While it is true that the world is more democratized today than it has ever been, there are still many who do not have access to even the most basic human rights and freedoms. Even in the most developed nations on the globe, such as the United States, many continue to be discriminated simply for being the way that they are.
For many such individuals, their hope for justice and equality solely lies in the hands of non-profit organizations that go out of their way to advocate for their plight. One such non-profit is the American Immigration Council which has for the last few decades been engaged in assisting immigrants in the United States.
The American Immigrant Council was founded on the backdrop of America’s strong immigrant history. Based in Washington D.C., the organization is constantly engaged in efforts to shape how Americans view and act towards immigrants favorably. In addition to increasing awareness among the public, it also supports immigrants by participating in the formation of humane immigration laws and ensuring that they are enforced constitutionally.
To fulfill this broad mandate, the American Immigrant Council requires a significant amount of resources that it typically sources from likeminded individuals and organizations. Among the organization’s biggest supporters is the Frontera Fund founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
More on Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin
For long, Lacey and Larkin were ordinary citizens like you and I. The two were reputable journalists and ran their own media publications: the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. However, a sudden brush with injustice drove them to become strong human, civil and migrant rights advocates.
In 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested on charges of violating jury secrecy laws in the county of Maricopa. Their arrest was made under the instruction of the county’s sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The two strongly maintained that their arrest was illegal as there was no evidence of wrongdoing on their part. The county attorney, Andrew Thomas soon came to this realization as well and dropped the charges against the two.
However, Lacey and Larkin could not let the blatant violation of their First Amendment Rights by Maricopa county slide. Consequently, they brought legal action against the county’s Sherriff and special prosecutor. The court ruled in favor of Lacey and Larkin by finding that the Sheriff lacked sufficient probable cause to go ahead with the arrest. Maricopa County decided to settle with the two, giving them $3.7 million. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook
It is this small fortune that Lacey and Larkin used to form the Frontera Fund. They envisioned the primary goal of the fund being to assist the Hispanic community residing in Arizona. Towards this goal, the fund has distributed funds to more than two dozen organizations engaged in the struggle for human and civil rights causes in Arizona and beyond such as the American Immigration Council.
Michael Thoreau Lacey, who was born on 26th September 1959, is an established American Mathematician. Lacey attained his Ph. D in 1987 at Urbana-Campaign from the University of Illinois. Under the guidance of Walter Philipp, he presented a thesis that used probability to solve a mathematical problem that involved the Law of Iterated Logarithm.
His thesis that was centred around empirical characteristic functions indicated his interest in probability. He has made significant contributions in the field of ergodic theory, probability, and harmonic analysis. He first held postdoctoral positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Louisiana State University. While at the University of North Carolina, Lacey together with Walter Philipp provided proof of the Central Limit Theorem.
Between 1989 and 1996, Michael worked at Indiana University. During this time, he studied the bilinear Hilbert Transform after receiving a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation. In 1996, Lacey with the help of Christoph Thiele solved the Hilbert Transform, which had been introduced earlier by Alberto Calderon.
For this achievement, they received the Salem Prize. Since 1996, Michael Lacey has been working at Georgia Institute of Technology as the professor of mathematics. While working here, he has made significant strides and his hard work and effort have seen him receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he received after working with Xiaochum Li.
Those that have experienced Lacey’s first-hand work can testify to how great he is in mathematics and how he is determined to find the solutions that seem to be troubling people. He joined the American Mathematical Society in 2012 and has been a member since. This move was expected since the moment he started solving major mathematical problems and bringing new ideas to the table.
During the mid-2000s, Michael had become a very popular public figure on many platforms, especially those in the media. During this time he was involved in minor publishing, working for a certain empire under the Village Voice Media (VVM). Village Voice Media was a chain that consisted of various weekly newspapers, some of which were the City Pages, the iconic New York Paper, the LA Weekly and the Phoenix New Times.
Thor Halvorssen is a Venezuelan human rights supporter and film maker with commitments in the fields of public interest advocacy, public policy pro-democracy advocacy, civil liberties, individual rights and public policy. Halvorssen is originator of the Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly assembly depicted by The Economist as a “breathtaking human-rights celebration on its approach to turning into human-rights such as the Davos monetary forum. Halvorssen is the leader of the Human Rights Foundation, an association dedicated to worldwide human freedom and rights.
Halvorssen stepped down from heading ( Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) FIRE in March 2004 to join its Board of Advisors and declared the starting of a worldwide team that would “champion the meaning of human rights that initially enlivened the human rights development, focused on the twin ideas of self-assurance freedom and that of tyranny. HRF was consolidated in 2005, opening its central station in New York City in August 2006. Its International Council incorporates several conscience prisoners such as Harry Wu, Elie Wiesel and Vladimir Bukovsky. More so it entails democracy activists, for example, Garry Kasparov and Mart Laar. Václav Havel was its chairman before he died in December 2011.Halvorssen repeatedly advocated and lobbied releasing of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese political prisoner during the helm of HRF. Come 2010, Halvorssen was an extraordinary visitor of Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Prize service giving the prize to Liu Xiaobo in absentia. Halvorssen is recognized as a supporter of Chinese Uyghur pioneer RebiyaKadeer and has forcefully opposed the Tawainese Kuomintang government for its restricting visits by Kadeer. Halvorssen has bolstered UN-level activity to address the infringement of Uyghur rights in China.
As per the Hollywood Reporter,Thor Halvorssen is at present delivering the Robert a film adoption. Halvorssen delivered The Sugar Babies, the film about Dominican Republic human trafficking and the predicament of its vagrant farm workers. The documentary targets are the politically and wealthy sugar barons who dwell in West Palm Beach – the Fanjul Family. There is a time the film was revisited at Florida International University before a heated exchange developed with the Dominican discretionary agent leading to police presence. It got various negative views being said that the film’s depiction of enormous business and its association with the Dominican government was a piece of a crusade against the nation’s notoriety. Today, Halvorssen has managed to touch different sides of people’s life and he has still dedicated his career and willingness to do so.
Thor Halvoseen was born and raised in Caracas; he is born from a family of half-Norwegian and half-Venezuelan. Thor has a high background. Starting from his paternal grandfather Oistein who was the King’s Council in Venezuela during the world war two.Oestein was responsible for the diversion of the Norway’s merchant fleet into the Venezuelan port when his home was attacked by the Germans. Thor’s grandfather was very defensive, and when he was stopped, he fought a couple of Nazis. His Royalty background also came from his mother who descended from the first president of Venezuela Cristobal Mendoza and from Simon the Liberator who was a statesman who assisted the Latin America Independence from Spain.
Thor Halvoseen and his family are well known for their fight for humanity as well as liberty; they stand with the believe that human rights issues are not anything to discuss. In the effort to fight corruption Thor’s father has been able to expose the government in various corruption issues including drug trafficking. His father died combating corruption after being tortured in a Caracas prison. His mother was not ashamed to also die to fight for the rights of others, and she was shot dead while participating in a demonstration duped Anti-Hugo Chavez campaign. His first cousin Leopoldo Lopez is currently in a Venezuelan Jail for challenging the Chavista Regime.Thor Halvoseen is Human Rights advocate and his love for people led him to establish his foundation Human Rights Foundation. He is also a film producer, and he makes a contribution in sectors including public interest, public policy, human rights advocacy, civil liberties as well individual human right. In Thor’s efforts to fight and advocate for the human rights, he founded Oslo Freedom Forum a forum that is described by many as human rights festival.
Thor Halvoseen is the President of Human Rights Foundation an organization that has the responsibility of fighting for human rights globally. Apart from his foundation Thor is also a leader in several other organizations including Czech-based Children’s Peace Movement which he is the patron, On Own Feet and also the founder of Moving Picture Institute. Currently, Halvoseen is producing a film; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Thor has also been awarded by the University of Pennsylvanian President Judith Rodin for his efforts to protect the voice of students.
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The Big Apple is well known for its bright lights and Broadway, but the city of New York is also a focal point for animal activism. Animal rights is a touchy subject for many people like Keith Mann, for a variety of reasons. From the animal activist point of view, all animals non-human are entitled to the basic rights of life and consideration that humans are entitled to. There are those however, on the other end of the spectrum who believe animals have no rights because they have no feeling or cannot think. There are several arguments that those against animal activism pose. One is that animals such as lions or bears eat meat, therefore, humans can and should be allowed to eat meat without persecution from animal activist. New York, always a hotbed for animal rights, is home to quite a few animal rights groups who feel that the consumption of meat is not only unnecessary but cruel since humans, unlike lions or bears have a choice on what they can survive on.
In Washington Square Park, the group Evolve For Animals holds a gathering to bring awareness to the abolition to the use of animals as commodities by handing out vegan literature. On the north side of Central Park, a candlelight vigil will be held to protest the use of horse drawn carriages and remember the many horses that have died, not only in New York but around the world, from overwork. Many activist and horse lovers in the New York area feel this type of vigil and awareness is long overdue. Animal activism has several faces. Most marches and demonstrations or peaceful but some activist take matters to more extreme measures.
Keith Mann is a British animal rights activist who some consider extreme. Considered to be at the front of the ALF or Animal Liberation Front, Mann became well known in 1994 after being sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to set fires to meat lorries. He later escaped and was found by police working in an animal sanctuary. His sentence was later reduced to 11 years. Keith Mann is well known in the ALF movement and makes no apologies for his actions, he is very well loved and respected by many animal rights activist.
This morning I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and checking the news, when I came across this story on Depauw.edu about human rights activist Yeonmi Park, and her upcoming visit to Depauw University. For those of you unaware her story, she escaped the brutal, totalitarian dictatorship of North Korea. Her upcoming book will catalog her emotional escape from the most punishing regime currently on the planet
The telling of stories like hers is vitally important. They help to shed even more light on just how terrible it is in North Korea. It is known how barbaric the regime is, particularly among women, but what is missing are more personal accounts of defection. Yeonmi Park will supply this much needed story. Her heroism, despite her enormous disadvantages, is something to be looked at with awe. Personally, I cannot fathom, even in the darkest recesses of my mind, just what this magnificent women had to go through on a daily basis. The visit at Depauw will be a lecture, with question and answer session to follow. It will be a night of heartfelt sorrow, followed by cheers of happiness as her dream of escaping her homeland becomes reality.
She says, simply enough, that her dream of defecting began by watching the James Cameron movie, The Titanic. Almost all movies produced in the west are banned in North Korea, and this movie was no exception. The idea that a man would sacrifice himself for the love of a women was a completely foreign concept to Park. A dramatic escape including, eluding capture from Chinese authorities, and the eventual reunion with her sister, are just the warm up parts of her story.
Yeonmi Park will be the youngest speaker in the history of the Ubben Lecture series. She shares the stage with such notables as: Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Tony Blair, Ralph Nader, and General Colin Powell. These events are always free to attend, and open to anyone who wishes to come. Ms. Park, at the young age of 21, is blossoming into one of the world’s leading human rights activists. Come and share her story. She has gone through so much, and all she wants to do is give back, wanting nothing in return. It will definitely be a memorable night, October 5, at Depauw University,
As part of a 2012 Pentagon decision to allow women to serve in any combat role in the US Army, the Ranger leadership training school will begin admitting women in late April. The Pentagon’s decision to open up all combat training to females gave the Army until January 2016 to comply. The 16-day course is a prerequisite to attend the 60-day Ranger training course – a program noted for its physical and emotional challenges. That said, as many as 60 female soldiers are lined up to make history and take the initial course. Upon completion, they will be allowed to wear the Ranger tab which commands deep respect within the military’s ranks.
My good friend Ken Griffin thinks allowing women to serve in the 16-day Ranger leadership and allowing women to have the same equal opportunity as men is a wonderful idea.
At the same time, completion of the course do not mean that the women will join the ranks of the vaunted 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Benning, Georgia. Those successful female candidates from phase I will still need to complete all of the other training before they are allowed to serve as Army Rangers. While the Army will open up all training to women, they will not be lowering the bar for them. It is without question that a lot of eyes will be on these modern day “G.I. Janes”.
Apparently after identifying the major flaws within Egypt’s judicial system, Amal Clooney is risking arrest, according to a British human rights lawyer.
The Guardian reported on Saturday that in February 2014, Clooney helped compile a report for the International Bar Association, which became very controversial in Egypt and that she had been informed that she would be arrested if she will present her findings to the public.
Clooney’s report was entitled “Separating Laws and Politics – The Challenges to the Independence of Prosecutors and Judges in Egypt” and it calls for a stricter division between the judiciary system and politics in Egypt.
Amal Clooney, a human rights barrister and wife of actor George Clooney, is part of the legal team that represents the three Al-Jazeera journalists who were jailed in Egypt for over a year on false charges of supporting the banned Muslin Brotherhood.
However, Clooney told the media that she was concerned that the three men may not receive a fair trial in Egypt due to the issues that were highlighted on her report.
As Clooney said, “If the idea is there will be a retrial because there were errors, but then the retrial goes through the same process as the original one, so it does not really mean much at all.”
A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in West Africa, and subsequently cured in Switzerland, has said he plans to return to the region to further fight the virus. My friend Sam Tabar posted about it this morning.
Dr. Felix Baez, 43, contracted the illness in mid November. He became feverish on November 16th in Sierra Leone. On November 20th he was transferred to Switzerland to be treated. He was allowed to return home to Havana Cuba on December 6th, where he remains free of the virus.
Baez was treated with experimental durgs. Zmab, similar in nature to Zmapp which was used in several other Ebola cases, was used on the doctor, in conjunction with a Japanese flu remedy.
The doctor has spent the last month recuperating and enjoying time with his family and friends.
Family claim they are not surprised by Baez’s desire to return. He’s has a deep dedication to the cause, and would like to continue to do his part to eradicate the virus from West Africa, where it has revaged the region, killing almost 8,000 and infection nearly 20,000, by some reports.