After more than 50 years of activity, Amnesty International does not slow down its commitment to promoting freedom and justice worldwide. It recently made headlines with reports on the human rights violations committed by Turkish authorities during the Gezi Park protests. It engages a controversial debate with Barack Obama to remind him of his promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. But most of all, the organization, strong of over 3 million supporters, is engaging a new strategy to increase its global relevance in the protection of human rights. The effort is led by Salil Shetty, the organization’s eighth Secretary General. A long-term activist on poverty and justice, Salil Shetty was Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, where he played a key role in promoting global awareness on the Millennium Development Goals, and chief executive of ActionAid, which he helped transform into one of the world’s foremost international development NGOs. Son of a campaigning journalist and a feminist activist, Salil Shetty studied at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and at the London School of Economics. For Shetty, Amnesty needs to become truly international and more grassroots-oriented – especially in countries like India and Brazil as well as on the African continent. At Falling Walls, Salil Shetty presents his vision for human rights today. 2013. 20 minutes
American history is rich with stories of social change inspired by the actions of motivated individuals and organized groups. Today’s activists are no different—facing long odds against powerful and systemic special interests. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers talks with young but very experienced organizers George Goehl, Ai-Jen Poo, and Sarita Gupta, all involved with a nationwide citizens’ initiative called the 99% Spring, which took place the week of April 9, 2012. Organizers aimed to train 100,000 Americans to teach about income inequality in homes, places of worship, campuses, and the streets. The program concludes with a Moyers essay on what citizens can do to find out who’s paying for all those political ads running on their local television stations. Broadcast date: March 30, 2012. (56 minutes)
No one grasps the connections between social activism, electoral politics, and racial issues better than Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), perhaps the most prominent living veteran of the American civil rights movement. In 2007, he received the Robert J. Dole Leadership Prize from the University of Kansas and, in conjunction with the award, granted this in-depth interview before a live audience. Rep. Lewis discusses an epic range of topics, including his childhood in segregated Alabama; his first meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the backstage dilemma over his speech at the finale of the March on Washington; his role in the attempted march from Selma to Montgomery; the ongoing need for social activism today; and more. 2008. (58 minutes)
May 4, 1970 Kent State University. Sixty-seven shots in 13 seconds. Thirteen horrifying seconds in American history that resulted in the deaths of four students and the wounding of nine others. Some choose to forget. Others fight to keep the bitter lessons alive for new generations. Try as they may, the survivors cannot escape the questions and the accusations that fly as each anniversary comes and goes. The haunting LIFE photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio poised in anguish over the body of a slain student; the fervor of the wounded student-activist, still consumed by the need for justice 30 years later; the former Guardsman, living with a badge of shame few could imagine; the gentle perspective of the former student permanently paralyzed by an M-1 rifle; the sociology professor who witnessed the madness and now teaches its lessons to new generations at Kent State. The survivors have scattered but they will forever share a bitter bond. Kent State is a portrait of the pain shared by an entire nation. After 30 years, the bloodstains are not forgotten. 2001. 48 minutes
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
Campaign ZERO was developed with contributions from activists, protesters and researchers across the nation. This data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. It integrates community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Together, we will win.
We promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications.
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.
The mission of the NAACP Youth & College Division shall be to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and their harmonious cooperation with other peoples; to stimulate an appreciation of the African Diaspora and other people of color’s contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent, effective youth leadership.
We are a group of scholars, teachers, students, administrators, and other individuals dedicated to preserving the core values of higher education – the unfettered search for truth, the cultivation of an inclusive democratic culture, and the expansion of access to high quality education for all members of our increasingly diverse society.
The New Leaf Project is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization taking bold action on homelessness. The founders of the New Leaf Project are two people united by a passion for social justice and systems change.
Students for a Democratic Society is a radical, multi-issue student and youth organization working to build power in our schools and communities. The NewSDS is entirely student and youth-led and has over 100 active chapters in high schools, colleges, universities, and cities all over the country.
OT is dedicated to encouraging people to organize, get involved, and run for office to advance progressive values: resist bullying, hate, falsehoods, and divisiveness, and stand up for a fairer, more inclusive America.
OFA is committed to mobilizing and training the next generation of progressive organizers and leaders, because real, lasting change doesn’t just happen on its own—it requires a program, it requires organizing, and it requires people like you.
The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
PIRGIM is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. For decades, PIRGIM stood up for consumers, countering the influence of big banks, insurers, the oil industry, and other powerful special interests.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.
Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote is changing the culture around voting using a data-driven and multifaceted approach to increase participation in elections.
Social Activism 2.0—How Citizens Are Standing Up for Democracy