The Rapidian

Amnesty International Global Write-a-thon comes to Grand Rapids

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Grand Rapids joins hundreds of thousands of people around the world in marking International Human Rights Day this December with Amnesty International's Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon, the world's largest human rights event.
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This week kicked off the Amnesty International(AI) Global Write-a-thon, which is a mobilization for people from around the world to write letters on behalf of what AI refers to as “prisoners of conscience.” Although AI has had a local presence in the form of student groups at our local Universities, the organization is fairly new to many non-student residents of West Michigan. In March of 2011, James Quatrine officially began the Amnesty International-Grand Rapids Chapter. Since its inception, the group has attended monthly meetings with growing attendance, as well as promoting local speakers and events that coincide with AI’s principles.
Amnesty International was founded in 1961 as an international non-governmental organization. It defines its mission as “a world in which every person – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity – enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other internationally recognized human rights standards. The UDHR states that the "the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights" of all people is "the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

December 10 marks International Human Rights Day, and for the last 50 years AI has celebrated with their Global Write-a-thon. This year their goal is to reach 250,000 letters worldwide. The 15 cases featured cover a range of issues including justice, right to housing, student activism, women’s rights, LGBT rights, freedom of expression and indefinite detention.  

This Tuesday evening December 6, the Amnesty International Grand Rapids chapter welcomes you to join us at Mangiamo! Restaurant at 1033 Lake Dr., Grand Rapids. We will be there from 5:30-9pm writing letters for those in situations less fortunate than ours, while at the same time enjoying some good food and company provided by AI Grand Rapids. A cash bar will be available, and if you would like to make a night of it, Mangiamo would also welcome you to join them for dinner. We will have all of the info on each case provided for you, and you may also look at them in advance.

You are not obligated to stay the entire time, nor to sign anything you don’t feel strongly about; we would just like you to stop in and see if you would like to help out someone suffering an abuse on their human rights. All materials and information will be provided, so all you need to bring is yourself and some money if you like to have a holiday cocktail with your philanthropic “good deed” for the year!

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