On Saturday, December 8, Amnesty International USA – a human rights organization, partnered with Sofar Sounds to host an event where both social justice and music met.
There was an intimate concert experience and the opportunity to write to government officials. The name of the event was aptly named – Write for Rights. The goal was to defend the fearless social justice warriors who are currently in need of urgent help as a result of taking action against various human rights abuses. The beginning of the night featured a letter-writing session during which everyone wrote a letter to government officials to show their support of the women who are currently being reprimanded. Each audience member received a specific case that showed the story of the woman you would be writing about. Afterward, Victory Boyd and Lauren Jauregui performed a couple new songs which resulted in the audience singing or snapping along. It was a special night that celebrated women of all shapes in forms.
“I’m really excited to partner with Amnesty International for an event that’s encouraging people of all ages the world over to speak up against human rights abuses,” said Jauregui. Jauregui’s dedicated fan base is partly to thank for the beauty of that night. With the incentive of seeing their idol love, many jumped at the opportunity to attend. Most of which are teenagers, it was easy to see that the majority of the people were fairly young.
What Amnesty International achieved so brilliantly was for these teenagers to re-contextualize “social justice” aside from its typical format. They were able to provide a twist and make it interactive and fun for all, and afterwards hang out and listen to amazing performers. It is our hope that the letters convince government officials to free the people who were unjustly imprisoned. Through letter writing, Amnesty International activists have helped free tens of thousands of prisoners.
This year’s cases of women human rights defenders under threat include: Awad of the United States (refugee and activist seeking safety in the US); Geraldine Chacón of Venezuela (persecuted for empowering youth); Pavitri Manji of India (harassed for standing up to big business); Nonhle Mbuthuma of South Africa (targeted for defending her ancestral land); The Sengwer Indigenous People of Kenya (violently evicted from their ancestral land); Gulzar Duishenova of Krygyzstan (disability rights activist facing discrimination); Nawal Benaissa of Morocco (persecuted for her social justice activism); Vitalina Koval of Ukraine (violently attacked for supporting LGBT rights); Atena Daemi of Iran (in jail for opposing the death penalty); and Marielle Franco of Brazil (killed for defending human rights).
Special guest speakers included actress Alysia Reiner (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) and Violett Beane (Jesse Quick on CW’s The Flash). “I think what Amnesty is doing is incredibly important it’s one thing for someone to be unjustly incriminated but it’s another thing when they’re doing something important, powerful, needed – and then that isn’t being appreciated, so I think is fabulous that we’re able to do this and write these letters and hope that government officials will read them and feel something, and that can lead to change,” said Beane.
PHOTO CREDIT: ©Lauren Murphy for Amnesty International USA)