it's human rights day: write for rights

I just now remembered that today is December 10, Human Rights Day, which celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each year on this day, I try to participate in Amnesty's annual Write For Rights.

On December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe write letters to, and for, individuals at risk. And these letters make a difference. Amnesty's letter writing campaigns have helped political prisoners get released, and have pressured governments into lessening repression. And one thing your letter is guaranteed to do: give someone hope. You can let a person in a very dark place know that she has not been forgotten.

I'm going to take 30 minutes tonight and write some letters. Maybe you can do the same. To learn what campaigns Amnesty is focusing on in your country, go here. If you're in Canada, go here.

Here's part of what I wrote on this day last year. Seems like good advice.

- be intimidated by the numbers of cases.

- be overwhelmed, thinking you have to write 10 or 20 letters.

- be cynical, thinking a letter does nothing.

- be too busy. You can find 15 minutes.


- resolve to write one letter, or maybe two.

- plan a time to write, today or tomorrow.

- pick a case that resonates with you.

- know that public pressure helps - that's why Amnesty has developed this program.

- offer someone comfort to someone in extremely difficult circumstances. Show them that they have not been forgotten.

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