Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thanks for a great 2007-08!

Hello fellow human rights activists,

Thank you for being amazing! This message is to send you well wishes for summer, a year-in-review summary of our activities this past year, and a little bit of info about what is coming up, including changes in our mailing list.

This year our group experienced a lot of growth and success, thanks to efforts from many of you who helped us meet our goals. At our first few meetings of the year, we listened to several great short presentations about several different human rights topics from both members and visitors, and had great discussions that, more often than not, lasted long after the meetings were over. Many of us attended our first "Groovefest" human rights music festival in October, where several new group members got acquainted with each other and with the Groovefest crowd at our information table. In November, John Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," came as our guest speaker and gave an inspirational presentation about the role of corporations in the contemporary world. At the end of November our group constructed a cardboard "Maze of Injustice" installation on the south oval to raise awareness about the April 2007 Amnesty International report of the same name that uncovered a failure to protect indigenous women from sexual violence in the U.S. During the spring semester, with the help of our new Urgent Action Coordinator, Mady Ohs, our chapter started meeting every week, changing our meeting format to include alternating general and letter writing meetings. In March, we participated in the World Neighbors' "Walk for Women" on International Women's day. In April, we volunteered at a coop support center for foster parents with Big Event, held a constitutional convention to talk about changes to our group and amend our constitution, and later that month held elections for the 2008-2009 school year, creating six new officer positions (Historian, Assistant Treasurer, Volunteer Coordinator, Groovefest Coordinator, Campus Liaison, and even a Mascot). For our last event of the year, we cohosted the Spring '08 edition of Groovefest at the end of April, during which our volunteers at the Groovefest/Amnesty table collected an impressive number of signatures for our Urgent Action letters. Our presentations on the main stage for the "community forum" segment of Groovefest included a presentation about Guantanamo Bay by Will ODonnell and poetry from Chris Schroeder. Our Groovefest volunteers that day got the chance to talk (and dance!) with a lot of other activists from Norman. All of these events happened in addition to all the meetings, letter writing sessions, discussions, movie screenings and other events we attended together. This remarkable level of activity would not have been possible without the energy and spirit of our human rights community, and undoubtedly our momentum will allow us to do even more next year!

Speaking of next year, we've got a lot in the works, including another round of Groovefest, regularly scheduled volunteer events, and hosting the second annual AI Statewide Conference in the spring. Of course, we will continue our regular meetings and Urgent Action letter writing too.

For those of you in Norman over the summer, we will be holding informal meetings periodically to write our UA's, screen films, and enjoy each other's company. If you're not in Norman, you can still keep up with our Urgent Action Network online - so either way, make sure you sign up for our "members" mailing list for 08-09 if you want to stay informed!

About our mailing list

Our group has grown a lot this year, and with it the volume and frequency of our emails. In order to communicate better with people who have different levels of involvement, we have decided to discontinue our old mailing list and create two new lists to replace it - one for "members" and one for "friends."

Our "members" list will receive all of our emails, including weekly reminders about meetings, details about activities and events, urgent actions, and committee reminders. This list will normally receive one or two emails a week. If you would like to be on this list for the 2008-2009 school year and this summer, please send an email with the subject "members" to

Our "friends" list will receive monthly updates about our most recent news and upcoming events. If you would like to be on this list for the 2008-2009 school year, please send an email with the subject "friends" to

Thanks for everything!

OU Amnesty International

No comments: