Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of Soulforce, has been appointed to Amnesty International’s USA Country and Thematic Specialist Program LGBT Coordination Group
Amnesty International began much like Soulforce when one man’s outrage led to courage to do something about it. After learning of two Portugese students imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom in 1961, Peter Benenson, a lawyer, published an article entitled The Forgotten Prisoners in the Observer newspaper. That article launched the Appeal for Amnesty 1961, a worldwide campaign that provoked a remarkable response. His call to action resonated with the values and aspirations of people everywhere.
This was the genesis of Amnesty International.
Amnesty focuses on human rights issues around the world and convenes activists, advocates and experts with particular skills to work on Coordination Groups who raise up recommendations to the “on the ground” strategic teams to consider for action. Rev. Dr. Love was recommended to Amnesty by people familiar with her work on the Would Jesus Discrimination Campaign, the United Nations UUO Compass Coalition for LGBT Human Rights and Soulforce. Following an interview process with the Director of Programs for Amnesty, she was selected.
The issues that are addressed by Amnesty are:
- Prisoners and People at Risk – Prisoners and people at risk are those whose human rights have been violated or are under threat of violation.
- Poverty and Human Rights – Everyone, everywhere has the right to live with dignity. That means that no one should be denied their rights to adequate housing, food, water and sanitation, and to education and health care.
- Death Penalty – The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state.
- Security and Human Rights – Amnesty International insists that states must respect human rights in any actions they take in the name of national security or countering terrorism.
- Refugee and Migrant Rights – Every day across the world refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons make the difficult decision to leave their homes.
- Torture – Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment must stop. Those responsible for authorizing it must be held accountable.
- Women’s Rights – Living free from violence is a human right. Yet millions of women and girls around the world encounter rape, domestic abuse, mutilation and other forms of gender-based violence.
- Children’s Rights – Across the world, children are denied their human rights. They miss out on their right to education. They are abandoned and left to fend for themselves on the street. They are recruited into armed forces. They are subjected to the death penalty and suffer many other forms of violence.
- Censorship and Free Speech – Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without fear or interference.
- Business and Human Rights – Privatization and economic globalization have given companies unprecedented access to new territories, and expanded their reach across national borders.
- LGBT Rights – All people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity should enjoy equal human rights.
- Military, Police and Arms – By encouraging governments to act responsibly in this area, Amnesty International USA seeks to prevent or minimize violations or abuses of humanitarian and human rights law.
- International Justice – International justice is the cooperation between countries to hold accountable individuals accused of grave human rights abuses, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.