and lobby our local members of Congress while in DC.