• Press Release

Amnesty and Sofar Sounds partner for Write for Rights concert and letter writing event

November 30, 2018

On Saturday, December 8, human rights organization Amnesty International USA in partnership with live music events startup Sofar Sounds will host a powerful evening of collective action along with an intimate concert experience in New York City.  The event, Write for Rights, is aimed at securing justice for women human rights defenders under threat and in need of urgent help as a result of speaking out and taking action against various human rights abuses. Write for Rights will feature a letter-writing session during which members of the public will be asked to write government officials in support of specific cases that are emblematic of its broader work on human rights both within the U.S. and around the world.  Afterwards, celebrated singer/songwriter and activist Lauren Jauregui will perform an intimate, stripped-down set for an audience of 150-200 lucky guests. Announced with support from social media partner, Tumblr, the event will bring guests and artists together in an everyday space (secret to confirmed guests until a few days before the show) that will be transformed into a captivating concert venue by Sofar Sounds.

For more content from the event, including a Tumblr video Answer Time with Lauren Jauregui and fans, go to www.amnestyusa.tumblr.com.

“At a time in our collective history when the importance of using our voices to affect change  can’t be overstated, I’m really excited to partner with Amnesty International for an event that’s encouraging people of all ages the world over to speak up against human rights abuses”, said Jauregui.  “The 11 incredible women across the globe that we’re advocating for have spoken up and acted out on behalf of some of the most pressing issues of our time, and I want to encourage everyone to do their part as well.”

Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s largest annual human rights campaign and works through engaging citizens around the world to write letters on behalf of people who need urgent help. Through the power of collective action, these letters convince government officials to free people unjustly imprisoned and end other abuses.  This year’s cases of women human rights defenders under threat include: Awad of the United States (refugee and activist seeking safety in the US); Geraldine Chacón of Venezuela (persecuted for empowering youth); Pavitri Manji of India (harassed for standing up to big business); Nonhle Mbuthuma of South Africa (targeted for defending her ancestral land); The Sengwer Indigenous People of Kenya (violently evicted from their ancestral land); Gulzar Duishenova of Kyrgyzstan (disability rights activist facing discrimination); Nawal Benaissa of Morocco (persecuted for her social justice activism); Vitalina Koval of Ukraine (violently attacked for supporting LGBTI rights); Atena Daemi of Iran (in jail for opposing the death penalty); and Marielle Franco of Brazil (killed for defending human rights).

“Lauren has been an outspoken ally in the fight for human rights, and we’re thrilled to work with her as part of Amnesty’s longstanding tradition of inspiring people to take global action through the power of music and activism,” said Robyn Shepherd, director of media relations at Amnesty International USA. “The wonderful thing about this evening is that it provides simple but meaningful ways to really make a difference, all while having a great night out. Everyone here tonight is having an impact by supporting women defending human rights around the world.”

The night will feature Lauren Jauregui who will perform new solo music in addition to another female artist. Prior to the performances we will have a writing session for guests to write letters on behalf of the 11 female human rights defenders highlighted by Amnesty.

Planned every year around Human Rights Day, December 10, Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign runs through February 28, 2019.  Members of the public are asked to sign up, write and mail letters by January 31, and report letters by February 28, 2019.

The letters and messages generated by the campaign have had an enormous impact. Last year alone, over 5.5 million actions were taken on behalf of 11 individuals and cases. Through letter writing, Amnesty International activists have helped free tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience, people imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs or identity.

This is not the first time Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds have collaborated. Last year they worked together on the ‘Give a Home’ campaign, a first-of-its-kind global day of live music events taking place in people’s homes, in which nearly 1,000 musicians performed at over 270 concerts in more than 200 cities globally. The event took place on September 20th, 2017, and brought together musicians, refugees, and music fans in the aim of uniting people to welcome refugees.



Sofar Sounds reimagines the live event experience through curated, secret performances in more than 400 cities around the world.  Founded in London in 2009, Sofar brings guests and artists together in unique locations, without the distractions that plague other live events. Sofar shows begin as a secret: guests sign on for three unnamed performances at undisclosed locations, hosted by community members in everyday spaces — from living rooms and rooftops, to retail stores. Through the transformation of these spaces into captivating venues, Sofar serves as a platform for artists to connect with engaged audiences in cities around the world. Sofar invites guests to discover new artists, spaces, people, neighborhoods and cities, whether at home or abroad, creating an inclusive and accessible global community where people make genuine connections. To learn more about Sofar Sounds, check us out at www.sofarsounds.com or follow the conversation on social media at @sofarsounds or using #sofarsounds.