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Amnesty International takes first steps towards UNCP

By Margaret Damghani 
Asst. Around the Campus Editor                                                                                                   

A meeting for students interested in becoming a part of Amnesty International will be held April 18 at 10 a.m. in the Multicultural Center Conference room.

Low turnout            

Five students attended the first interest meeting held by junior mass communications major Laura C. Warwick on March 28. 

Amnesty International is an organization that “undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses” of human rights, according to their website at http://www.amnes-tyusa.org.           

Few active groups            

“There are not really active groups focusing on world issues and human rights,” Warwick said.                             “

Amnesty’s going to educate us.  We’re going to know what’s going on.”

Dr. Jane M. Haladay became a member of Amnesty International about 20 years ago and is the faculty adviser for the group.            
“I was surprised at how few people had ever heard about Amnesty at this school,” Haladay said.

“I think it is important to know about this organization in the global aspect of human rights.”           

Eight members            

The group needs to have at least eight members and present its constitution to the SGA. 

“We’re a small group but I hope that by next year we’ll be a huge group,” Warwick said.  “We’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

Amnesty International already lists UNCP as a school with a chapter on its website.            

The topics discussed at the interest meeting included the situation in Sudan, recycling on campus, women’s rights, the Patriot Act and the right of habeas corpus.

Campaign ideas

Some ideas for campaigns that the group may organize include a film series or bringing a member of Amnesty International to speak at the school.           

Celebrities            

Celebrities who are involved with Amnesty include Salma Hayak, Nicholas Cage, and Jennifer Connelly.

Connelly serves as Amnesty International's Ambassador for Human Rights Education.  Cage is an artist advocate for the International Control Arms Campaign.           

Support            

Amnesty publicly supports the films “The Constant Gardener,” “Blood Diamond,” and “Lord of War.”  Jennifer Lopez received an award from Amnesty for her movie Bordertown. 

Students can contact Dr. Haladay at jane.haladay@uncp.edu for more information.

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