For more than 40 years, Amnesty International USA has hosted regional conferences in cities across the country. These conferences have provided a space for people to come together to increase knowledge, build skills, and exchange ideas and strategies for progressing a human rights agenda! This year, given the pandemic, we will be hosting one virtual Activism Conference over 3-days, November 13-15, 2020.
This year’s conference theme, Activism is the Art of Disruption, is a call to action. It is a tribute to individuals that agitate and movements that dare to push the needle for the goal of achieving positive social change. As we continue to confront the human rights disparities that COVID-19 has exposed, demand that police stop killing Black people and attacking peaceful protestors, and continue to challenge bad public policies that violate human rights, we need to increase our activism and build people power! We will disrupt human rights abuse. We will disrupt unjust systems. We will do it strategically, in solidarity and partnership, and we will win!
Please see the Agenda tab below to see our full program. You can filter by track and see descriptions and speaker bios directly in this tab.
You can view our full program below. You can filter by track and see descriptions and speaker bios directly in this tab. Registration will close on Wednesday, November 11th at 11:59pm EST. Don’t miss out – get your tickets now for this exciting weekend of human rights programming!
On Saturday, 11/14 from 8-9:30pm EST, join us for a special Write 4 Rights event! During this event, we will have live performances from our very own activists including music, poetry and more, all while writing letters for people who need urgent help. See you there! Note, this requires a separate registration. You can register here.
We are excited to be hosting the Virtual Activism Conference on Whova! Once you register, you will receive an email with details on how to access the event page on Whova. Whova will host all aspects of the conference including pre-recorded content, live sessions, discussion rooms, scheduling capabilities, and other opportunities for networking.
For more information on Whova, please click the Attendee Guide below.
The National Resolutions Committee (NRC) is working with staff and members to create virtually accessible working parties and voting sessions for the regional conferences. More information to come but if you have any questions, or would like to submit a resolution, please contact [email protected] and [email protected].
Please note, to ensure your ability to vote during working parties, please register for the conference by November 5th, 2020, and ensure you are up to date on your membership dues. To vote during Sunday’s voting plenary, please ensure your registration and dues are completed by November 10th. For any questions on voting privileges, or if you register for the conference and/or pay your dues after November 10th, please contact Aashka Merchant at [email protected].
The AIUSA Membership Resolutions Process Fall 2020 Submissions Guidelines & Submission Form can be found by clicking the box below. Please note, the deadline to submit a resolution is October 23rd, 2020.
Working Party: TBC between 11/10 – 11/12
Voting Plenary: Sunday, 11/15 from 4-5:30pm EST
Deadline: Thursday, 11/5 at 5pm EST
At the AIUSA Regional Conferences (this year the Virtual Activism Conference), resolutions may be voted on by Individual Voting Members and by one designated delegate from each registered AIUSA Student or Local Group. Group voting cards are available to AIUSA chartered groups that have renewed their status with the organization, by completing the annual Local Group Census. To obtain a Group Voting Card, the Group Coordinator/Chair must submit a completed copy of this authorization. The recommended deadline is Thursday 11/5 at 5pm EST. The purpose of this form is to indicate who the authorized Group delegate will be at the Virtual Activism Conference. You will be asked to also indicate 2 back-up delegates in the event that the Group delegate is unable to be present. The Group delegate will receive additional information via email. Please discuss the resolutions with your group before the conference. The Resolutions to be considered will be found on the Member Center prior to the conferences. To submit your Group Authorization Form, please click the box below.
Amnesty International is committed to the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility) because we all belong in the movement for human rights. As we host our conference virtually, we are still implementing IDEA practices and measures in order to create an inclusive space for everyone. Please review our AIUSA’s Virtual Community Agreements and the Interim Code of Conduct.
We are continuously working towards our conferences being IDEA centered events and are committed to our growth in this area. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on the topic of IDEA at the Activism Conference, we can be reached at [email protected].
For more information about IDEA at Amnesty International, please click the box below.
Registration will close on Wednesday, November 11th at 11:59pm EST.
This year, we will not be charging for tickets, and instead will be offering one General Admission ticket with an optional donation.
In everything we take on, our work is premised on the notion that the ripple effect from one person’s example can be felt across the world. And that’s the effect that you have as an Amnesty supporter. By donating to Amnesty, you and thousands of other individuals are coming together to amplify your impact by helping us continue our on-the-ground fight to protect human dignity, freedom and justice.
Will you give a gift of $5, $10, $15 or $25 today?
No donation is too small: whatever amount you can give is greatly appreciated. If you are able to give a gift at this time, please select the ticket General Admission (with donation). If you are unable to give a gift at this time, please select the ticket General Admission and know that we are incredibly grateful for your continued activism.
Thank you for all you do to protect and defend human rights around the world.
Questions? Please email [email protected]
Membership Note: Please note that for this conference, a donation of $15 or more will count toward voting/membership fees. Questions? Please email [email protected].
Deadline for Submission: Monday, October 26 at 11:59 PM EST
This year’s conference theme is Activism is the Art of Disruption. It is a call to action and tribute to individuals that agitate, and movements that dare to push the needle for the goal of achieving positive social change. As part of the conference we will have Virtual Action Alley, and we’re inviting members to propose compelling and timely action tables with attendees in this virtual space.
Virtual Action Alley will be accessible through the easy to use Whova App. All virtual action tables will be showcased in the Exhibitor Center within Whova, and conference attendees will be encouraged to visit your table and take action. AIUSA wants to ensure that your action tables are successful, so we are offering a special prize for attendees who take 15 or more actions by the end of the conference weekend–an Amnesty Human Rights facemask! Attendees will also be able to connect directly with table hosts, and you’ll be able to engage with them during and after the conference.
All AIUSA activists and supporters are encouraged to submit a virtual Action Alley table! Due to limited space, we cannot accept multiple proposals from the same individual. All virtual action alley tables must have an action or petition that aligns with AIUSA policy. If your proposal is accepted, reviewers may come back to you with suggestions with the most opportune way to share the action that you are seeking to showcase.
We are accepting Action Alley Virtual Table proposals until Monday, October 26th! We are eager to highlight the diverse and innovative advocacy happening across the country and are looking forward to reading your proposals.
To submit your Action Alley Application, please click the box below.
The National Working Group for Regional Conferences is a shared leadership group of 6 AIUSA members and 1 staff. The mission of this working group is to establish clear guidelines for regional conference planning that centers membership engagement in determining conference programming. Members of this working group are:
Alicia Koutsoulieris has been a member of the Amnesty International local group in Orlando since 2009. She played an integral part in establishing the AI student group at the University of Central Florida that same year. In 2010, she became the local group coordinator and remained in that position until 2014. She is now co-coordinator of the group. She has been an Area Coordinator for Florida since 2010 and recently joined the AC Steering Committee. In addition, Alicia has served as the Case Coordinator for Israel/OPT/State of Palestine since 2014. Her first trip to Palestine was the Spring of 2016 with the Interfaith Peace Builders delegation. Alicia completed her undergraduate work at UCF, BA Political Science (2009) and BA in History (2010), with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Religious Studies. She is currently working on her Masters in Political Science, also at UCF.
Allison Reilly has been a member of Amnesty International for 15 years, spending the last two serving as Area Coordinator for Missouri. Prior to her AC role, she served as Local Group Coordinator for Local Group #105 in St. Louis and Co-Coordinator of the Saint Louis University student group. By day, Allison is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at a regional Planned Parenthood. By night, she enjoys playing video games and tabletop role playing games and creating her own human rights-themed Dungeons
Cynthia Gabriel Walsh is the Senior Director for Organizing & Activism for Amnesty International USA. She has been a leading organizer with AI since 1998. Cynthia specializes in program development, leadership development, and community organizing. Cynthia holds a Masters of Science in Dispute Resolution from the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts. Cynthia served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa and has traveled extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa. She is a self-described backyard farmer and loves to experiment in her kitchen lab! She attended her first regional conference in 1990 and has been a part of regional conference planning for more than 25 years. One of her most memorable regional conference experiences was when “Dwight Schrute” a.k.a Rainn Wilson attended the Northeast Regional Conference in 2011.
Ernest Young III, has been a member of Amnesty International for 3 years, spending the last two serving as the Legislative Coordinator for the State of Illinois. Ernest is also a member of local group #113 Chicago, IL. Ernest serves as a Learning Ambassador for Amazon, assisting in the onboarding of new associates to the company. Ernest is also a member of the Executive Committee of the NAACP South Side Branch Chicago,IL. I serve as the Chair of the Membership Committee. Ernest is active in various community outreach endeavors.
Eva Birk-Petri has worked with Amnesty International for the last five years. She began as her high school’s chapter leader and is now a first year student at Ohio Wesleyan University hoping to create a college chapter there. Planning to major in Environmental Science and Anthropology, Eva is very passionate about the environment, social justice issues, the arts, and the welfare of animals. She has been volunteering ever since she can remember. She began with animal rights activism when she was in elementary school, and her passions and activism grew with each year. Whether it is a gun reform rally, Black Lives Matter protest, or fundraising for refugee families, Eva does whatever she can to create necessary change. In the process, she has worked with Columbus City officials as well as civic youth organizations. Her most memorable AI conference was the Chicago AGM in 2019. She and her high school chapter traveled to Chicago via Greyhound bus and spent days learning from the amazing speakers. The Amnesty community was so welcoming and warm. That same community continues to give Eva a trusting outlet for her activism as well as a family of like-minded peers.
Peter Booth is a high school teacher in Northern Vermont and has co-led the Amnesty student group at Champlain Valley Union High School since 2007. Peter has been involved in community activism since 1988 when he co-chaired the Peace and Justice Committee at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Amy Beaton. Peter has taught math and English to students from grades 6 through 12 for 29 years. Between teaching and raising his four children, Peter spends whatever extra time he has serving his local community as a Justice of the Peace and racing motorcycles — both dirt bikes and street bikes around New England. Peter has been attending Regional Conferences since 2008. His most memorable conference was the Northeast Regional Conference which, in 2011, was held the day after Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest. The energy in the room that day was powerful.
Sarah Brown member and group Coordinator for Olympia WA group #474, WA State Area coordinator, IDEA team aiusa, and ACSC committee at large. Sarah is Mother of beautiful 17 year old daughter Amiera who is currently in Running start in her 2nd year. Sarah Couched U10 to U6 fast pitch, soccer, volleyball and helps at local Elementary Schools twice a Month before COID_19. She Went to Nursing school at Centralia College, Transferred to Clover Park College in Lakewood near Tacoma WA where she graduated in 2014 with several Degrees in Nursing, phlebotomist and Med Tech. Sarah is a human rights activist, Local Ice, BLM Organizer and very passionate working with communities organizers. She also volunteers her time at boys and girls Club Locally which she enjoys. .