Ms. Alexandra Anderson
Amnesty is one of CVUs most established clubs, working in tandem with the international organization Amnesty International, whose central mission is to combat human rights violations globally. From events such as Write for Rights, where students write letters to foreign or domestic leaders about injustice, and the annual Eastern Regional Conference in Boston, Amnesty gives students a platform to create genuine change.
Katherine Riley, CVU Amnesty Advisor for the past 19 years, is a passionate advocate for Amnesty and its goals. “The mission as a whole is to bring to light social injustices, human rights abuses around the world,” she explained. She is emphatic about the necessity of high schoolers involvement in global issues, stating, “at the highschool level there’s an opportunity to raise awareness about injustice and also bring to light the reality for students that their actions can make a difference.” Due to its connection to the larger organization, the goals of the individual branch can be realized by joint forces globally, giving students the satisfaction of inciting real and genuine change.
Image Courtesy of Amnesty International
Mses. Lucy Anderson and Katherine Mahoney
A few months ago, a picture of a Syrian refugee child who washed up on the beach circulated the globe via social media. Outrage immediately ensued, and empathy towards those suffering skyrocketed. After a few weeks, the initial rage began to subside, and many let the images of war torn families settle comfortably in the back of their brains, out of sight. For some people, however, the thirst for action on behalf of the refugees and others suffering from human rights abuses never diminished.
This Saturday, Amnesty USA held their annual Vermont meeting, which centered on refugee rights and how to organize effective actions. The meeting, which was held at the Friends Meeting House in Burlington, began by each attendee introducing themselves. Everyone spoke about how they first became interested in human rights and the reason they were at the meeting. Attendees ranged from an elderly woman from Ukraine interested in voicing the plight of her people to Champlain Valley Union High School students representing their Amnesty club. Members of the community are always welcome at Amnesty meetings, regardless of whether they have been affiliated with the organization in the past.