Peace in the Home and Peace in the World: Help End Violence Against Women!

By Tarah Demant, Co-Chair of Amnesty International USA Women’s Rights Co-Group

A life free from violence is a fundamental human right, yet daily, women and girls are targeted specifically because of their sex or gender, and violence in communities often affects women disproportionately. Violence against women is a global epidemic; no country or community is immune.

Violence against women is used as a tool of discrimination, control, and intimidation, and it restricts women’s choices and increases their vulnerability to further injustices. 1 in 3 women will be raped, beaten, or abused in her lifetime, yet violence against women affects us all. Consider the following cases:

  • In Sudan, women can be can be stopped by the police, arrested, jailed, and even sentenced to public flogging for nothing more than wearing pants or leaving her hair uncovered.
  • In Egypt, women protesters have faced harassment and assault while Egypt’s political leaders have remained silence about the rampant sexual violence and discrimination.
  • In Syria, more than 2 million people have fled the armed crisis, and now tens of thousands of women and girl refugees in Jordan risk further violence simply because they have no safe access to a toilet.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, often ranked the worst place in the world to be a woman, women human rights defenders provide grassroots assistance to civilians, yet they themselves face intimidation, attack, rape, and sexual violence for their efforts.
  • In Bangladesh, women human rights defenders work for the rights of indigenous people throughout the country, yet 17 years after the disappearance of a high-profile Pahari activist, her family and community still waits for justice.
  • In Honduras, women human rights defenders are threatened with sexual violence for championing human rights throughout the country.
  • In Mexico, Miriam López Vargas and hundreds of other women wait for justice after torture and rape by Mexican soldiers.

What these cases have in common is a global culture of discrimination and violence against women as well as impunity for those who commit gender-based violence. And this year’s theme: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women highlights the relationship between heightened militarism and communal and interpersonal violence.

Despite a culture of violence and discrimination women around the world are raising their voices against violence and discrimination, demanding their basic human rights, and standing against intimidation and fear. Today, what unites women internationally is their vulnerability to the denial and violation of their fundamental human rights, and their dedicated efforts to claim those rights.

You can join them this 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence as we join activists worldwide from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 to help end violence against women. This year, we’re highlighting the seven cases above – in each instance, you can learn more, take action, and stand with women demanding their rights!

Imagine a world without violence against women. Join us this 16 Days to make that vision a reality.

Be sure to visit our table at UF’s 2013 World AIDs Day, funded by your’s truly and hosted by Respect, Check, and Protect Yourself (RCP)!

Video provided by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen is serving a six-year prison sentence in China for “inciting separatism” — simply because he dared to speak out about Tibetan human rights through his filmmaking. Demand his release now!

China has detained hundreds of Tibetans for peacefully exercising their human rights or for taking part in protests since 2008. Recently, Tibetan activists have set themselves on fire in protest of restrictions on basic freedoms and punitive security measures. The Chinese government has responded to the protests with mass arrests, imprisonment, and possible killings by security forces.

Dhondup Wangchen suffers from Hepatitis B and has not received the medical treatment he needs. It has been difficult to obtain reliable information about his condition.

Please call on the Chinese authorities to release Dhondup Wangchen immediately and unconditionally.

Sign the Petition here!

Avengers of Peace?… Or Avengers of Power?

Inundated with images of the peace-seeking, Westernized politician donned with the powers of political preeminence and military might, even the atypically news-conscious American could easily conceive of the future of Syria as in-the-hands of the world’s soldier in shining armor—us.

Despite Senator McCain’s moral imperative for U.S. military intervention and Secretary Kerry’s claim to having (unintentionally) hatched the Syrian chemical weapons destruction plan, thus relieving Congress of the tedious responsibility of debating further the (im)morality of a “proportional” military strike, such a conclusion would be wrong. 

Rather, it must be recognized by Western politik that the future of Syrian peace lies firstly in the hands of the Syrian regime, opposition, and people and lastly in those of the international peace-building and humanitarian aid community.

Knowing full well the faces of both the regime and the opposition (including those representative of its more fundamentalist arms), the facelessness of the Syrian people leaves many with an inability to assign to them the significance they deserve in moving toward a conclusion of the Syrian conflict and a reconstruction of that great and geopolitically significant nation.

And the same goes for the many various members of the international peace-building and humanitarian aid community, working ever so diligently everyday, risking the lives and limbs of their dutiful employees and volunteers to bring to Syria’s suffering, displaced, and forgotten both the essentials to survive and but a sliver of stability in an in what must seem to them a senseless world. 

And so, the remainder of this article will but to highlight the names of the many sacrificing members of the international community giving their most for a peaceful Syria, not tomorrow, but now.

The Syria International Non-governmental Organization Regional Forum (SIRF) has members responding to the Syrian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries. These include: Action Aid, CARE, Danish Church Aid, Danish Refugee Council, Handicap International, HelpAge International, Intersos, International Medical Corps, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Rescue Committee, Medair, Medecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Oxfam, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, Relief International, Save the Children, War Child, World Vision.

Doctors Without Borders is providing direct medical aid inside Syria;

World Vision is delivering water and health services to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan;

CARE is operating four refugee centers in Jordan and providing psychosocial and emergency medical support for children women still in Syria;

Catholic Relief Services is providing urgent medical assistance, education and trauma counseling for children, and household supplies including soap and water purifiers throughout the region;

Concern Worldwide is working to meet the water, sanitation and hygiene needs for refugees in Lebanon and for many still in Syria;

The World Food Programme continues to distribute food to millions in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey;

Islamic Relief USA is providing food parcels, housing essentials and medical supplies for those displaced inside Syria and refugees in Jordan and Lebanon;

International Medical Corps is providing health care and psychosocial services for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan;

International Orthodox Christian Charities is providing critical food aid, personal hygiene supplies, medicine, pre- and post-natal care for infants, and infant nutrition programs to families inside Syria those now living in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Armenia; 

International Rescue Committee is providing medical and emergency supplies, water, sanitation, education, counseling, safety and support for women and girls at risk to refugees in and outside of Syria;

Life for Relief and Development is providing food, hygiene kits, bedding and kitchen utensils to refugee families living in tent camps and temporary housing;

Mercy-USA is supporting displaced children and families inside Syria with food baskets, infant formula and blankets, baking and distributing fresh bread daily for more than 1,500 refugee families in Lebanon, and operating a mobile health clinic;

Mercy Corps is providing refugee children with safe spaces, playgrounds, psychosocial support and storytelling workshops;

Shelterbox is providing tented shelters, kitchen sets, blankets, water purification systems and classroom supplies to refugee families in and outside of Syria;

Save the Children is building temporary learning facilities, child friendly spaces and programs to help refugee children cope with trauma;

The UNHCR is providing shelter, protection and assistance to refugees in and outside of Syria;

War Child UK is helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon by providing child friendly spaces and temporary schools;

UNICEF is providing food, water, clothing and critical immunizations for children in and outside of Syria.

By,

Jake Vermillion

Are We Ready to End It?

Opened in 2002, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (GTMO or “gitmo,” for short) was built to serve as a site—not on U.S. soil, for security reasons—to house (suspect) terrorists for “investigation.” Until assigned this article, the last time I’d heard gitmo mentioned in the mainstream media was that of the 2012 presidential election when, as part of his platform, Obama promised to close the base in response to proven allegations of U.S. torture and mistreatment of detainees.

In 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed allegations that U.S. soldiers stationed at gitmo had subjected detainees to excessive periods of solitary confinement, acts of humiliation, and  torture.

In 2005, Amnesty International (AI) declared Guantanamo Bay the “gulag”—political prison in soviet-era russia widely recognized for its forced labour and torture practices—”of our time”. 

And in 2006, U.S. ministers refused a proposition for UN inspectors to tour GTMO facilities in their entirety. Since allegations of mistreatment unto torture initially surfaced, the UN has consistently called for the base’s closure.

While I recognize there exists an obvious need for a system of detention centers to monitor and interrogate high-risk suspect terrorists and persons of interest, such a system need be transparent, in accord with the dictates of U.S., military and international law, and respective of detainees’ rights as fellow human beings—innocent until proven guilty. 

To this day there remain 164 gitmo detainees, more than 80 of whom have been cleared for release—per an order to review remaining detainee cases, as issued by President Obama—as charges failed to be assessed against their persons prior to the expiration of their various statutes of limitation. 

However, congress continues to refuse to release anyone detained at Guantanamo—even those cleared for such, per the President’s commissioned review. 

And so, we need to ask ourselves, are we—as U.S citizens—ready to end it? Are we ready to put away mysterious Guantanamo Bay, weighted with allegations and shrouded in legal ambiguity?

Even though what goes on behind its guarded doors isn’t often, if ever, in the news these days, it’s still there—they’re still there, gagged, chained, and alone in the dark, away from their family and friends, not knowing  when, if ever, they’re to be released. 

The President has made his play and the ball is in congress’s court. If the recent government shutdown has told us—the American people—anything, it should be that politicians rarely operate beyond “party line”—it’s up to us to get them to. And so, I ask you to call your representatives to remind them that this—the U.S. torturing suspects behind guarded doors—is a big deal. 

As a member of UFAI, I care about the rights of others—regardless of whether they are or are not a U.S. citizen. I, as do you, care about freedom, respect the law, and believe in “innocent ‘till proven guilty,” and I’m taking a stand—will you?

By,

Logan Kipp

Activism In Action

“If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty […] you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.” Such were the words of 16-year old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, from an interview with Jon Stewart.  The outspoken women’s rights advocate has been widely recognized for her work in fighting for women’s rights and access to education. She has taught us that every individual has the ability to change the world. It was not the Taliban’s shotgun to Malala’s head that made her speak out; rather, it was discrimination against women and girls that pushed her to uphold the movement. These inalienable, indivisible, and inherent rights of every human are the basis of the Golden Rule, and we must practice what we preach. It’s human rights for everyone everywhere; from the classroom to the marketplace to the office—there’s no difference.

by,

Elianne Vazqez

aiusamidatlantic:

Yes, it’s true - we’ve had to find a new line into the White House, because apparently the calls from more than 2,500 Amnesty activists contributed to jamming White House lines yesterday! That just shows the strength of the movement we’ve built around Arms Trade Treaty, particularly over these last few months.  THANK YOU!
But we don’t just want UN member states to just finalize any Arms Trade Treaty.  We want them to finalize a strong Arms Trade Treaty - one with human rights protections.
We really need your help to put the pressure on all fronts in these final hours. 

Here’s how you can help:
1) Pick up the phone: Call the White House and demand that key human rights protections are kept in the Arms Trade Treaty: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414; Please be sure to tell us how your call went
2) Send an email: Take action on www.clickboom.org and be sure to share the action with your friends and family
3) Tweet: Add your name, or “Twignature”, to our Twitter petition by tweeting one of the following message.  We’re almost to our goal of 5,000 Twignatures - yours could help put us over the top: 
· Fact: The #ArmsTreaty will NOT affect the rights of gun owners in the US. RT to help #MakeObamaSign a strong #ArmsTreaty! 
· 500,000 people are killed with guns each year. RT to add your #Twignature to our petition #MakeObamaSign a strong #ArmsTreaty 
· Hours left to act! 250,000 child soldiers need a strong #ArmsTreaty. http://owl.li/jrjuv #MakeObamaSign

aiusamidatlantic:

Yes, it’s true - we’ve had to find a new line into the White House, because apparently the calls from more than 2,500 Amnesty activists contributed to jamming White House lines yesterday! That just shows the strength of the movement we’ve built around Arms Trade Treaty, particularly over these last few months.  THANK YOU!

But we don’t just want UN member states to just finalize any Arms Trade Treaty.  We want them to finalize a strong Arms Trade Treaty - one with human rights protections.

We really need your help to put the pressure on all fronts in these final hours. 

Here’s how you can help:

1) Pick up the phone: Call the White House and demand that key human rights protections are kept in the Arms Trade Treaty: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414; Please be sure to tell us how your call went

2) Send an email: Take action on www.clickboom.org and be sure to share the action with your friends and family

3) Tweet: Add your name, or “Twignature”, to our Twitter petition by tweeting one of the following message.  We’re almost to our goal of 5,000 Twignatures - yours could help put us over the top: 

· Fact: The #ArmsTreaty will NOT affect the rights of gun owners in the US. RT to help #MakeObamaSign a strong #ArmsTreaty! 

· 500,000 people are killed with guns each year. RT to add your #Twignature to our petition #MakeObamaSign a strong #ArmsTreaty 

· Hours left to act! 250,000 child soldiers need a strong #ArmsTreaty. http://owl.li/jrjuv #MakeObamaSign

debbiegwen:

“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”-Patrick Stewart
Yet again, another reason to love Sir Patrick Stewart.

debbiegwen:

“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”-Patrick Stewart

Yet again, another reason to love Sir Patrick Stewart.

kateoplis:

Alain de Botton: Ten Virtues for the Modern Age
“1. Resilience. Keeping going even when things are looking dark; accepting that reversals are normal; remembering that human nature is, in the end, tough. Not frightening others with your fears.
2. Empathy. The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person. The courage to become someone else and look back at yourself with honesty.
3. Patience. We lose our temper because we believe that things should be perfect. We’ve grown so good in some areas (putting men on the moon etc.), we’re ever less able to deal with things that still insist on going wrong; like traffic, government, other people… We should grow calmer and more forgiving by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go.
4. Sacrifice. We’re hardwired to seek our own advantage but also have a miraculous ability, very occasionally, to forego our own satisfactions in the name of someone or something else. We won’t ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don’t keep up with the art of sacrifice. 
5. Politeness. Politeness has a bad name. We often assume it’s about being ‘fake’ (which is meant to be bad) as opposed to ‘really ourselves’ (which is meant to be good). However, given what we’re really like deep down, we should spare others too much exposure to our deeper selves. We need to learn manners, which aren’t evil - they are the necessary internal rules of civilisation. Politeness is very linked to tolerance, the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, can’t avoid.
6. Humour. Seeing the funny sides of situations and of oneself doesn’t sound very serious, but it is integral to wisdom, because it’s a sign that one is able to put a benevolent finger on the gap between what we want to happen and what life can actually provide; what we dream of being and what we actually are, what we hope other people will be like and what they are actually like. Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it’s disappointment optimally channelled. It’s one of the best things we can do with our sadness.
7. Self-awareness. To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one’s troubles and moods; to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.
8. Forgiveness. Forgiveness means a long memory of all the times when we wouldn’t have got through life without someone cutting us some slack. It’s recognising that living with others isn’t possible without excusing errors.
9. Hope. The way the world is now is only a pale shadow of what it could one day be. We’re still only at the beginning of history. As you get older, despair becomes far easier, almost reflex (whereas in adolescence, it was still cool and adventurous). Pessimism isn’t necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10. Confidence. The greatest projects and schemes die for no grander reasons than that we don’t dare. Confidence isn’t arrogance, it’s based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything.”

kateoplis:

Alain de Botton: Ten Virtues for the Modern Age

“1. Resilience. Keeping going even when things are looking dark; accepting that reversals are normal; remembering that human nature is, in the end, tough. Not frightening others with your fears.

2. Empathy. The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person. The courage to become someone else and look back at yourself with honesty.

3. Patience. We lose our temper because we believe that things should be perfect. We’ve grown so good in some areas (putting men on the moon etc.), we’re ever less able to deal with things that still insist on going wrong; like traffic, government, other people… We should grow calmer and more forgiving by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go.

4. Sacrifice. We’re hardwired to seek our own advantage but also have a miraculous ability, very occasionally, to forego our own satisfactions in the name of someone or something else. We won’t ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don’t keep up with the art of sacrifice. 

5. Politeness. Politeness has a bad name. We often assume it’s about being ‘fake’ (which is meant to be bad) as opposed to ‘really ourselves’ (which is meant to be good). However, given what we’re really like deep down, we should spare others too much exposure to our deeper selves. We need to learn manners, which aren’t evil - they are the necessary internal rules of civilisation. Politeness is very linked to tolerance, the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, can’t avoid.

6. Humour. Seeing the funny sides of situations and of oneself doesn’t sound very serious, but it is integral to wisdom, because it’s a sign that one is able to put a benevolent finger on the gap between what we want to happen and what life can actually provide; what we dream of being and what we actually are, what we hope other people will be like and what they are actually like. Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it’s disappointment optimally channelled. It’s one of the best things we can do with our sadness.

7. Self-awareness. To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one’s troubles and moods; to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.

8. Forgiveness. Forgiveness means a long memory of all the times when we wouldn’t have got through life without someone cutting us some slack. It’s recognising that living with others isn’t possible without excusing errors.

9. Hope. The way the world is now is only a pale shadow of what it could one day be. We’re still only at the beginning of history. As you get older, despair becomes far easier, almost reflex (whereas in adolescence, it was still cool and adventurous). Pessimism isn’t necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.

10. Confidence. The greatest projects and schemes die for no grander reasons than that we don’t dare. Confidence isn’t arrogance, it’s based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything.”

sinidentidades:

“To live in the Borderlands means you”
    are niether hispana india negra española    ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed    caught in the crossfire between camps    while carrying all five races on your back    not knowing which side to turn to, run from;  
To live in the Borderlands means knowing    that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,    is no longer speaking to you,     that mexicanas call you rajetas,    that denying the Anglo inside you    is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;  
Cuando vives en la Frontera    people walk through you, the wind steals your voice,    you’re burra, buey, scapegoat,    forerunner of a new race,    half and half—both woman and man, neither—    a new gender;  
To live in the Borderlands means to    put chile in the borscht,    eat whole wheat tortillas,    speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent;    be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;
Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to    resist the gold elixir beckoning from the bottle,    the pull of the gun barrel,    the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;
In the Borderlands    you are the battleground    where enemies are kin to each other;    you are at home, a stranger,     the border disputes have been settled    the volley of shots have shattered the truce    you are wounded, lost in action    dead, fighting back;
To live in the Borderlands means    the mill with razor white teeth wants to shred off    your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart    pound you pinch you roll you out    smelling like white bread but dead;
To survive the Borderlands    you must live sin fronteras    be a crossroads.  
          — Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa

sinidentidades:

“To live in the Borderlands means you”

    are niether hispana india negra española
    ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed
    caught in the crossfire between camps
    while carrying all five races on your back
    not knowing which side to turn to, run from;  

To live in the Borderlands means knowing
    that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,
    is no longer speaking to you,
    that mexicanas call you rajetas,
    that denying the Anglo inside you
    is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;  

Cuando vives en la Frontera
    people walk through you, the wind steals your voice,
    you’re burra, buey, scapegoat,
    forerunner of a new race,
    half and half—both woman and man, neither—
    a new gender;  

To live in the Borderlands means to
    put chile in the borscht,
    eat whole wheat tortillas,
    speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent;
    be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;

Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to
    resist the gold elixir beckoning from the bottle,
    the pull of the gun barrel,
    the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;

In the Borderlands
    you are the battleground
    where enemies are kin to each other;
    you are at home, a stranger,
    the border disputes have been settled
    the volley of shots have shattered the truce
    you are wounded, lost in action
    dead, fighting back;

To live in the Borderlands means
    the mill with razor white teeth wants to shred off
    your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart
    pound you pinch you roll you out
    smelling like white bread but dead;

To survive the Borderlands
    you must live sin fronteras
    be a crossroads.  


          — Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa

yourathenaeum:

In honor of Black History Month, here are ten remarkable African American librarians. It should be noted that, though people of color being part of the field for more than a century, library science is still estimated to be around 89% white. It is still up to us to work towards progress, celebrating diversity and fighting inequalities.

  • Audre Lorde was an activist, poet, and the author of Sister Outsider and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. She earned her master’s degree in library science at Columbia University and served as a librarian in New York public schools for several years.
  • E.J. Josey was the president of the American Library Association from 1984-85 and founded of the Black Caucus of the ALA. He has written several books and hundreds of articles on library science. He was elected to honorary membership, the ALA’s highest honor, in 2002.
  • Eliza Atkins Gleason was the first African American person to receive a Ph.D. in library science, which she did at the University of Chicago in 1940. Her work tracing the history of library service to African Americans was groundbreaking, and the ALA gives an award in her name to outstanding books on library history.
  • Claudia McNeil was best known for playing Lena Younger in stage and screen productions of Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun. Early in her performing career, she earned her library degree and was employed at Womrath’s bookstore in New York.
  • Dorothy Porter Wesley graduated from Howard University in 1928 and became the first black woman to receive a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University in 1932. She served as a librarian at Howard University for over forty years. The university named the Dorothy B. Porter Reading Room in recognition of her service.
  • Augusta Braxton Baker was a librarian with the New York Public Library from 1937 to 1974, during which time she developed a groundbreaking list of stories that portrayed African Americans positively and established a collection of African American children’s literature at the NYPL. She became the first African American coordinator of Children’s Services at the NYPL in 1961.
  • Sadie Peterson Delaney was a humanitarian and pioneer of bibilotherapy, the practice of using literature to promote healing. She was chief librarian of the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital for more than twenty years, where among other innovations she organized a special library department for the blind. She was elected and served as the councilor for the Hospital Library Division of the American Library Association from 1946 until 1951.
  • Willye Dennis was initially turned away when she applied for a position at a Jacksonville library. According to her niece, she was told “‘they didn’t have any jobs for n———s’. She said she told them: ‘Well I guess I have to stand aside because I’m not one.’” She went on to be a librarian, president of the Jacksonville NAACP, and a legislator in the Florida House of Representatives.
  • Vivian G. Harsh began as a library clerk in Chicago in 1909 before obtaining her library degree from Simmons College in Boston.  She became the Chicago Public Library system’s first black librarian and was appointed director of the new George C. Hall branch. With the help of Charlemae Rollins, she developed the branch’s collections and programming to serve the city’s black community. Under her direction, it became a literary and cultural center during Chicago’s Black Renaissance.
  • Mayme Agnew Clayton, throughout her career as a librarian at California universities, collected rare and out of print books by and about African Americans. Over forty years, she amassed the largest private collection of black history materials in the world, now held at the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum. As to what motivated this remarkable collection, she stated: “I wanted to be sure that children would know that black people have done great things and at the time I didn’t see anyone else saving the history.”
communitylibrary:

New Muslim Cool 
Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez ended his life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim.
Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to other young people through his uncompromising music as part of the hip-hop duo M-Team.
Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage.
But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and challenge himself. He starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his faith, discovering new connections with people from Christian and Jewish communities.
NEW MUSLIM COOL takes viewers on Hamza’s ride through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America, following his spiritual journey to some surprising places — where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing.

communitylibrary:

New Muslim Cool 

Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez ended his life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim.

Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to other young people through his uncompromising music as part of the hip-hop duo M-Team.

Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage.

But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and challenge himself. He starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his faith, discovering new connections with people from Christian and Jewish communities.

NEW MUSLIM COOL takes viewers on Hamza’s ride through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America, following his spiritual journey to some surprising places — where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing.

(via khilire)

whyartmatters:

I am probably a little late on this train but I just saw the documentary Never Sorry about Ai Wei Wei and I recommend it to everybody. It shows just how powerful one person can be when he has the courage to create in the face of oppression. Ai Wei Wei is a real symbol of arts advocacy and an all around badass. 

“I think that art certainly is a vehicle for us to develop any new ideas, to be creative, to extend our imagination…I think there is a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression. “

whyartmatters:

I am probably a little late on this train but I just saw the documentary Never Sorry about Ai Wei Wei and I recommend it to everybody. It shows just how powerful one person can be when he has the courage to create in the face of oppression. Ai Wei Wei is a real symbol of arts advocacy and an all around badass. 

“I think that art certainly is a vehicle for us to develop any new ideas, to be creative, to extend our imagination…I think there is a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression. “

ABOUT US: UFAI is the UF chapter of Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization, Amnesty International (AI). With over 3 million members worldwide, AI is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights globally, through research, advocacy, and most importantly, action.


FOLLOW UFAI: For updates on everything humanitarian happening right here at the University of Florida, Stop by our feed! It's always a worthwhile investment, we promise!


WEEKLY UPDATE: UFAI will be funding RCP's World AIDs Day on Novemeber 19th, at 7pm in the Reitz Union Rion Ballroom! Join us for this awesome free event! RSVP here: http://goo.gl/oJ8jUf

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