My first experiences with Amnesty International took place in the spring of 2017, when I signed up to receive the organization’s emails and started signing Amnesty’s petitions. A few months later, I joined the Urgent Action network. I don’t think that I will ever forget the feeling of signing up. At that time, I wasn’t the type of person who committed to causes before discussing them with someone in my immediate circle. But Amnesty’s work resonated with me, and from what I could see, it was not like the other causes and charities I’d been interested in. The warm welcome that I received from the Urgent Action Network Coordinator went way beyond the automated reply that I’d been expecting, and proved that my decision to join had been a good one.
After my introduction to Amnesty, I was able to participate in more letter-writing campaigns, and in 2018, I organized a Write for Rights event at my university. One of the folks who attended this event later invited me to apply to join the Thompson Rivers University Student’s Union Equity Committee. My application was accepted, and when I started working with this committee, I was excited to learn that the group wrote Urgent Action letters at their meetings. Since I hadn’t been able to generate much enthusiasm within my high school activism club when I suggested that we engage in human rights work, I was pleasantly surprised to see a strong interest in my university community.
In the summer of 2020, I had the chance to join the National Organizers Program. Already, this has been a positive experience; I feel fortunate to be included in an online environment that focuses on human rights issues and activism techniques, among other topics. It is so rewarding to work with a diverse group of intelligent, humble, and inspiring activists who gently challenge me to expand my beliefs.
Ever since a trail of magazine articles and internet browsing led me to Amnesty International, I’ve felt that the organization’s values match my own to a tee. The more I learn, the more I believe in Amnesty’s ability to address complex issues and gratuitous, unconscionable suffering. I think that Amnesty’ power lies in its commitment to human rights law, self-determination, and impartiality, along with its consistent compassion. I am grateful to Amnesty for providing me with inspiration, a sense of purpose, and access to a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. I can’t wait to find new ways of contributing!