From Switzerland to Ferguson: A Flame of Activism Elevates to New Heights

by Aquib Yacoob, 2014 Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellow

AquibI am honored to have spent this past summer as Ladis Kirstof Fellow for Organizing and Activism. I was fortunate; I discovered the power of activism on my first day as a freshman back in high school – I was 14.

After joining my school’s Amnesty International chapter at a rally outside of the United Nations – as the saying goes – my flame was ignited. I discovered a new voice. I discovered a new community. I discovered my individual power, and the collective power we hold when we organize, when we mobilize.

I’ve been involved with Amnesty since that day, now some seven years ago. I’ve volunteered in-and-out of our national, regional and legislative offices in New York, Boston, and Washington, DC, respectively. I’ve participated in human rights conferences across the United States. I’ve met with some of the most inspirational human beings our world has to offer. All of this, as an Amnesty member.

The 2014 Ladis Kristof Fellowship allowed me to enter the world of human rights and social justice professionally. It took my engagement to the next level. My time spent working with and learning from Amnesty staff and member leaders has confirmed one thing: this is where I want to be; working towards a socially just world, working “in human rights” – this is my raison d’être, so to speak.

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Two Years Later: We Are Still Troy Davis

by Terrie Rodello, AIUSA Oregon State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator

In 2011, after three stays of execution and a final appeal to the Supreme Court, Troy Anthony Davis, who was convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, was executed by the state of Georgia, despite a compelling case of innocence. Prominent human rights advocates, fifty-one members of Congress, and many civil rights and peace and justice organizations, including Amnesty International, NAACP, and National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, had joined his family in a twenty-year fight to prevent his execution and reveal evidence that pointed to Troy’s innocence.

On Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 PM in the First United Methodist Church Fireside Room (1838 SW Jefferson St, Portland), Seattle-based human rights activist, writer, and filmmaker Jen Marlowe will talk about the story of Troy Davis and his family and the human impact of the death penalty detailed in her book, I Am Troy Davis which she co-authored with Davis’ older sister Martina Davis-Correia. Marlowe will be joined by Kimberly Davis, the surviving sister of Troy Davis. They will be introduced by Dr. Audrey Terrell, President of the NAACP Portland Chapter.

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Group 48 Holiday Potluck & Write-a-thon

It’s that time of the year again. Group 48 will have its annual holiday potluck and Write-a-thon at the December meeting. We will be writing letters and cards to prisoners of conscience while enjoying some good food and company. Please RSVP by adding a comment to this post and include some details if you plan to bring food, supplies and/or guests.

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Date: Friday, December 13, 2013

Time: 7:30-9pm (set up starts at 7:15pm)

Location: Buchan Building at First Unitarian Church (church map)
1011 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR

What to bring:

  • Food (an appetizer, main dish or dessert)
  • Drinks
  • Utensils, plates, cups, napkins
  • Greeting cards (non-religious and non-Amnesty cards)
  • Paper for letter writing
  • Envelopes
  • $1.10 stamps (international postage)
  • 46-cent stamps (domestic postage)
  • Copies of the AIUSA Write-a-thon case sheets (please copy single-sided, no staple, make several copies for each case)

Volunteers Needed at Festival Romani

Group 48 will be tabling all day at the Festival Romani. We need volunteers to staff the table for the day. We will collect signatures for petitions and spread the word for human rights. Come out for an hour or more and enjoy the festival. Add a comment below including the time you are available if you are interested.

Festival Romani
Saturday, August 17th, 10am-8pm
Sellwood Riverfront Park
1 SE Spokane Street
Suggested donation $10-20

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2013 Ladis Kristof fellow is a rising star in the human rights field

Submitted by Stacy Suh, 2012 AIUSA Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellow

On March 23, 2013, Mbaluka Mutinda was awarded the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for Organizing and Activism at the Amnesty International USA Annual General Meeting in Tyson’s Corner, VA. Since 2011, the Kristof Fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding AIUSA activist, who will continue the legacy of Ladis Kristof through a lifelong passion for human rights and activism.

From left: Greg Kristof, Mbaluka "Luka" Mutinda, Stacy Suh (2012 Kristof fellow), Cynthia M. Carrion (AIUSA National Youth Program Coordinator)

From left: Greg Kristof, Mbaluka “Luka” Mutinda, Stacy Suh (2012 Kristof fellow), Cynthia Carrion (AIUSA National Youth Program Coordinator)

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