safeguarding human rights
Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based non-profit organization, conducts fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses around the world, generating media coverage and pressuring government officials to make changes. Led the fight to ban child soldiers and documented testimonies throughout the Rwanda genocide. Website includes information on campaigns, actions, and events.
Human Rights Web is an online information kit to help you become a human rights activist. Includes a history of the world human-rights struggle, historic documents, and instructions on how to get started as an activist.
Amnesty International mobilizes ordinary people to liberate political prisoners, abolish torture, and end “disappearances” of people by governments and militias. Members receive news bulletins, participate in letter campaigns, and attend demonstrations. www.amnestyusa.org, 212/807-8400
MADRE, an international women's human-rights organization, provides resources and training to Latin American and African communities on violence, discrimination against women, and reproductive freedom. Website includes information on internships and work opportunities. www.madre.org, 212/627-0444
Human and Civil Rights Organizations of America is a comprehensiv index that will put you in touch with human rights organizations that match your interests and needs. www.hcr.org
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Tatum (Basic Books, 2003), spells out central concepts of racism in plain language and the challenges of racial identity.
Anti-Racism Net provides an online resource for the activist community and a portal offering information on anti-racism activities to the general public. Website includes articles, a calendar of events, and a search engine of anti-racist organizations.
Center for Partnership Studies provides resources to help you build models for education, business plans, and relationships that avoid traditional dominance paradigms and promote nonviolence and gender and racial
equality. www.partnershipway.org, 831/626-1004
Fellowship of Reconciliation is a venerable interfaith peace movement with branches in 40 countries. Helped found the ACLU and supported African independence, Vietnamese war victims, the U.S. civil rights movement, and U.S./Soviet Union reconciliation. Opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Website includes listings for a fellowship near you.
Resolving Conflict Creatively Program, a part of Educators for Social Responsibility, is the nation's longest running school program on conflict resolution. Focuses on violence prevention and creating peaceful learning communities. Currently serving 375 schools nationwide. www.esrnational.org, 617/492-1764x31
Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) seeks to undermine root causes of sexual violence. Uses community organizing to build safe, supportive communities. Members attend support group facilitation training, develop strategies for mutual accountability among friends and family, and create projects emphasizing positive sexuality. www.cara-seattle.org, 206/322-4856
The Conflict Resolution Information Source is a catalog of more than 20,000 conflict resolution-related resources.
Search for Common Ground, active in 12 nations, seeks to “transform the way the world deals with conflict,” by facilitating discussions, challenging stereotypes, and providing liasons between hostile groups. Website includes information on programs, news, and other resources.
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund advocates for legislation enabling conscientious war objectors to direct their federal income taxes to non-military purposes. Site includes action alerts, sample letters, and how to contact your legislators. www.peacetaxfund.org, 202/483-3751
Voices in the Wilderness organized over 70 delegations to Iraq who delivered medical supplies to children during economic sanctions and lived alongside ordinary Iraqis throughout U.S. military bombardments. Website documents the effects of U.S. sanctions and military campaigns. www.vitw.org, 773/784-8065
Peace Brigades International sends teams of volunteers into areas of conflict where they have been invited to accompany those threatened by political violence. In places such as Colombia, Indonesia, and Guatemala, the organization has deterred violence through international attention.
United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization, works to end religiously motivated violence and create cultures of peace. “Cooperation circles” around the world provide discussions and training to raise the global standard of peacemaking. Website includes news, events, and resources, and tells you how to get involved.
Peace Jam is an international education project linking Nobel Peace Laureates with high school youth. Students learn to recognize violence and oppression and to build solutions drawing from the life and experience of the Laureates. Website includes events, resources, and a directory of Peace Jam offices nationwide.
The Unconquerable World: Power Nonviolence and the Will of the People, by Jonathan Schell (Metropolitan Books, 2003), argues that warfare is no longer the ultimate arbiter of political power and that nonviolent political action offers hope for a peaceful future.
I'd Rather Teach Peace, by Colman McCarthy (Orbis Books, 2002), based on McCarthy's experience teaching in the School Without Walls, offers a how-to manual, showing how he gets kids to explore peace issues and think creatively.
See also the resources on peace in YES! Winter 2002, “Can Love Save the World?”
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, by Glenn R. Schiraldi (McGraw Hill, 2000), is a guidebook for those suffering from traumatic experience and their loved ones. Includes explanations of coping mechanisms, emotional triggers, psychological defenses, and how to begin healing.
Books for Soldiers is a soldier support group that ships books, DVDs, and supplies to deployed and hospitalized soldiers. Website includes
information on how to donate or get involved.
Operation Truth provides a forum for soldiers and veterans to post stories and share information on legal rights, receiving benefits, and getting involved in legislative action campaigns.
National Gulf War Resource Center
engages in advocacy and provides information, support, and referrals
about Gulf War illnesses, depleted uranium, PTSD, and other issues
facing veterans of both Gulf wars.
U.S. Veterans Resource is an index of resources for veterans. Includes government links, legal information, attorneys, and state-by-state veteran's