Tavis Smiley, Nazanin Boniadi Join Human Rights Activists at Amnesty International Western Regional Conference on Nov. 1-3 in Los Angeles

Press Release
October 29, 2013

Tavis Smiley, Nazanin Boniadi Join Human Rights Activists at Amnesty International Western Regional Conference on Nov. 1-3 in Los Angeles

Contact: Carol Gregory, cgregory@aiusa.org, 202-675-8759, @AIUSAmedia

(LOS ANGELES) – Hundreds of human rights activists will gather at Amnesty International's 2013 Western Regional Conference in Los Angeles on November 1-3 at the Four Points by Sheraton Lax. This year's notable panelists will include PBS television and radio talk show host Tavis Smiley, the opening speaker on Friday, Nov. 1; Amnesty International USA's new Executive Director Steven Hawkins, speaking at the opening plenary on Saturday, Nov. 2, as well as Tibetan human rights advocate Lhamo Tso and "Homeland" and "Iron Man" actress Nazanin Boniadi, speaking at the closing plenary spotlighting individuals and communities at risk on Sunday, Nov. 3.

The three-day conference, themed the "Power of Us," will highlight the impact individuals have as grassroots activists for human rights.

The program will feature a wide range of expert panels and skill-building workshops on the death penalty, Russia's crackdown on freedom of expression, arts and human rights, women's rights, the Guantanamo Bay prison, drones, torture, and other pressing human rights concerns. In addition, the Sundance Award-winning documentary "Dirty Wars" by Jeremy Scahill will be screened.

"Now more than ever, individuals facing dangers and abuses in the United States and around the globe need our voices and our commitment to social justice to bring about change," said Hawkins. "The seminars and workshops at our weekend regional conferences help activists gain the skills and knowledge they need to maximize their impact and amplify their voices as they demand social change."

For more information, including a detailed agenda of the conference, post conference events, and registration materials, visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/regional-conferences/western-regional-conference.

EVENT:          Amnesty International Western Regional Conference

DATE:            Friday, Nov. 1 - Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013

LOCATION:    Four Points Sheraton Hotel LAX, 9750 Airport Blvd,
                       Los Angeles, CA 90045
                       (310) 645-4600

SPEAKERS:   Steven Hawkins, Amnesty International USA's New Executive
                       Director
                       Tavis Smiley, nationally renowned TV and radio talk show host
                       Lhamo Tso, wife of imprisoned Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup
                       Wangchen
                       Nazanin Boniadi, human rights advocate and actress in
                       "Homeland," "Iron Man," and "How I Met Your Mother"
                       Steven M. Kleinman, former intelligence officer and
                       counterterrorism expert
                       Gloria Killian, spent 17 years behind bars for a murder she did
                       not commit, and narrowly escaped death row
                       Krishanti Dharmaraj, women's rights advocate, Executive
                       Director of IANGEL (International Action Network for Gender
                       Equity and Law) and founder of Dignity Index
                       Anne K. Richardson, civil rights lawyer who has represented a
                       Guantanamo detainee
                       Ann Burroughs, former prisoner of conscience in South Africa
                       and current Amnesty International USA Board Chair
                       Professor Kim Shayo Buchanan, teaches international and
                       comparative human rights law, prisoners' rights, reproductive
                       rights, race, gender and sexuality at USC Gould School of Law
                       Heather Hargreaves, works for GO! (Generation Out)
                       Athletes, a national network of current and former LGBTQA
                       student-athletes and allies at high school, collegiate, and
                       post-graduate levels that serves to educate and empower

RSVP:             Register online by 12 p.m. PST, Monday, Oct. 28 or register
                       on-site at the conference ($20 for student and $30 for adults).

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.