Amnesty International Annual General Meeting

How can you make a valuable contribution to human rights in only three days? By attending the 2010 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in April 9-11, 2010 in New Orleans! Educate yourself and others by attending panels of speakers consisting of prominent human rights activists other Amnesty members and human rights activists from around the country.

Singer, songwriter and composer, Bernice Johnson Reagon has used her musical gifts to advocate for civil rights. She too began her activism in college and first garnered attention as one of the founding members of “The Freedom Singers”, a musical group that helped fund and spread awareness about the Civil Rights Movement. As specialist in African-American oral history, performance and protest traditions, Reagon is Professor Emeritus of History at American University in Washington D.C. and Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History.

As a journalist, Gloria Steinem has dedicated her career to supporting feminist and civil rights activism. She was one of the leaders in the forefront of the women’s right movements in the 60’s and 70’s known as the “Second Wave of Feminism.” Steinham has co-founded many feminist groups including: The National Women’s Political Caucus, Women’s Action Alliance and Choice USA. She is also the founding editor and publisher of Ms. Magazine, a publication seeking to raise awareness about feminist issues.

Born in Saigon, Congressman Cao escaped to America with two of his siblings at the age of eight. After obtaining his Master’s degree in philosophy, he began to work in Washington D.C. as an advocate for refugees. Cao was also a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops where he addressed women’s right, social justice, child abuse and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He lost his home to Katrina and like so many others has struggled to rebuild. In 2008, Cao was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Louisiana.

Asia Rainey is a spoken word artist, actress, writer, educator, and community activist. She serves as Director of WordPlay New Orleans, an organization dedicated to teaching and encouraging youth through spoken word, and serves as head coach of the New Orleans Youth Slam (NOYS) team. She works in partnership with various community organizations, including the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in an effort to promote Undoing Racism. Asia is a Gulf Coast Fellow for Community Transformation, selected for the use of her artistic skills as a tool for social  justice advocacy. For more information, contact


Ms. Alice Walker is unable to join us because she is over-scheduled and recovering from an encounter with H1N1. She regrets very much not being present. For those who are interested in her views, she recommends a visit to her blog: Alice Walker’s blog, where there are essays and YouTube interviews regarding her recent visits to Gaza, and to India, where she met with the DaLai Lama to discuss the situation in Palestine and Burma.


We are saddened to hear about the passing of Howard Zinn, a true American hero. An activist, author, historian, and playwright, he was a legend in the struggle of the people. Mr. Zinn was confirmed to participate in our Annual General Meeting this April in New Orleans, and for those of you who are attending, the conference will dedicate the space for our movement to show our respect and gratitude for his work. He was a social activist to his core and his fight to help marginalized groups have their say is not over. His presence will be felt in New Orleans and we will continue spreading his message. May his legacy live on.


The 2010 AGM will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, April 9 – 11, 2010. Hotel reservations at the New Orleans Marriott are $145 a night for double and single rooms. We will be posting new information regularly, so make sure to continually check in for updates.

You can Register on the Amnesty International website. The rates are as follows:

  • Student rate: $75 member, $85 non-member
  • Senior Citizen/Limited Income: $65 member, $75 non-member
  • Regular rate: $90 member, $110 non-member
  • Sponsor: $135 member, $155 non-member
  • Saturday only: $35

Want an opportunity to give back to New Orleans while you’re in town?
Then participate in our Hands on New Orleans volunteer project! On Friday, April 9, 2010 from 9 am to 3 pm, we will be rebuilding public parks and athletic fields — this includes refurbishing, painting, and building baseball fields, public buildings, benches, basketball courts, and park signs. The fee to participate is $40, and this will cover project materials/supplies, food and water, and transportation to and from the destination site. If you’d like to participate, click “Yes” for “Are you interested in participating in the Hands on New Orleans volunteer project?” on your registration form. And be sure to sign up soon! There are only 50 spots available.


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