Why You Should Join Amnesty International Now

Why You Should Join Amnesty International Now

Human rights are being violated every day; be a voice that gets heard and stand up.
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If you haven’t heard of Amnesty International (which is quite possible because a lot of people ask me what it is), you should know that it is a non-profit, non-government human rights activist organization that spans all across the globe. As an active member and an urgent action coordinator, I’ve found that while many of the issues we tackle seem so fiercely large and intimidating, the way we go about trying to solve said issues is multi-angular and upbeat. Some examples of issues Amnesty International addresses are protecting the rights of displaced people (refugees), saving individuals from the death penalty (especially if they are wrongly accused or if the crime isn’t equal to the punishment), ending solitary confinement in New York prisons, gun violence, protecting shelters and hospitals, human rights at Standing Rock, etc.

So why am I telling you this? Well, as a member and someone who cares deeply about human rights, I believe there are so many people who would benefit if we got more involved in AI and other activist organizations.

One reason Amnesty International rises above other groups is because it has over 7 million members worldwide and has been around since 1961. It educates the public on present-day global issues and gives them a means to have their voices heard. The organization focuses on policy makers and legislation.

Not only will you become more aware of the problems people face in our world, you get to see these issues not as pages in your textbook or data for statistics and charts, you see them as real people suffering real problems that can be stopped (and stopped with your help). AI deeply values public voice and believes every effort, no matter how small, counts.

You can visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/ and become a member today. If you would rather not become a member and just stay up to date on issues, this is also a great site for that. There is a chance that your school has an AI chapter on campus, but many campuses I’ve come across don’t have them (including the school I go to!) If you happen to look more into this organization and really want to get involved you could start your own student chapter on campus! I’ve begun the process of starting a chapter on my campus but I’ve been so busy with work and classes to get meetings set up (sorry folks!)

As an anthropologist I believe it is important to have human rights protectors. The topic of culture and relativity has come up a lot in my courses and I find I struggle deeply with what I think is right and what may be right in other cultures. I’m often wondering what right and wrong even mean. However, all of that being said, many of the issues AI specifically targets don’t necessarily involve cultural differences. However, when lives are at stake, culture seems to be at its limit of power.

I encourage all of you reading this to please take a gander at the AI site and learn more about the organization. If their values match your own and you’re truly interested in becoming more involved, there are easy ways to connect and become a member. You don’t even have to be a member to sign petitions or write letters. If I’m going to be honest, it also will look good on your resume, but that should NOT be the reason you choose to get involved! AI can help you see the world not how it should be, but how it could be. Join our family, become a voice for the silent.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

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I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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