Amnesty International USA is excited to be hosting the 2021 Virtual Activism Conference. The theme is Together for Our Future – 60 years of uniting action-takers and change-makers.

Dates: October 22nd – 24th

AIUSA’s Activism Conference will provide a space for people to come together to increase knowledge, build skills, and exchange ideas and strategies for progressing a human rights agenda! Like in 2020, this year, given the pandemic, we will be hosting one Virtual Activism Conference over 3-days, October 22-24, 2021.

Like we had for AGM, the theme of this conference is Together for Our Future – 60 years of uniting action-takers and change-makers. In 2021, Amnesty International is celebrating its 60th Anniversary. For 60 years we have been uniting action-takers and change-makers from the world over. Together we will continue our fight for human rights! The Activism Conference is virtual but it will bring to you the same energy that we have brought to you for the last 60 years.

This year’s Virtual Activism conference offers 15 sessions which cover an array of human rights issues such as Ending Racial Discrimination & Ensuring Equality and Equity, Indefinite detention w/out trial at the Guantanamo Prisons, understanding the root of Asian American Discrimination, and Intersectional Feminism. Please check the agenda for a full list of sessions offered. 

AGENDA

Our agenda includes inspirational plenaries, educational human rights workshops, and opportunities for members to influence the governance policies of AIUSA. Our full agenda inclusive of session descriptions and speaker bios can be found on our event platform Whova. Please see the event platform tab for more details.

Access the full Agenda in your timezone via Whova.

 

 

EVENT PLATFORM

We are excited to be hosting the Virtual Activism Conference’21 on our trusted Whova!

Whova is available on BOTH desktop and smartphone devices.

Once you register, you will receive an email with details on how to access the event page on Whova. Whova will host all aspects of the conference including pre-recorded content, live sessions, discussion rooms, scheduling capabilities, and other opportunities for networking.

For more information on Whova, please click the Attendee Guide below.

Attendee Guide

Please note, all registered attendees will receive a Welcome Packet which contains detailed instructions on accessing Whova and navigating the platform.


accessing sessions

During the conference, zoom links for all sessions will be found in Whova in the descriptions for sessions. These links will be populated the Friday morning of the conference. In order to join the zoom link, you will go to agenda, look for the session you wish to join, click “view session” in Whova and then click the zoom link.

For some helpful tech tips on zoom, please click the box below.

zoom 101

GOVERNANCE

The National Resolutions Committee (NRC) has worked with staff and members to create virtually accessible working parties and voting sessions for the Activism Conference. We are excited to announce that we are once again partnering with ClearPicture for our governance sessions! This platform will allow attendees to participate and vote online using this link. Your login details will be emailed to you from our vendor. Attendees may also participate as guests by creating their own logins using the same link. See how the platform works here.

Please note, to ensure your ability to vote during working parties, please register for the conference by October 15, 2021, and ensure you are up to date on your membership dues. To vote during Sunday’s voting plenary, please ensure your registration and dues are completed by October 18th. For any questions on voting privileges, or if you register for the conference and/or pay your dues after October 18th, please contact Aashka Merchant at [email protected].

Working Party

Thurs, Oct 21 at 8-10 pm ET.

Voting Plenary

Sunday, October 24th at 4-6 pm ET.

The deadline to submit resolutions has passed. Once the resolutions packet is completed, it will be available on the Member Center and Whova and will be sent out to all conference registrants.

INCLUSION & ACCESSIBILITY

Ground Rules


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. As we host our conference virtually, we are still implementing IDEA practices and measures in order to create an inclusive space for everyone. 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’21, we can be reached at [email protected].

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

IDEA INFO


accessibility

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.

zoom 101


SELF CARE

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.

General
  • Observe the 6 C’s of Inclusive Behavior, including:
    • 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
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 1:1 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
Pandemic-Related
  • Be mindful that talking about COVID-19 may be a trigger for some; refrain from asking others if they have the virus or if loved ones were affected by the virus. If doing ice-breakers, use neutral and non-pandemic related questions and prompts
  • 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 WFH 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

Best Practices

Be open to giving and receiving feedback about the effectiveness of virtual meetings – As we consider 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 downloads 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 judgement.

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).

REGISTRATION

Registeration has now closed. Please email [email protected] for Onsite Registration details.

 

Registration opened on October 19th. Please note, while there are multiple deadlines for participation in specific governance sessions, there is only one conference registration required.

  • Friday, October 15th at 11:59pm EST – deadline for registration to participate and vote at Working Parties
  • Monday, October 18th at 11:59pm EST – deadline for registration to participate and vote in the Voting Plenary

Our Member Services team is required to verify each individual’s membership status prior to the conference and will need lead time in order to do so. If you register after these deadlines and would still like to participate in the Working Parties and/or Voting Plenary at the VAC’21, please contact Aashka Merchant at [email protected] as soon as possible. Please note, while there is no guarantee that you will be able to vote if you miss this deadline, our team will do its best to accommodate late registrations. We will need at least 24 hours’ notice to provide voting credentials. More information on voting can be found on the Governance tab.

  • Tuesday, October 19th at 11:59pm EST – final deadline to register for the conference

TICKET PRICING

There are two tickets for the VAC ’21. Both tickets will grant you access to the full 3-day conference.

  • $10 – Student/Educator/Senior/Fixed-Income Ticket
  • $15 – General Admission Ticket

 

Subsidy

For the VAC’21, AIUSA will be offering a subsidy to cover registration costs covering the 3 day conference. The subsidies are intended for active AI members and activists or those hoping to become active that would otherwise be unable to attend the conference due to financial constraints.  

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS October 19th, 2020 at 5:00PM EST 

You must apply before the deadline to be considered. Please contact [email protected] if you have questions that are not answered below. 

Apply here

What is covered by this subsidy? 

Cost of registration for VAC’21. 

 

How do I apply for a subsidy? 

You must complete one application form by October 19th at 5:00pm EST. 

 

What happens after I apply? 

After the application deadline has passed, we will make final decisions and notify applicants that have been tentatively awarded a subsidy by End of day. At this point you will have until October 21 at 5:00pm EST to accept and register for the conference. 

 

Who is eligible? 

All are encouraged to apply for a subsidy. 

 

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 and being active members of AIUSA. 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’21, we are committed to considering all eligible applicants who meet the criteria above while also ensuring representation from all regions and a balance between Local and Student groups.