Amnesty International is a nonpartisan student organization that works together to engage the UR community on international human rights issues. President and senior Penni Spicer has been tabling in Wilson Commons for their upcoming event Invisible Children. The event brings to Rochester an organization that serves young Ugandans who are threatened with abduction from their villages, being forced into war. Over 2 million children have been displaced over the past 20 years in the civil war-torn country.

Next Monday’s event will include a screening of the organization’s new documentary, as well as two men who will provide firsthand accounts of the turmoil in Uganda.

Amnesty has pulled in The YellowJackets and Vocal Point to premiere two new songs as well as an the-door giveaways to attract more people to the event. Co-sponsors Sigma Alpha Mu have also pledged to host an after party for supporters.

Invisible Children is one of several events that Amnesty International has lined up for this year, including their annual Jamnesty benefit concert.

What will be happening at your upcoming event?

We’re bringing in an organization that advocates for these children. They’re going to be showing their brand new documentary and they’re also bringing two guys who grew up in Uganda as children to talk about their experience and how they overcame the trials of growing up in a war-torn country.

Are there other ways that UR chapters are supporting the Invisible Children campaign?

This is the second time we’ve brought them to campus. We also have shown their documentary on campus before. Additionally, something that is special about this event is that Invisible Children has this program called “schools-for-schools.”

Our school gets linked up with a school in Uganda and all the proceeds and anything that we raise goes to that specific school. And one of the speakers that is coming actually just graduated from that school, so there’s a really nice personal connection.

If you could bring any other speaker or human rights group to campus, who would it be and why?
I personally have a strong interest in women’s rights, and would love to bring someone who has done a lot of work in that area.

There’s an organization in Zimbabwe, Women of Zimbabwe Arise, and they’ve done a lot of really interesting cool stuff in a very difficult situation. I think it would be really cool to have a representative from that group come to us.

How can students utilize Amnesty to get more involved in issues that they are passionate about?

All of the things that we do in Amnesty are events that we choose as a group. If you have a particular cause that you are passionate about, all you really have to do is just come to our meetings and talk to us about it. We’re usually more than happy to do what we can to support an issue. I would encourage students to come to our meetings, or even just e-mail me and let me know what you’d like to see.

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