Tag Archives: ending violence

Explaining ISIS – Securing a better future

Also known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Islamic State (IS).

ISIS aims to create an Islamic state called a caliphate across Iraq, Syria and beyond.The group is implementing Sharia Law, rooted in eighth century Islam, to establish a society that mirrors the region’s ancient past.

ISIS is known for killing dozens of people at a time and carrying out public executions, crucifixions, and other acts.

READ: ISIS goes global: 90 attacks in 21 countries have killed nearly 1,400 people

ISIS is believed to be holding 3,500 people as slaves, according to a 2016 United Nations report. Most of the enslaved are women and children from the Yazidi community, but some are from other ethnic and religious minority communities.

The OIG for the DHS announced it will be reviewing DHS’ implementation of President Trump’s immigration ban





U.S. immigration officials detained refugees, as well as holders of valid U.S. visas and green cards, from seven majority-Muslim nations: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen following the orders from Washington.

Trump signed an executive order Friday indefinitely barring all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days. It also prohibits citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, whether they are refugees or not.

The Office Inspector General (OIG) for the Homeland Security Department (DHS) announced late Wednesday that it will be reviewing DHS’ implementation of President Trump’s immigration ban, signed by Mr. Trump on Friday.

Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

 

As a housing provider, you can play a big role in supporting the education of young people experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a federal law, governs the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program. Currently, there are over 26,000 K-12 students in Pennsylvania (2014-15 data) that may need additional support due to their homeless status. These students include those children and youth who:

  • are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals;
  • have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • are living in cars, parks, public spaces or abandoned buildings, sub- standard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • are “migratory children” (see further information regarding homeless students in the Education for Homeless Youth Basic Education Circular at  www.education.state.pa.us/homeless)

There are many resources to assist in these efforts through the regional network of ECYEH coordinators – go to http://homeless.center-school.org to see the regional map for local program contact information.  And if you are not connected with the local school district homeless liaison/s in your area, visit the statewide online liaison directory at http://homeless.center-school.org/ homeless directory  for a complete liaison listing.  At this site, you will also find a listing of family/youth shelters available to families with children and unaccompanied youth.  If your program/agency is not listed, or if the information needs to be updated, please contact your ECYEH regional coordinator.

 

Free leadership development training is available for families of children who receive Infant-Toddler Early Intervention or Pre-School Early Intervention Services.  Competence and Confidence Partners in Policymaking for Families in Early Intervention (C2P2EI) will be offered in four 2-day sessions: October 28-29, December 2-3, January 27-28, and April 28-29 at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center. For more information contact Cathy Roccia-Meier at cathyRM@temple.edu or visit http://disabilities.temple.edu/programs/leadership/c2p2ei.shtml

We Rise With Yazidi Women! One Billion Rising & Yazda Call on the World for Global Solidarity With and For Yazidi Women on 3 August

We Rise With Yazidi Women! One Billion Rising & Yazda Call on the World for Global Solidarity With and For Yazidi Women on 3 August

This 3 August marks the two-year anniversary of the brutal attack of the Yazidi people in Sinjar Province in the Northern region of Iraq, Two years since IS or ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) stormed towns, villages, and historic homelands of the ethno-religious group, killing over 5,000 men and elders, enslaving over 7,000 women and children and displacing over 400,000 more. Two years since the humanitarian crisis in which thousands of internally displaced Yazidis were trapped on Sinjar Mountain, surrounded by Isis fighters determined to exterminate the indigenous group, dying of exposure and dehydration. Two years since the ongoing genocide of the Yazidi people began, including the desecration of homes, holy sites and women’s bodies.

The recently published Chilcot report in the UK, which revealed that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his major allies – including former US President George Bush had illegally waged war in Iraq in March 2003 and militarily occupied it – further reiterates the connection that the Iraq War contributed to the rise of IS or ISIL in the region.

Nadia Murad is a 23-year-old victim of Isil’s crimes in Iraq and one of the thousands of Yazidi women who were abducted and enslaved by IS or ISIL. She was brutally raped by more than 12 members over a period of three months and was among the more than 5,000 Yazidi women taken captive when IS or ISIL swept through the group’s communities in Northern Iraq. After her escape, Nadia spoke out about her horrific experiences at the hands of IS or ISIL fighters to draw attention to the ongoing genocide. She has described how she and other young women were forced to pray before they were raped, and how they were treated as they were bought and sold like “sabia” – slaves.

“We were not worth the value of animals. They raped girls in groups, They did what a mind could not imagine. They commit rape and genocide crimes in the name of Islam. When they took me to Mosul to rape me, I forgot about my mother and brothers. Because what they were doing to the women was more difficult than death” – Nadia Murad

YAZDA is a global Yazidi organization who provides support for the victims of the genocide.

ON 3 AUGUST, WE CALL ON THE WORLD TO SHOW SOLIDARITY FOR NADIA MURAD AND THE THOUSANDS OF YAZIDI WOMEN AND GIRLS SOLD AND CAPTURED AS SEX SLAVES – AND CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE CAPTURED 3,000 YAZIDI WOMEN.

WE CALL ON THE WORLD TO HONOR THE GENOCIDAL ATTACK ON SINJAR TWO YEARS AGO. WE AS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY, MUST KEEP THEIR STORIES AND THEIR SITUATION VISIBLE WITH THE STRENGTH OF OUR SOLIDARITY.

ORGANIZE SOLIDARITY EVENTS AND ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITIES. Here are some suggested actions:

MARCHES. VIGILS. WALKS. SOLIDARITY VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY ONLINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  LETS FILL THE GLOBE ONLINE WITH OUR SUPPORT FOR OUR YAZIDI SISTERS AND OUR DEMAND FOR JUSTICE FOR THEM.

USE THE HASHTAG: #StopYazidiGenocide

READ more about the context of the Yazidi genocide >

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

Get Involved

The al-Shaymeh Education Complex for Girls after it was struck by missiles fired by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition

We just called for the UN General Assembly to suspend Saudi Arabia from the world’s top human rights body.

Help us do more to champion human rights. Donate now.

This is intolerable.

Saudi Arabia has used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to shield itself from human rights investigations.

Since joining the Council in 2013, Saudi Arabia’s dire human rights record at home has plummeted, and the government has also led a devastating campaign of unlawful airstrikes against civilians in the next-door country of Yemen.

Help support our work to demand that Saudi Arabia’s government respects human rights. We are pressuring all UN member states to take action.

The list of violations is long:

    • More than 350 people – including children – have been executed In Saudi Arabia since it was elected to the Council.
    • Saudi Arabia used its membership on the council to derail a resolution that would have investigated war crimes by the Saudi-led military coalition that bombed Yemen.
  • Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia have been harshly sentenced for peacefully expressing their opinions. Since 2014, Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court has sentenced hundreds of activists – including Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair – to lengthy prison terms, and even to death, after grossly unfair trials. In May 2014, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for blogging about religious freedom.

The international community – including the United States and the U.K – has been deafeningly silent. President Obama even sold Saudi Arabia a billion dollars in additional bombs.

When it comes to Saudi Arabia, we must make sure the international community does not put business and arms deals before human rights. Donate now.

I hope you’ll be part of our efforts.

Sincerely,

Sunjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights.

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Margaret HuangGovernment leaders must prioritize human rights, and I was proud to take that message to the leaders of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico this week in Ottawa. I joined the heads of Amnesty International sections from Canada and Mexico in meeting with senior officials in all three governments in advance of an annual summit of the three countries’ leaders.

On behalf of 2 million Amnesty International supporters in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights. In particular, we’re urging them to do more to protect refugees—and to immediately end the detention of immigrant children. Nearly half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 39,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras have arrived at the U.S. border without parents or other adults. In many cases, these children are being put into prisons in the U.S., without access to any assistance or even translators, and then deported weeks or months later—sent back into the extremely dangerous conditions they were fleeing.

We’re fighting to protect those children—and to protect the rights of all refugees and migrants. Hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International supporters are demanding that government leaders do more, while we’re also engaging in direct advocacy with key decision-makers. We won’t stop until every person’s human rights are fully protected.Please take action to join us.

In solidarity,
Margaret Huang

Orlando, Solidarity and Action

ORLANDO, SOLIDARITY AND ACTION

During this month, Pride month, we witnessed the horrific mass shooting in Orlando—where 49 people, many of them LGBT people and people of color, were killed in a place they came to find community and joy.

The world responded with incredible solidarity, but meanwhile Congress failed to pass legislative measures to prevent the growing human rights crisis of gun violence. Instead, they introduced a wave of legislation playing on fear and prejudice toward Muslims.

We stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors in Orlando. We are committed to helping end gun violence in this country and to combatting anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in all its forms.

The America I Beleive In

WHAT DOES THE AMERICA YOU BELIEVE IN LOOK LIKE?

With a climate of fear and hate sweeping the United Sates, it’s time to take a stand.

Together, we’re rejecting anti-refugee legislation, harassment of American Muslims, and calls to respond to terrorism by committing torture and war crimes.

Don’t let fear win. Participate in our photo action to show what the America you believe in looks like.

Download and print out the sign, then you can write what the America you believe in looks like and post it to social media.

You can also get more involved by going to amnestyusa.org/Ibelieve

Donate NowTRAPPED ON THE BORDERS

Sham, pictured here, is a six-year old girl from Syria who fled to Europe in a rubber boat after bombs destroyed her home.

Amnesty International crisis investigators met her and her family when they were trapped in a ferry terminal in Greece after European governments closed their borders to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. She was sleeping on the floor.

Help us surpass our $200,000 June goal to advocate on behalf of refugees like Sham and her family. Donate now.

Block the Bombs

BLOCK THE BOMBS FROM THE U.S. TO SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to effectively obstruct accountability for possible war crimes.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch this week are calling on the United Nations to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council. We also need to make sure that no more US bombs are delivered to Saudi Arabia and used in human rights violations.

Block the bombs.

2016 Regional Conferences

2016 REGIONAL CONFERENCES

AIUSA’s 2016 Regional Conferences are set to take place in October and November, and they will be an incredible opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers, network with other activists, learn about the most pressing human rights issues of our time, develop your organizing skills, and shape AIUSA policy. We’ll have information soon on agendas, speakers, and more, but you can check out dates and locations on the regional conferences website.

If you’re a member and want to present at one of the conferences, don’t forget tosubmit your proposal for each conference by July 15.

Leonard PeltierTAKE ACTION FOR LEONARD PELTIER

Leonard Peltier is 71 years old now, and he has served 40 years in prison in a case that has long raised troubling questions—including from the judge who heard his appeal. He has an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and his health is deteriorating rapidly. If properly treated, Leonard could make a full recovery, but if the aneurysm ruptures, he has roughly a 10% chance of survival.

Amnesty International staff recently visited Leonard in federal prison in Florida, and he told us: “If I don’t get clemency, I’m going to die here—and not from old age.”
It’s time to bring him home to his family. Take Action.

women and girls
Spacer
Mining
Spacer
Guantanamo
Spacer
refugees
Spacer
How did you like Amnesty Insider? Let us know what you think.

Donate Now!

Amnesty International USA

Black Power Without Green Power Is No Power

Last week was the 95th memorial anniversary of white folks’ bloodthirsty murder of 300 Black men, women, and children and also white folks’ wholesale destruction of 1,000 Black-owned businesses and homes on “Black Wall Street” in the Greenwood community of Tulsa, OK from May 31-June 1, 1921. Although I could justifiably rail against this destructive white devilment, I’ll instead praise this instructive Black economic independence.
Blackwallst1

Blackwallst6

 
Blackwallst7

 

 

 

When Blacks today moan and groan and whine and complain and sue because whites won’t hire or promote us, I simply shake my head in disgust. And then I wonder why we expect anything good from the very same people who yesterday kidnapped us, sold us, bought us, enslaved us, raped us, lynched us and who today use their police departments to murder us, their judges to treat us like Dred Scott, and their prison officials/politicians/corporations to impose their new Jim Crow.

Blackwallst5White corporations and employers, generally speaking, don’t like us and don’t want us. They never did and never will. That’s why there are only five Black CEOs in the Fortune 500 and only two in the elite Dow 30. We must “do for self” like our “Black Wall Street” ancestors did nearly 100 years ago. And we can, as proven by the fact that Black-owned businesses currently show a growth rate three times the national (i.e., white) average. If our ancestors could succeed back then- and they did- we damn sure can now.

That 1921 rampage was born out of a 1916 Tulsa ordinance that banned Blacks from living on any block on which whites constituted at least 75 percent of the residents. So did the Blacks moan, groan, whine, complain, or sue? Hell no! They “did for self” by unifying economically and culturally. As a result, they created a community consisting of a multitude of separate Black-owned, Black-operated, and Black-patronized businesses- including (but not limited to) law firms, hospitals, newspapers, hotels, schools, restaurants, construction companies, real estate offices, and 24 supermarkets! As so insightfully stated by professor, author, and attorney Dr. Hannibal B. Johnson, “Legal segregation (in Tulsa and throughout the nation) limited the commercial options of African-Americans. This economic detour- this diversion of dollars- spurred business development and economic prosperity in the Black community. A talented cadre of African-American businesspersons and entrepreneurs rose up. Blackwallst4Blackwallst3

 

 

 

 

The problem is not that we don’t have the money to “do for self.” We got money! We have more than 35,000 Black millionaires in this country and a whopping 1,826 billionaires in the world. We also have earnings of $1.3 trillion annually in America. The problem is that, unlike other ethnic groups, we spend it with outsiders as soon as we get it. For example, a dollar remains in the Asian community for 28 consecutive days but only six hours in the Black community. Outrageous and embarrassing!

Blackwallst8

To paraphrase the classic line from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and the 1974 film Blazing Saddles, “Jobs? We don’t need your stinkin’ jobs!” We can do our own thing. But, in regard to government employment, don’t get it twisted. Although we don’t need white folks’ municipal, state, or federal jobs, those jobs are owed to us because we built this country and because we continue to be denied high salary and top-level positions despite our unimpeachable qualifications. For example, in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first couple of weeks in office, he appointed about 80 top officials, 66 percent of whom are white in a city that’s only 36 percent white. However, despite the fact that African-Americans make up 44 percent of Philly’s population, only 22 percent of his appointees are African-Americans. Former Mayor Michael Nutter was nearly as racially insensitive at best or racially discriminatory at worst with 64 percent of city employees who received salaries in excess of $70,000 being- you guessed it- white.


As reported this week by Eric Ture Muhammad in The Final Call, the preeminent S.B. Fuller & Joe L. Dudley Sr. Foundation held a “Mastermind Business Group Meeting” on May 26 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC as a gathering dedicated to Black entrepreneurship. It brought together business leaders from all across the country and emphasized the critical importance of creating a “collaborative economic framework” for community wealth rather than focusing primarily on personal wealth.

A number of the event’s presenters, including networking mogul Dr. George Fraser, spoke about the Black community having foolishly adhered to an “economic welcome mat” policy that “allows anyone who isn’t Black easy access to Black dollars and consumers.” They pointed out that “anyone else can walk in, meet some community needs, wipe their feet on Black consumers like a doormat, and exit with tens of millions of dollars put in banks outside the community.”

Blackwallst9

We must economically “rise up” as Dr. Johnson mentioned. And we can do it by creating Black-owned businesses and/or by buying exclusively from the more than two million Black-owned businesses (or the many predominantly Black-employed businesses) at least once a week starting this week, then at least twice a week next week, then at least one week next month, and eventually at least six months every year.

Blackwallst2

We can do it by following the lead of the 15 young Black businessmen from the Black Male Entrepreneurship Institute (BMEI), which partners with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC). BMEI did it last year when they sought out a Black financial institution and found Industrial Bank in Washington, DC where they made an initial deposit of $5,000. As stated by Ron Busby, CEO of USBC, “In order for there to be a strong Black America, we must have strong Black businesses. In order to have strong Black businesses, we must have strong Black banks.”

So let’s do the Black bank thing and the Black business thing- which means the Black power thing.

The words from David Walker’s Appeal, written in 1829, and the words of Christopher James Perry Sr., founder of the Tribune in 1884, are the inspiration for my “Freedman’s Journal” columns. In order to honor that pivotal nationalist abolitionist and that pioneering newspaper giant, as well as to inspire today’s Tribune readers, each column ends with Walker and Perry’s combined quote- along with my inserted voice- as follows: I ask all Blacks “to procure a copy of this… (weekly column) for it is designed… particularly for them” so they can “make progress… against (racist) injustice.”

 

Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD900AM. And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCAM/Verizon/Comcast.

 

Alicia’s new film Let Me In launches today. Watch it here.

Stand as one with people forced to flee conflict and disaster

Beautiful Family,

Today, June 20th is World Refugee Day.

I’m not an expert on the refugee crisis, but I am just like you – a human, a woman, a mother, a daughter, and a friend. When I learned that there are more refugees living in the world today than at any other point in history, and half of them are children, it totally took my breath away! It left me to wonder what if this was me? My sons? My family? My life?

I want you to imagine if you were a refugee if you were the one torn from the arms of your families and loved ones….one of 60 million people displaced with nowhere to call home. What would you do? How would you feel?

These are the questions my new film, Let Me In, seeks to answer. We’ve partnered with Care, Oxfam, and War Child, on a campaign to raise awareness and reinvigorate the conversation around the global refugee crisis.


The film is set to my new song “Hallelujah,” and reimagines the refugee crisis on America’s shores, displacing thousands in the Los Angeles area who must seek safety by crossing the border into Mexico.

Sadly, some seek to fan the flames of division and turn us against our fellow neighbors, but We Are Here to make the case for love and compassion.

Please take a few minutes to watch the film and think about what millions of families are going through around the world. These are people just like us, with families and careers and dreams. Let’s tell them we’re standing with them.

http://weareheremovement.com/letmein
With Love Only and Always,
– Alicia

Help Stop the killing of people with albinism in Malawi!

Take Action: Help Stop the killing of people with albinism in Malawi!

Get Involved
Take Action© LAWILINK/Amnesty InternationalAttacks against people with albinism have sharply increased in Malawi over the last two years, with four people, including a baby, murdered this past April alone.Take action now and support efforts calling on the government of Malawi to protect people with albinism.

Take Action!
Share This Action

Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.

Whitney Chilumpha was just under two years old when she was snatched while sleeping with her mother in their home. Pieces of her skull, some teeth and clothing were found days later on a nearby hill.

Jenifer Namusyo, a 30-year-old woman, was found dead. She had been stabbed in the back, abdomen, and elbow.

Seventeen-year-old Davis Fletcher Machinjiri was abducted by a group of men who trafficked him to Mozambique, where he was killed and his arms and legs chopped off.

Right now there are five more people who have been abducted in Malawi and are still missing—their lives are in immediate danger.

Groups in Malawi are fighting to end this practice—but they need help. Call on the government of Malawi to urgently search for the five who are currently missing, and take steps to protect the life and security of people with albinism.

Today is International Albinism Awareness Day, and Amnesty International just released a report that shows at least 69 crimes against people with albinism have been documented since November 2014.

Amnesty International and other organizations on the ground are calling on the government of Malawi to adopt measures protecting the rights to life and security of people with albinism by providing increased levels of visible policing in rural districts and taking action when attacks occur.

Tell the government of Malawi to uphold its responsibility to protect people with albinism.