The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us around the world. It’s an unsettling time filled with concerns, challenges, and anxieties. As a global organization, Amnesty International knows this pandemic reveals the interconnectedness of our world in a very personal way. We also know that in trying times like these, the best of humanity can rise. This is a time when we have the opportunity to help end demonization and anger – and move forward with empathy and kindness.

With the cancelation of our 2020 Annual General Meeting in San Diego, Amnesty has moved our workshop sessions to a virtual webinar series which will take place over six weeks beginning in April. Action Alley, Governance sessions and other AGM elements have also been shifted to a virtual space.

Virtual AGM is about content & connection. Join us to learn about pressing human rights issues and meet like-minded activists. While people may need to be physically distant at the moment, we remain united. Join us for Virtual AGM!

Workshop sessions will run for 6 weeks beginning in mid-April. There are three series that represent the three workshop blocks that would have taken place during the AGM in San Diego: 

  • Series I Week 1: April 19 – April 25
  • Series I Week 2: April 26 – May 2
  • Series II Week 1: May 3 – May 9
  • Series II Week 2: May 10 – May 16
  • Series III Week 1: May 17 – May 23
  • Series III Week 2: May 24 – May 30

How to Join our Workshop Sessions:

  • Below in the ‘Virtual Workshops’ tab, you’ll find the information about each session.
  • Click on the “Register” button of the session that you are interested in attending.
  • Follow the registration process.
  • All sessions are free and open to everyone.
  • There is no limit on the number of sessions that you can register for; you must register for each workshop session individually that you’d like to attend.
  • Registration for each session will remain open until 1pm EST the day of each session.
Please note that in cases where all speakers have consented, recordings of the sessions will be available for one month post the session date on this website and then will be placed on the Member Center.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

For a PDF of the workshops being offered virtually, please click below

Virtual AGM Workshops

Sessions are listed below in date order. To sign-up for a virtual webinar, please click the “register” button of the session that you are interested in attending and follow the registration process. We ask that you join the zoom link 10-15 minutes before the session starts. We will use the time prior to the call for tech support. If you have an Amnesty t-shirt or other swag we encourage you to wear it on the webinar!

_ _ _

By registering for a virtual workshop, you certify that you have read and understand the contents of the Ground Rules and the Interim Code of Conduct and agree to conform to the event ground rules at all times when attending any virtual AGM sessions.

By registering for this virtual workshop, you certify that you understand the session will be recorded and posted to the AGM website and on the Member Center. If you do not wish to have your image captured, you understand that you will be responsible for turning off your camera. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Tech Support

We recognize that for many of you, this might be the first time that you are participating in a session virtually. Please click here for information on zoom.

IntRo to Zoom

Watch the video below for a Welcome Address from Amnesty International USA’s Board Chair Janet Lord.

 

Series i: week i

End Rape and Violence Against Native Women and Girls

Monday, April 20th at 7pm EST

Rape and violence against Native women and girls is a national epidemic. In this session, participants will hear from Native women and activists, who will share their experiences and discuss victories, challenges, and the path ahead. Participants will learn how they can work at the state/federal level to help end the violence.

Speakers: Keely Linton, Pam Kingfisher & Tarah Demant

WATCH THE RECORDING

Chinese State Surveillance and “National Security” in Xinjiang 

Wednesday, April 22nd at 8pm EST

Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being harassed, detained and arrested in huge numbers. Speakers will address how and why these groups are being targeted; how China’s use of facial recognition and other intrusive methods of monitoring, in the name of “national security,” facilitate human rights abuses; and what Amnesty International, and AIUSA in particular, are doing to fight back in terms of actions and support for U.S. legislation.

Speakers: Jewher Ilham & Steven Pieragastini

A video recording for this session is not available. 

New Tech & the Forever War: The Threat to Human Rights 

Friday, April 24th at 7pm EST

The United States went to war in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, DC. Since then, it’s expanded that war to at least eight different countries, and increasingly sophisticated technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles – “drones” – is making it easier, both practically and politically, for the U.S. to remain at war indefinitely. While the U.S. already employs fighter jets and drones, it is also supporting development of lethal autonomous weapons – also known as “killer robots” – which could decide for themselves who to kill, how and where. This workshop will explore how the U.S. reliance on rapidly-developing technology encourages endless war that threatens the human rights of us all. And it will explain how activists can urge U.S. lawmakers both to rein in use of the current weapons systems, and to prevent autonomous weapons from making wars even more deadly, endless and out-of-control than they already seem to be.

Speakers: Daphne Eviatar 

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

Series i: week II

Social Media and Activism 

Monday, April 27th at 7pm EST

Are you using social media to boost your activism? Are you giving your audience the best content? Find out at the Social Media and Activism session.

Speakers: Alison McQuade

WATCH THE RECORDING

Separation, Detention, and Deportation: How U.S. Immigration Policies Threaten Access to Healthcare 

Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm EST

As the U.S. administration implements discriminatory policies against people seeking safety in the U.S., we must consider their impact on the health of targeted communities. Experts have highlighted the profound harm caused by family separation and the detention of asylum-seekers. In collaboration with Physicians for Human Rights and local immigrant rights groups, join us in exploring the health impacts of these policies on the lives of immigrants and asylum-seekers, and the advocacy and community response to them.

Speakers: Denise Bell, Danisha Jenkins, Kate Clark & Penelope Halkiadakis and Moderator: Lora Randa

WATCH THE RECORDING

Under Siege: The Persecution of Human Rights Defenders Around the World and What You Can Do to Support Them! 

Thursday, April 30th at 8pm EST

Human rights defenders (HRD) around the world are routinely the target of death threats, smear campaigns, imprisonment, sexual violence, torture, and even assassination. Since 1998, over 3,500 human rights defenders have been killed worldwide. In 2018 alone, 321 human rights defenders were killed. Come and learn about very concrete ways that you can help protect Brave human rights defenders in such countries as Colombia, Saudi Arabia, & the Philippines.

Speakers: Gavrilah Wells, Katilyn O’Shaughnessy & Laura Galeano and Moderator: Andrew Fandino

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

Series iI: week I

Killing in Our name in the USA

Monday, May 4th at 7:30pm EST

Attendees will hear about status of the death penalty and killings by police and the role that race plays in both, learn why the system is broken, what reforms have succeeded and what you can do to get your state’s criminal justice system to better respect human rights.

Speakers: Kristina Roth

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

Dark Side of global connection: Confronting corporate complicity in human rights abuses 

Tuesday, May 5th at 8pm EST

Examining US complicity with repressive systems, this panel explores how activists promote transparency and accountability along with corporate social responsibility. Experts will examine technology firms’ relationships to authoritarian governments, the overall impact of Facebook on human rights abuses, problematic supply chains in Southeast Asia and Africa, while shedding light on the global arms trade impacting civilians from Yemen to Libya. How does shareholder activism intersect with Amnesty’s work? How can we as consumers be more conscious global citizens and at least do less harm?

Speakers: Aydin Anwar, Michael Kleinman & Simon Billenness and Moderator: Hena Zuberi

WATCH THE RECORDING

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Detention and Trauma of Children 

Thursday, May 7th at 7pm EST

This session examines how Israel routinely detains Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank as young as five years of age and systematically processes those 12 and above in military courts, instead of civilian court. 75% of kids report ill-treatment during arrest and/or interrogation. Many are imprisoned in Israel, which contravenes international law and where they are rarely able to see their parents. Increasing numbers are held in solitary confinement. Learn how you can stop your tax dollars from supporting this policy.

Speakers: Alicia Koutsoulieris, Brad Parker & David Kerr and Moderator: Edie Garwood 

WATCH THE RECORDING

Series iI: week II

The Climate Crisis and Human Survival: What Can We Do? 

Monday, May 11th at 8pm EST

The climate crisis is real, urgent and already destroying lives. Without immediate action, it will get much worse. In this participatory session, we’ll discuss the science behind the climate crisis, who is responsible, the disproportionate impact on people already facing discrimination and marginalization, and what we can do to stop it. We’ll focus on solutions, including the concept of Climate Justice, and celebrate the leadership of Indigenous Peoples, youth and front-line communities.

Speakers: Alejandro Del Pino & Vibha Venkatesha

WATCH THE RECORDING

All People Deserve Safety and Freedom: The Path Forward in the Fight for Refugee Rights 

Wednesday, May 13th at 8pm EST

Under the Trump administration, we’ve witnessed attack after attack on long-standing protection systems for people seeking safety in the U.S. This election year will be a defining moment for our country’s humanity. Hear about organizing and activism from families and individuals affected by Trump’s attacks on refugee protections, and the advocates fighting along their side. We will discuss how to move beyond constantly being on the defense when refugee rights are under attack to organizing and advocating for solutions that safeguard our protection systems for people seeking safety.

Speakers: Basel Mousslly, Charles Forchenmbin, Isabel Kayembe & Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos and Moderator: Denise Bell

WATCH THE RECORDING

covid-19

Thursday, May 14th at 8pm EST. 

This session will explore the human rights implication of the COVID-19 pandemic and how AIUSA is responding to meet the challenges.  COVID-19 is a human rights crisis on an unprecedented scale. It’s affecting everyone, but some are hit much harder than others. Amnesty’s new RightsNow! Campaign is not just about surviving this pandemic.  We must create a new future where all of us can live in dignity and thrive. Join us in the campaign — together, we will put human rights at the center of the COVID-19 response and recovery.

Registration for this session has now closed. 

Ending Gun Violence

Friday, May 15th at 7pm EST

Nearly 100 people die every day due to gun violence. Government inaction means that despite making the headlines, gun violence remains an everyday reality – especially for many communities of color. The government must protect our right to life and help end gun violence. Join us for a powerful discussion among advocates and community leaders and learn how we can build a human rights movement to end gun violence.

Speakers: Ernest Coverson

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

Series iII: week I

Standing with Human Rights Defenders in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, May 19th at 8pm EST

Human rights defenders in Sri Lanka are increasingly under attack. They include Fr. Elil Rajendran (harassed for organizing a commemoration of Tamil war dead), Sandya Eknaligoda (threatened for demanding justice for her disappeared husband, Prageeth Eknaligoda, and for the thousands of other disappearances), and Ruki Fernando (an internationally respected activist detained for his human rights work). Workshop participants will learn the current challenges they face and will brainstorm strategies to provide international support and solidarity.

Speakers: Akriti Panthi, Jim McDonald & Thyagi Ruwanpathirana

Due to unforeseen circumstances this session has been canceled.

Not Someone Else’s Problem: Lobbying for Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

Wednesday, May 20th at 7:30pm EST

President Trump and Democratic presidential candidates have committed to ending to U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. As the Taliban and Afghan war lords vie to fill the power vacuum, Afghan women, refugees, and human rights defenders stand the most to lose. By supporting targeted development and diplomacy efforts, the U.S. government can defend human rights in Afghanistan. This will not happen, however, without sustained pressure from constituents. The event will discuss this dynamic and offer lobbying strategies for Amnesty members to push for change.

Speakers: Alice Dahle, Daniel Balson & Dr. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh

WATCH THE RECORDING

The Impact of an Amnesty International Volunteer: From Buenos Aires to the Halls of the U.S. Congress

Friday, May 22nd at 7pm EST

Amnesty International volunteer Mary-Evelyn Porter, Professor Nestor Fantini (former POC), and Jonathan Fantini Porter, a former U.S. Congress and White House staffer, portrayed in the 2019 Amnesty International-produced documentary “Life, Love, & Liberty,” discussing the successful work of an AIUSA Amnesty volunteer that led to Nestor’s release and a son who many nicknamed the “Amnesty Kid.”

Speakers: Jonathan Fantini-Porter, Mary-Evelyn (Mev) Porter & Nestor Fantini

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

Series iII: week II

Building Bridges. Not Walls, Not Jails: How U.S. Immigration Policies Harm Children and Families Seeking Safety & How We Can Take Action to Fight Back

Tuesday, May 26th at 7pm EST

U.S. policies turning back and detaining asylum-seekers and stripping the right to seek asylum itself have acutely impacted and endangered the safety, health, and human rights of children and families who are simply seeking safety. Join us in an exploration of how we can we mobilize in our communities to take action so that children in particular and their families are treated with dignity, respect, and with the care they deserve.

Speakers: Antonio Martinez, Ph.D., Charlene D’Cruz & Denise Bell and Moderator: Charanya Krishnaswami

WATCH THE RECORDING

Young and Rising: Building Leadership at AIUSA 

Thursday, May 28th at 7pm EST

In 1961, Peter Benenson spoke out for the rights of two Portuguese students. Shortly afterwards, a group of young people established AIUSA. Young people have been at the forefront of Amnesty’s work from the beginning, making up a majority of AIUSA’s activist base. Join youth members from Amnesty’s Board of Directors, Nominations Committee, and the Global and National Youth Collectives as we explore how young people are leading AIUSA’s bigger, bolder and more inclusive movement.

Speakers: Baaqeyah Muhammad El, Benya Kraus, Penelope Halkiadakis & Vibha Venkatesha and Moderator: Lora Randa 

Register

Tech Support

We recognize that for many of you, this might be the first time that you are participating in a session virtually. Please click here for information on zoom.

IntRo to Zoom

Inclusion & accessibility

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 transition into a virtual space, we are still implementing IDEA practices and measures in order to create an inclusive space for everyone. We’ve created a tip sheet which includes an introduction to Zoom for those of you who are new to the platform along with some other helpful tech tips. In addition, here are our Ground Rules 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 Virtual AGM, we can be reached at ​[email protected].

For more information about IDEA at Amnesty International, please click the box below.

IDEA Info

Tech Support

We recognize that for many of you, this might be the first time that you are participating in a session virtually. Please click here for information on zoom.

IntRo to Zoom

GOVERNANCE SESSIONS

We are currently working on the working parties/voting plenary sessions.  We will post the update as soon as these items are confirmed.

Resolution Sessions:
  • Working Party 1: Friday, June 5, 6 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Working Party 2: Saturday, June 6, 3 p.m., Eastern Time
  • Resolutions Plenary: Sunday, June 7, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Eligible participants will receive joining information via email.
Please contact Aashka Merchant at [email protected] with any questions.

Board town hall

April 21st, 2020 at 8:00pm EST

Board candidates forum

May 18th, 2020 at 8pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting by clicking the register button below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

REGISTER

governance resources

 

Questions on governance? Please email [email protected]

GOOD NEWS PAGE

Interested in seeing how your efforts have led to case successes and other human rights good news?

See below for the Good News Page to read stories and testimonials about progress you helped achieve, including from past Case Commitment, Urgent Action Network and Write for Rights cases who have shared their appreciation for Amnesty International’s work. You’ll see how your letters, phone calls, emails and more have contributed to the release of Prisoners of Conscience and made a positive impact on cases of Human Rights Defenders.

For some of the most recent wins:

  • Colorado became the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty!
  • Standing Rock: A federal court halts further work the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in response to a lawsuit brought by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. In addition to sending multiple delegations to Standing Rock during the height of protests, AIUSA has long-called for halting the pipeline raised through multiple channels and fora, including directly to the US Army Corps of Engineers (the case defendants), press, UN, and more. Our work on Standing Rock can be seen here.

We’d also like to congratulate this year’s AGM Award Winners for their contributions to the human rights movement:

  • Hironaka Award – Winner: Local Group 113, Chicago. Accepted by: Kevin Zickterman (Group coordinator) and Randy Harper (group member)
  • Art and Poetry Competition Against Enforced Disappearances Winners: Piper Pfiefle (winning artist) and Natalia Albanese (winning poet). Accepted by: Jim McDonald, Sri Lanka Country Specialist
  • Individuals At Risk Award – Local Group: 297 (Takoma, MD)/ Accepted by Michael Neufeld
  • Leading Change! Student Group of the Year AwardWinner: University of Texas Student Group/ Accepted by: Lillian Mauldin, Group President

For more good news, click on an image below to see the full picture.

 

ACTION ALLEY

The Action Alley is a forum to learn about and take action on human rights issues and current AIUSA priorities. It is a space for AIUSA groups to creatively display their ideas and accomplishments. Past displays have shared particularly successful community events and activities, human rights promotion ideas and techniques, and information on human rights-related topics. Action Alley is now virtual! Click a link below to take action on pressing human rights issues!

SIGn up to the Urgent Action Network to receive actions on death penalty cases

Take Action

Gender, Sexuality & Identity Program:

Pass the International Violence Against Woman Act (IVAWA)

Take Action

Gender, Sexuality & Identity Program:

The Violence Against Woman Act Must Not Roll Back Protections

Take Action

Individuals at Risk Program:

Grant clemency and release Native American Activist Leonard Peltier

Take Action

Security with Human Rights Program:

Tell the US Government to investigate Claims of Human Casualties

Take Action

Security with Human Rights Program:

Close Guantanamo and Transfer All Cleared Cases

Take Action

Security with Human Rights Program:

End the Muslim and Refugee Ban

Take Action

Security with Human Rights Program:

Release the Full Report on CIA Torture

Take Action

Five years after the disappearance of more than 130 people in the Far North, families still looking for truth and justice. Ask President Paul Biya to provide answers to the families.

Take Action

Tell your Senator: Now is the time to pass universal background checks.

Take Action

Call on the Sri Lankan government to effectively investigate and prosecute those responsible for murders of the Trinco Five so that the families of the students may at last receive justice.

Take Action

Make a commitment to including the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility) in your organizinG – And receive some rewards in your inbox when you do.

Take Action

We need your help. Sign up to lobby your members of Congress in district offices. Sign up here.

Take Action

People in Hong Kong are facing violent restrictions on their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. 

Take part in our digital Lennon Wall to stand in solidarity.

Take Action

Take Action

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us around the world. Learn what you can do to defend human rights during this global challenge.

ACTION RESOURCE

Free Senator Leila De Lima, a Human Rights Defender in the Philippines

Take Action

Free Nasrin Sotoudeh, a Human Rights Lawyer in Iran

Take Action

Demand Indian Health Service provide post-rape care, including rape kits, for all Native women

Take Action

Tell ICE to #FreeKelly, a trans asylum seeker in detention for over 2.5 years!

TAKE ACTION

Demand the House pass Savanna’s Act to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Take Action

Learn how to use the framework of outcomE mapping to maximize the impact of your activism.

Resource

Resource

COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us around the world. It’s an unsettling time filled with concerns, challenges, and anxieties. As a global organization, Amnesty International knows this pandemic reveals the interconnectedness of our world in a very personal way. We also know that in trying times like these, the best of humanity can rise. This is a time when we have the opportunity to help end demonization and anger – and move forward with empathy and kindness. While people may need to be physically distant at the moment, we remain united. Please see below for how AIUSA is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can take action.

Distant but together: responding to covid-19

For information on how AIUSA is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic please click below. 

DISTANT BUT TOGETHER

Read Amnesty International’s latest report – ‘We are adrift, about to sink’: The looming COVID-19 disaster in US immigration detention facilities.

report

how you can take action
  • I WELCOME: Call on ICE and DHS to immediately release immigrants and asylum-seekers from detention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • I WELCOME: Tell DHS not to ban asylum-seekers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • I WELCOME: Write letters of solidarity to those in immigration detention.
  • END GUN VIOLENCE: Urge Congress to pass laws that will help end gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19: Tell the administration to protect health care workers and provide equipment and testing needed to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19: Ask the White House Task Force to protect the rights of all people.

WANT TO STAY INVOLVED?

There are many ways to be involved with Amnesty International USA post Virtual AGM. Please see below for information on just some of the ways to stay involved!

Advocacy & government relations

Member Leader Roles

Programs

COVID-19 CRISIS: HELP NOW

DONATE