Amnesty International USA is excited to be hosting the 2023 Virtual Activism Conference! Continuing our AGM theme of Welcome Home Activists, the Virtual Activism Conference is an online conference that will be hosted via the platform Whova.
VAC’23 will provide a space for activists to come together to swap knowledge, build organizing skills, and vote on important resolutions, all to advance the fight for human rights!
The conference will offer over twenty sessions covering an array of human rights issues such as:
- Human Rights Education for Activists
- Leonard Peltier Case Discussion
- Coalition Building at the State Level: Reproductive Rights Activism in Times of Uncertainty
- Empowering Tomorrow’s Stewards: Youth Environmental Sustainability Advocacy and Refugee Awareness
Check out the Agenda section for more information.
Our agenda will include inspirational plenaries, educational human rights workshops, and opportunities for members to influence the governance policies of AIUSA. To view the agenda, please log into Whova.
For more details, check out the full program here.
We are excited to be hosting the Virtual Activism Conference on our trusted platform Whova!
Whova is available on both desktop and smartphone devices. After you register, you will receive an email with details on how to access the event page on Whova. Whova will host all virtual aspects of the conference live sessions, discussion rooms, scheduling capabilities, and other opportunities for networking.
For more information on Whova, please click the Attendee Guide below.
Please note, all registered attendees will receive a Welcome Packet containing detailed instructions on how to access Whova and navigate the platform.
HOW TO ACCESS SESSIONS
During the conference, Zoom links for all sessions will be found in Whova in the descriptions for sessions. These links will be populated on the Friday morning of the conference.
To join the Zoom link:
- Go to the Agenda.
- Look for the session you wish to join
- Click “View Session” in Whova
- Click the Zoom link in the session description
For some helpful tech tips on zoom, please click the box below.
IDEA AT AMNESTY
Amnesty International is committed to the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility) because we all belong in the movement for human rights. Please review our Code of Conduct.
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 VAC’23, we can be reached at [email protected].
For more information about IDEA at Amnesty International, please click the box below.
All sessions will utilize a closed captioning feature.
All registered attendees will receive a Welcome Packet which contains detailed instructions on accessing Whova and navigating the platform.
For some helpful Zoom tips, please click the box below.
Click here for ZOOM Support
We know zoom and general tech fatigue is real. Check out our tips below on how to take care of yourself and stay energized throughout our conference weekend.
- Find your comfort and embrace it.
- Stay hydrated.
- Take deep breaths and stretch when possible.
- 20/20 Rule: Take a 20-second break from looking at a screen every 20 minutes, then focus on an object 20 feet away.
- Be kind to your eyes. Review your display settings, consider changing the color and brightness. Rest your eyes.
- Keep some snacks by your workstation so you don’t go too long without eating. Sweet, salty, protein.
- Catch some sun and fresh air.
VIRTUAL COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS
At AIUSA, we are dedicated to fostering a virtual community that is open to learning and incorporating IDEA values into our work spaces. Members of our virtual community agree to incorporate these principles into each of our interactions.
- Inclusive Behavior:
- Manage your biases and behaviors.
- Manage speaking time and make space for different voices.
- Respecting and learning from different perspectives.
- Understanding the difference between intent and impact (assume good intent and take
responsibility for your impact).
- Listen to understand, rather than to just respond.
- Be as present as possible and manage distractions as best you can.
- Be open to giving and receiving feedback about the effectiveness of virtual meetings.
- No exclusionary or harassing speech is allowed. This includes “calling-out” in a way that puts someone on the spot or shames them.
Large-Group Video Calls
- When possible, join calls by video and stay on mute when not speaking.
- Recognize and respect that others may have limitations regarding the use of video.
- Use the reaction features on the platform to share your reactions.
- Follow the host’s directions about how to use the chat function (general comments and reactions, questions, etc.).
- Use the same guidelines for the chat feature as you would for email, as they are both forms of public written communication.
- Some questions, comments or feedback may be better shared offline or in a one on one conversation rather than on the call; determine the best course of action accordingly.
- Recognize that there are different comfort levels and technological circumstances with virtual participation, so have patience and flexibility.
- Be mindful that COVID-19 continues to impact our society; in particular, the immunocompromised and adults over the age of 65.
- Recognize that anxiety and stress due to our external conditions can cause reactivity in ourselves and others.
- Virtual communication can add to things getting lost in translation and can cause assumptions/misinterpretations. Feel free to ask for clarification, check for understanding, and create a space for others to do the same.
- Be respectful of everyone’s unique work from home situation; refrain from comments about their surroundings and be understanding of distractions that may occur. Be mindful of what you say, knowing that children or other people in their space may hear.
Be open to giving and receiving feedback about the effectiveness of virtual meetings – As we consider the overall meeting burden, be mindful of the amount of time scheduled and the ways in which we each process information individually. Also consider whether (or not) a meeting is the most effective form of communication for the objective. This should also speak to the importance of discussing meeting effectiveness with each other in an open, honest and respectful way.
Manage speaking time and make space for different voices –Consider community members who haven’t yet spoken (before you speak multiple times).
Be as present as possible and manage distractions as best you can – Understand that managing distractions does not mean eliminating distractions.
Be mindful when recording meetings/downloading chat – If meetings are being recorded, the community should be made aware. The same applies for if/when the host plans to download the chat.
Consider questions, comments or feedback that may be better suited for sharing offline or in a 1:1 conversation rather than on the call; determine the best course of action accordingly – This may include both critical and constructive feedback. We agree to use our best judgment.
Join calls by video when possible and stay on mute when not speaking. Recognize and respect that others may have limitations regarding the use of video – This pertains to large group calls. For smaller team/1:1 meetings, the directive expectation should come from the host/meeting lead.
Make considerations depending on your meeting community– Not every agreement will apply to every meeting/situation, and agreements may apply differently based on your meeting role (i.e. facilitator vs. participant).
Virtual On-site registration is now available until Sunday, October 22nd at 3pm ET.
October 20th, 2023: Virtual On-site Registration opens
October 22nd, 2023: Virtual On-site Registration closes at 3pm ET
- $10 – Student/Educator/Senior/Fixed-Income Ticket
- $15 – General Admission Ticket
Please see the Subsidy page for information about financial assistance to attend the conference.
If you would like to participate in VAC’23’s governance sessions (working parties and the voting plenary) only, please contact [email protected] for a free registration form.
Amnesty International USA aims to make our conferences accessible for all. For VAC’23, we will be offering a subsidy to help cover registration costs to attend the full three day conference. The subsidies are intended for active AI members and activists that would otherwise be unable to attend the conference due to financial constraints.
You must apply before the deadline of October 4th to be considered.
What is covered by this subsidy?
The subsidy reduces the price of registration to $5.00.
How do I apply for a subsidy?
See the application link above. You must complete the form by October 4th, 2023 to be considered. Each attendee must apply for their own subsidy.
What happens after I apply?
After the application deadline has passed, we will make final decisions and notify applicants that have been awarded a registration subsidy. At this point you will have until Monday, October 16th, 2023 to accept and register using the promo code.
Who is eligible?
Those actively involved with AIUSA are encouraged to apply.
What selection criteria will be used to award subsidies?
We will be looking for complete and well thought-out applications demonstrating commitment to meet all requirements. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Although priority will be given to active AIUSA members with a demonstrated need who are fundraising to attend the VAC’23, we are committed to considering all eligible applicants, student or local activists, who meet the criteria above while also ensuring national representation.
AIUSA is excited to introduce Watch Parties for both local and student groups! Watch Parties are a fun way to attend the 2023 Virtual Activism Conference, make connections, and improve accessibility. As a host, you’ll receive an e-gift card for pizza, beverages, and snacks to enjoy as you attend the conference.