AIUSA – Activist Guide November-December, 2018

Amnesty International is built on the idea that people coming together against injustice can be a game-changer! The sum of each of our actions creates a powerful force that has proven to be effective in igniting positive social change.

When our colleague Taner Kilic, the Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey, was imprisoned for his work defending human rights, you fought for his release. When we learned of how children were being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, we shared an outrage and named this cruel act as nothing short of torture. Earlier this year when we exposed Twitter’s negligence in preventing online violence and abuse against women, you helped to spotlight the issue – check out this video from last week of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey being question by Members of Congress for Twitter’s failure to protect women from such abuse. Throughout 2018-2019, we will continue to advocate for the rights of refugee and asylum seekers and this month we will launch our national campaign to End Gun Violence in the US.
Amnesty International’s new Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, recently said, “the idea that instead of getting used to the horrors in the world, we can refuse to conform to them, and instead stand for radical change. We must be a movement of creatively maladjusted people, seeking alternatives to the oppression and injustice we see around us, and fighting for real change. Let’s be maladjusted to gender and racial discrimination, to the stripping of humanity from refugees, to hatred in the name of religion, to walls and fences and untrammelled state and corporate violence.”
With these words in mind I invite you to use this guide to learn about the issues, take action, and grow a human rights movement in your community by getting others involved. The actions outlined come with educational and advocacy tools. We want to hear from you, so please fill out this Feedback Form and share your stories of activism and interest with us so we can collect these stories and support you in your activism journey.

  1. Review this guide with your group to become familiar with AIUSA’s key campaigns and programs, which all groups are asked to work on.
  2. Use the Key Activism Dates and Take Action sections for each human rights issue to help you build your spring activism calendar.
  3. Complete the form at the bottom of this page to let us know what you’re working on. We’ll make sure you have resources for each area and update you when new information or tools are available.
  4. Get creative! The Activism Guide provides you with the basics, but we hope you’ll use it to put your stamp on our work. Let us know your plans for the spring or if you need any ideas or support.
Important Calendar Dates
November 1-December 31
November 13-15 & November 27-29
November 16
November 20
November 25-December 10
November 26
November 28
December 10
Write for Rights
Ohio legislators in Special Session (focus on End Gun Violence)
International Day of Tolerance
International Day of the Child
16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women
Aleksandr Kolchenko, 29th Birthday Card Action
Amnesty Membership Call: 17 Years of Guantanamo – Education & Action Planning
Human Rights Day and 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights



In 2017, over 5 million letters were written demanding justice for 12 cases! Join Amnesty International’s Global Action: Write for Rights 2018. This year’s cases all include women human rights defenders.

What You Can Do

Click here to sign-up and request materials at [email protected] today!


When intimidated by the state of the world, some build a taller wall; we’re building a “longer table,” a movement of people uniting to welcome refugees in their own ways. Join us as we deepen and develop communities across the country in support of refugee rights!

What You Can Do

Help us build a longer table with refugees by taking actions unique to you and your community

Take action on our case campaigns for individual refugees and asylum seekers

Resources Available


Amnesty International’s new report “In the Line of Fire” details how the U.S. is failing to restrict access to guns to those most at risk of mis-using them, and failing to take effective steps to reduce gun violence. Gun Violence in the U.S. is a human rights issue!

What You Can Do

Educate your school and local community about why gun violence is a human rights issue

  • Read our new blog from Eliza Reddick, AIUSA’s 2018 Young Leaders Fellow. Eliza shares a personal story of how gun violence has affected her community.
  • Host a teach-in to discuss gun violence as a human rights crisis.
  • Create an expression of art depicting gun violence and engage people to participate.

Support legislative initiatives

  • Take Action to defeat Ohio’s “Kill at Will” Bill: Online Action Here!
  • Help pass anti-gun trafficking bill in Illinois: Online Action Here! Call Action Here!
Resources Available


Take Action on International Violence Against Women Act! IVAWA is a piece of legislation that addresses violence against women through U.S. Foreign Policy. IVAWA provides a financial commitment to support by designating resources to non-governmental organizations—particularly women’s non-governmental organizations—working locally to address issues of violence against women and girls in their own countries.

What You Can Do
  • Call, lobby and email your senators and representatives asking them to support IVAWA today! Raise awareness on violence against women and engage people to take action. Click here to take online action now!
Resources Available
  • Issue Brief click here
  • Write for Rights 2019: 11 cases of Women Human Rights Defenders


Support Amnesty International Local Group 297, Takoma Park Silver Spring, Maryland by taking action on their long-term case assignment! Aleksandr Kolchenko was arrested and charged without a fair trial in Russia. Aleksander Kolchenko, who his friends call ‘Tundra’, is an anarchist and a social activist. He is in jail in Russia, even though he is a Ukrainian, because he protested Russia’s take-over of Crimea. He is also a cat lover and his friends are caring for his cat named “Snowflake.”

What You Can Do
  • Send Aleksandr a birthday card in prison, with either photos of Snowflakes or your own personalized drawing(s) of a cat. Be sure to also post it on social media with the hashtag #HappybirthdayKolchenko #CatsForTundra.
Happy Birthday, Tundra!
We are thinking of you and we are celebrating together with you!

Prison address:
Kolchenko Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, b. 1989
456612 Chelyabinsk Oblast, g.Kopeisk,
Ul.Kemerovskaia, d.20, IK-6

Activist Group Sign Up
  • Please tell us what issues your group will participate in this spring. We’ll share updates and new resources for the areas you choose, and make sure you have the tools and materials you need for each action.

  • (i.e. Franklin High School; Local Group 1101)