Starting a local group can be a fun and exciting way to put your human rights activism to practice. When you start a local group, you'll have the chance to get to know people in your community, work with local organizations to educate and take action on a human rights issue and a case your group feels passionate about.
You can shape Amnesty's presence in your local community. Working with members and staff organizers who are focused on building and nurturing your new group, you're bound to have success.
Here are five steps that you can pursue on your own time, to begin organizing a new local group:
1. Learn More. Set up an informal conversation with one of our Field Organizers or Area Coordinators to see if the local group work is a good fit for you and what it takes to start a local group. To get in contact with a local organizer or Area Coordinator in your state, contact 866-A-REGION (866-273-4466) or see our list of state organizers.
2. Organize a Core. Once you've decided local group work is for you, it's time to tap into your network of friends, neighbors and co-workers to see who might be interested in learning more about Amnesty's work and possibly joining your group. You can start by gathering about 3-5 people who will be the core of your local group.
3. Step up your Activism. Together your core group will decide what aspects of Amnesty's work you want to focus on and how your group plans to recruit new members! After a few months of meetings with your new group, you'll step up your activism by taking action on human rights violations through letter writing, recruiting new members, and organizing a first event.
4. Get Chartered. Once your local group has a solid foundation of members and activities, it will have the opportunity to get chartered for official AI recognition. At this time, your group will be offered the opportunity to take on an individual case, receive a local group number and a set of orientation materials to deepen and expand your activism and connect you to other groups.
5. Develop a Plan. Now that your group is chartered and organized, it's time to develop a plan that will help you strengthen your connection to Amnesty's work and your local community. Your group will explore how it wants to campaign on its assigned case and on Amnesty's national human rights campaigns and how it wants to grow its members and relationships with other local organizations engaged with human rights.
Your Field Organizer and Area Coordinator will help develop this plan and support your new group's development!