For Immediate Release
AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302
Hundreds of Activists to Gather in Atlanta to Discuss Islamophobia, Troy Davis and Corporate Accountability
Amnesty International Annual Human Rights Conference, Oct. 22-24
ATLANTA - Amnesty International activists
from 12 southern states will gather in Atlanta from October 22-24 to tackle
pressing regional and international human rights issues at the organization’s
annual regional conference. The event, which will take place at the
Holiday Inn Decatur Conference Plaza (130 Clairmont Avenue in Decatur),
is open to the public; the cost of attendance ranges from $30 to $65, on
a sliding scale. This year’s theme, Shine A Light: 50 Years of
Activism, highlights Amnesty International’s upcoming 50th
“For almost 50 years, Amnesty International
members around the world have proven again and again the power of grassroots
Everette Harvey Thompson, southern regional director
for AIUSA. “The wrongfully imprisoned have been freed. Legislation
has been passed. Executions have been prevented. As we head
into the next fifty years, we are excited to grow our movement and tackle
head-on those issues that leave the most marginalized of communities susceptible
to human rights abuses.”
On Saturday, panelists will examine the impact
of corporate environmental abuse, including the Gulf oil spill, on marginalized
communities. Attendees will hear from
Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D.,
founding director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark
Atlanta University; Melina Laboucan-Massimo a Lubicon Cree from
Northern Alberta, Canada and a Greenpeace campaigner; Lenny Kohm,
Campaign Director for Appalachian Voices, an award-winning non-profit committed
to protecting the land, air and water of the central and southern Appalachian
region; and Simon
Billenness, an Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) board member who currently
serves on the Board of Directors of the US Campaign for Burma.
A Troy Davis update will be a noon focal
point on Saturday, when activists view a five-minute video update about
Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA’s
(AIUSA’s) Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, will encourage continued advocacy
on Davis' behalf while appeals filed
to federal courts on Davis' behalf are in motion.
That evening will be dedicated to examining
Islamophobia, with a panel focusing on the underlying causes of the recent
wave of hate crimes and intolerance against Middle Eastern, Muslim, and
South Asian communities in the United States. Panelists include:
Barzegar, Professor at Georgia State University, Mandana Afshar
from the National Endowment for Democracy and Ramzy Kilic, Communications
Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Tampa.
On Sunday, conference goers will have the
opportunity to hear from
Edith Rosales, one of dozens of women who
were beaten and sexually assaulted in police custody in May 2006, following
public protests in San Salvador Atenco, near Mexico City. A mother and
grandmother who works at a pediatric hospital, Edith went to San Salvador
Atenco to offer health care support and act as an observer during the protests
when she found herself detained without explanation. More than four years
later, no one has been held accountable for the assaults on these women.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters,
activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more
than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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