• Press Release

Over a Thousand Human Rights Activists Gather in Miami for Amnesty International USA’s 51st Annual General Meeting

March 30, 2016

Dozens of workshops and experts address the most pressing human rights issues

Every day, people from Miami to Monrovia are fighting for human rights, whether that means standing up for freedom of expression or against abuses by police. From April 1-3, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) will host more than 1,000 human rights activists for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Miami to join in this common struggle. AIUSA members from around the country and activists from around the globe will join with local groups and organizers to chart a bold path forward to confront some of the most pressing human rights challenges of our time.

“We are coming to Miami to change our world for the better,” said Ann Burroughs, board chair of AIUSA. “Through our voices, our actions, our advocacy and our art, we have the power to create a world that truly values human rights. Whether this means urging our leaders to respect the rights of refugees, protect freedom of expression, or end mass incarceration, together we can make an impact on this city, this country and the entire world.”

The theme of this year’s AGM is “Change Our World,” and the meeting will give attendees the opportunity to do just that by coming together to take action, participate in workshops and hear from experts, policymakers, and activists. Speakers include:

  • Diana Marcela Gomez Correal: Colombian human rights defender whose father was disappeared and killed;
  • Sylvan Lacue: Miami-area hip-hop artist and champion of Jermaine Dupri’s “Survival of the MCs” competition;
  • Rafael Marques de Morais: renowned Angolan investigative journalist who has been prosecuted for his work;
  • Brandan “Bmike” Odums: New Orleans-based artist and founder of 2-Cent Entertainment; and
  • Phyllis Rodriguez: peace activist whose son was killed in the attacks of September11, 2001, and who struck up an unlikely friendship with the mother of convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

The full agenda can be found at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/events/human-rights-conference-2016

The meeting will begin with a rally and march on Friday afternoon. Panels throughout the conference will address issues like Islamophobia in the United States, statelessness in the Dominican Republic, gun violence, the role of hip hop in activism and much more. Several former prisoners of conscience and global activists will address workshops throughout the weekend.

Additionally, Art for Amnesty USA will feature six artists from around the country creating original works of art inspired by the “Change Our World” theme in a gallery on site.

“In a period marked by divisive and hateful rhetoric, it is so important that we have gatherings like this to learn from each other, work together, and return home more united than ever,” said Margaret Huang, interim executive director of AIUSA. “Whether in the streets of Baltimore, the prisons of Louisiana, the refugee camps of Europe or the favelas of Brazil, we will be sending a strong message from Miami that the human rights movement knows no boundaries.”