How to Get to the 2014 Midwest Regional Conference

Amnesty International Midwest RegionalThis year’s Amnesty International Midwest Regional Conference, if you haven’t yet heard, is in St. Louis at the Sheraton St. Louis City Center. If you’re not from St. Louis, or familiar with the Gateway to the West, then that information just sounds nice. The upcoming event, although awesome, also sounds too far away or too expensive for many in the Midwest to attend.

However, that’s an assumption that simply isn’t true for this year’s regional conference. Fortunately, for Amnesty members and human rights activists, the venue for this year’s conference is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from a major mass transit center. So, getting to this year’s conference is easier than ever before, no matter the transportation option. Here’s how to get to the 2014 Midwest Regional Conference:

By Plane

Flying is the most expensive way to get to St. Louis, even if your flight is just an hour or two. But, if you choose to get to St. Louis by airplane, then getting to the Sheraton St. Louis City Center from the airport is very easy.

  1. From the airport terminal, follow the signs directing you to the nearest Metrolink station. Lambert International Airport has two terminals, but each terminal has its own station.
  2. Purchase a two-hour ticket to ride the Metrolink. A two-hour ticket costs from the airport costs $4.00 (it will cost half as much when you need to go back to the airport). The ticket machines do accept debit and credit cards, but they also only give you change in $1 coins.
  3. Make sure you validate your ticket at the red validation stands BEFORE getting on the train. The stands are either located next to the ticket machine or at the entrance to the station platform. Security guards do walk through the stations to check your tickets and aren’t very lenient to tourists. Those who ride with unvalidated tickets are fined, so don’t take your chances.
  4. The trip from the airport to the CIVIC CENTER metro station is about 45 minutes, so enjoy the ride until you come to the CIVIC CENTER station (pictured below). The station is right across the street from the Sheraton (you can’t miss it), so simply exit the train at this stop and walk across the street.
  5. Enjoy the Midwest Regional Conference!

Civic Center Regional Conference

By Amtrak

The Amtrak may only be convenient for a few people since St. Louis is directly serviced by three Amtrak routes: two from Chicago and one from Kansas City, Mo. Although Amtrak is one of the more affordable transportation options, many will have to take the train to Chicago or Kansas City first before getting on a direct route to St. Louis.

  1. Find a way to get to Chicago or Kansas City, whichever is closest to you.
  2. Take the right Amtrak route, which would be the Illinois Service (Chicago), Missouri River Runner (Kansas City), or the Texas Eagle (Chicago).
  3. Exit at the St. Louis Gateway Station, also known as Amtrak Station STL, which is pictured below.
  4. Make your way past the Metrolink station to reach 14th street. Cross 14th street to reach the Sheraton, which is pictured above.
  5. Enjoy the Midwest Regional Conference!

Civic Center Metro Station

 

By Greyhound

The Greyhound buses may have a bad reputation, but the bus is one of the more affordable and convenient ways to travel to the conference this year. The Greyhound station, just like the Amtrak and the Metrolink station, is right across the street from the conference hotel.

  1. Schedule your trip with Greyhound. Our research found that only four cities in the Midwest have direct, express routes to St. Louis: Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Champaign, Ill.
  2. You may have to leave Thursday or early Friday to make it to the conference on time. Those coming from Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan will have to leave on Thursday or miss Friday’s activities.
  3. Those coming from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and other parts of Missouri can leave early Friday morning and still make it on time.
  4. Those in Minnesota and Wisconsin can either choose the express route from Minneapolis or Milwaukee or can choose to leave Thursday if you are coming from another part of the state.
  5. Enjoy the train ride.
  6. Make your way past the Metrolink station to reach 14th street. Cross 14th street to reach the Sheraton, which is pictured above. The bus station and the train station are in the same building, although the loading areas are in two different spots.
  7. Enjoy the Midwest Regional Conference

Hope this Helps

Many Amnesty members may decide against attending this year’s regional conference because the St. Louis location is too prohibitive. Hopefully, our explanation of the various transportation options makes attendance less of a hassle since it’s easy to get to the Sheraton via Amtrak, Greyhound or airplane. None of these options requires city knowledge to navigate the streets. Mass transit will take you to the conference in one trip.

Metro station photo courtesy of NextStop STL.

Amtrak station photo courtesy of Count on Downtown.

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Save the Date: The 2014 Midwest Regional Conference

Amnesty International Midwest RegionalMark your calendars to bring human rights home! The 2014 Amnesty International Midwest Regional Conference is in St. Louis this year! The three-day conference is scheduled for October 24-26 as the Sheraton St. Louis City Center in downtown St. Louis, right across the street from the Civic Center Metrolink station on 14th Street.

Pencil in the Dates Today

The registration page for the conference isn’t available yet, but if you are sure that you want to attend the conference, then make sure to book your rooms at the hotel now! Hotel rates for the conference are $85 per night, but the rate only lasts until Sept. 20 and are subject to availability. Besides the discounted room rate, conference attendees will also receive free Internet access in the room and discounted parking at the rate of $10 per day.

If you’re perhaps interested in volunteering, then we will be announcing when the volunteer sign-up page is live on the Facebook event page as well.

If you want to know when the registration page goes live, which should be before the end of the month, then please pledge your commitment to attend on our Facebook event page. This page will feature any and all updates regarding the conference, including when the registration page goes live and when we finalize speakers and sessions for the conference.

What to Expect from This Year’s Conference

Speaking of the sessions and workshops, the final agenda for the conference is still being determined. However, we already know of a few topics that will be covered, whether through a panel discussion, a workshop, a main speaker, or through a community action that will take place over the weekend. Those topics include:

  • Gun Violence
  • The Death Penalty
  • Write for Rights and prisoners of conscience around the world
  • Identity and Discrimination with women and/or the LGBT community
  • Security and Human Rights, such as Guantanamo Bay, Torture, Drones or Surveillance (it’s possible more than one of these topics will be featured)
  • Immigrants’ Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice or Worker’s Rights (it’s possible more than one of these topics will be featured)

Our Chapter is Participating!

Not only is the Amnesty International St. Louis chapter attending the conference, but many members of our chapter are also on the Planning Committee for the conference. This means the success of the conference rests with the local chapter, and we are proud of that responsibility. Our goal is to make this conference the best Midwest Regional Conference yet, and the best regional conference this year of all the regions. We believe we can achieve this goal, but reaching our goal won’t be possible unless you attend!

Please mark your calendars today for the last weekend in tomorrow! Please help us bring human rights home!

September Amnesty Business Meeting: Quick Plans and Updates

short business meeting

Seriously, our Amnesty business meetings are this much fun, even the short ones

Tomorrow, we’ll be having a short September business meeting to go over a few quick plans and updates regarding chapter events. One of the main things that we will be doing is planning our trip to the Midwest Regional Conference in Cincinnati coming up in November. If you are interested in attending with us, then it’s important that you make this meeting. We will need a head count, and it’s vital that you are part of the plans so that you are aware of travel arrangements and the logistics of the event.

Meeting Details

Who: Amnesty International members and human rights advocates (particularly those interested in attending the regional conference)

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 will meet in the main dining area, unless there isn’t enough room. If that’s the case, then we will head to the back study/meeting area.

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

Continue Reading Dirty Wars

At the next Amnesty business meeting, we will be discussing our latest book club choice, so read as much of the book as possible in preparation. You don’t have to read the entire book, but Dirty Wars is over 500 pages, so reading the first 50 pages might not give you much content and analysis to contribute to any discussion. Unfortunately, no one in the chapter has a copy for people to borrow, so you will have to obtain a copy on your own.

Big August Planning Meeting Tomorrow

amnesty business meetingIf there is an Amnesty business meeting to attend, then tomorrow is it. With school starting soon and the big holiday months on their way, this meeting is the one where the major decisions will be made. There are many events to coordinate for the rest of 2013, so if you want to be a part of the planning, or even part of the final event, then it’s best to be at Hartford Coffee Company at 7 p.m. Here’s what’s in store:

Midwest Regional Conference

We learned this week that our annual Midwest Regional Conference will be at the University of Cincinnati Law School between Nov. 8 – 10. During our meeting, we will get a head count of who wants to attend. We will also spend time sorting out our transportation options. If this is something that you want to be a part of, then please come so we know that you’re interested.

Reggie Clemons

As you may have heard, Judge Michael Manners finally made a decision on the Reggie Clemons case. This means that our fight will continue to ensure Clemons receives a new trial and that the death penalty is not used in this case (or in any case in Missouri). At tomorrow’s meeting, we will discuss the news and the avenues that we have for action and for building awareness on this issue.

Fall Fundraising Event

If you’ve attended previous meetings, then you probably know that we are in the middle of planning a fall fundraising event. Since we’d like this event to happen in late October or early November, then we will make some major decisions regarding this event tomorrow, such as the date, venue, and the exact type of event. Please attend if you want to do more than just talk about human rights or write letters, as this event will involve doing something we don’t normally do but also has a huge impact on human rights and on countless lives.

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!

Midwest Regional Conference 2013 – Save the Date!

midwest regional conferenceWe just received word that the Midwest Regional Conference is just around the corner! One of the coolest Amnesty events of the year is on November 8 through 10 at the University of Cincinnati Law School. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Power of Us.” There is no more information at this time, but we will definitely post when we hear who will be speaking and the sessions that will be offered.

If You Want/Plan to Attend

Then please attend our next business meeting on August 13. At this meeting, we will take a count of who’s interested in attending as well as start organizing a carpool to go to Cincinnati. You will have to pay your own meals and conference registration fee, but gas and hotel fees will be split. If you can’t attend, then please let us know that you’re interested by sending us an email at amnestystl@gmail.com.