AI Basics


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  • You can edit this slide with your region, your school name, or a photo from an event your group organized! This slide can be up as people enter the room and you get ready to begin. Remember to welcome everyone warmly and enthusiastically. The first meeting is always an invaluable opportunity to get people engaged and committed to your group! Be informative, approachable and prepared to take questions and comments. If you don’t know an answer, there is no shame in saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll gladly try to find out and get back to you”; on the other hand making things up can be disastrous!
  • Use the next slide here to explain the purpose of this meeting. Is this to recruit new members to a student group? To encourage interested students to create a new chapter? To inform local volunteers of the AIUSA basics? Adapt this slide to explain the purpose of your meeting and briefly go through an agenda. Start with introductions to each other, then go through the slides here introducing the audience to Amnesty International. Try to break things up with a video, activity, or some other interactive feature. Then end with your plans for the month, semester, or year!
  • Introductions should depend on the nature and size of the group you’re presenting to. If it is a group of people who already know each other, perhaps you can use one of the more involved icebreakers in the SAC Handbook Appendix. If you have a large group, perhaps you will want to split people into smaller groups. Use a more structured icebreaker, or simply ask attendees to share their names and answer the question – Why are you interested in Amnesty International? Start yourself, or ask other leaders to begin, to break the silence if necessary. Keep this activity to around 10 minutes.
  • Be well-informed about Amnesty and its work. Speak with authority, but also be approachable and engaging. Elaborate on each of the talking points in the slide – add others you see as relevant to your presentation! Try to speak for about 5-6 minutes. Grassroots means that members are truly what makes Amnesty International what it is. From letter-writing campaigns, rallies and demonstrations, meetings with public officials, donations, individual people, local chapters of Amnesty, or student groups, are the ones that really get AI’s work done! AIUSA is the largest section with its headquarters in NYC. There is also an AIUSA office in DC and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Somerville, and San Francisco. The International Secretariat (IS) is located in London. In 1977 AI was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having “contributed to securing ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby for peace in the world.” AI does not adhere to any political ideologies – it is nonpartisan. Instead, it relies heavily on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or UDHR, which is a UN document adopted in 1948 which lays out 30 universal, inalienable rights for all human beings. AI has freed over 40,000 prisoners of conscience, but it also works a variety of other issues and campaigns related to human rights – we will elaborate on this later. This year is a big year for AI because 2011 marks its 50 th anniversary. AI started when a British lawyer, named Peter Benenson, read about students in Portugal who were imprisoned for drinking a toast to freedom! In response, he wrote an article to the London Observer calling for the release of “prisoners of conscience.” This triggered a worldwide response! Amnesty International was born! Check out the link to a video for AI’s 50 th .
  • Here is where you can put specific information about the group, chapter, section, region, etc. that you are presenting on. (5-6 minutes) Some information to provide: There are over 1,000 student groups at colleges, universities and high schools in the USA. There are about 250 local groups across the country. Your SAC and FO can answer any questions you may have, give you advice, or provide materials and resources for your activism.
  • Share some photos, a video, or stories from past events or actions your group, region, school, etc. has taken! Maybe ask past group members to take turns sharing a memorable event or moment. Be sure to convey that AI activism is important, rewarding and fun! (5 minutes)
  • AI is constantly working on a diversity of human rights issues. We do have four current priority campaigns, each with their own more focused actions. Be sure to be up to speed with each of the four campaigns. (Update this if necessary!) Explain what you or your group plans to do to support each of these campaigns. (5 minutes)
  • Customize this slide with information on your plans for the year and important dates for members to remember. These can be more general AI dates or the actual events you may already have planned. If you have time, lead a brainstorm from the group on what they’d like to accomplish this year/semester. (5 minutes)
  • Use this time to show a video from an Amnesty campaign, from an event you did, a slideshow of your group’s photos, or another interactive feature. (10 minutes) You could bring in petitions, give a brief description of the action, and ask all the attendees to sign! AI priority actions change frequently, so visit for up-to-date information, or browse!
  • Use this slide to add in you or your group’s contact details.
  • Thank everyone for coming and recap on any plans you made throughout the meeting. Insert a photo into this final slide. Leave time for questions at the end. Good luck!!
  • AI Basics

    1. 1. <ul><li>Welcome to Amnesty </li></ul><ul><li>International! </li></ul>
    2. 2. <ul><li>Purpose of the Meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda – 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to AIUSA + your organization </li></ul><ul><li>AI campaigns and your plans </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you interested in Amnesty International? </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, with over 3 million members in 150 countries </li></ul><ul><li>AIUSA is the world’s largest national section </li></ul><ul><li>In 1977 AI won the Nobel Peace Prize </li></ul><ul><li>AI is independent from government and political ideologies </li></ul><ul><li>The foundation of AI’s work is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>AI’s most well-known issue is freeing “ prisoners of conscience ” – since its founding AI has helped release more than 40,000 political prisoners </li></ul><ul><li>2011 marks Amnesty’s 50 th birthday ! </li></ul>Amnesty Quick Facts
    5. 5. AI at [your school] <ul><li>Fill this section in with information on: </li></ul><ul><li>The leadership and organizational structure of the chapter in question </li></ul><ul><li>The SAC, Field Organizer, Regional Office that are related to this chapter </li></ul><ul><li>Any other campus or AI local groups that you partner with </li></ul><ul><li>Other relevant details about your organization </li></ul>
    6. 6. AI [at your school]
    7. 7. <ul><li>AI Priority Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals at Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Demand Dignity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maternal Health demonstration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>End the Death Penalty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petitions to end death penalty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security with Human Rights </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Plans for the Year </li></ul><ul><li>October 12-18 - International Week of Youth Action </li></ul><ul><li>October 17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>December 10 – Human Rights Day </li></ul>
    9. 9. Video or slideshow!
    10. 10. Your Contact Information
    11. 11. Thanks for coming! See you soon.