NEWARK, NJ -- Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) will host a conversation on "The State of Poverty and Human Rights" on Tuesday, November 2 with the organization's Executive Director Larry Cox, Princeton University professor, author and civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West, and the Rev. Dr. M. Williams Howard Jr., a national church leader and minister of Newark's Bethany Baptist Church and New Jersey City University Professor Dr. Antonette Ellis-Williams.
Amnesty International's Newark Activist Network is co-sponsoring with other local Amnesty International chapters as well as the Rutgers Black Organization of Students, the Organization of Black Faculty and Staff and the People's Organization for Progress.
Dr. West, a leading intellectual who is on the faculty of Princeton University, is the author of 19 books, including the contemporary classic Race Matters and a memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He is a weekly commentator on Public Radio International’s Tavis Smiley Show.
Rev. Howard served since 2000 as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, and from 1992 to 2000 as president of New York Theological Seminary. He was president of the National Council of Churches from 1979 to 1981, where he was deeply involved in a wide-range of human rights and anti-colonial campaigns in the United States, Southern Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
Cox has led the U.S. section of Amnesty International, the organization's largest country section, since 2006. During his tenure the organization has established a campaign to address the human rights abuses that trap people in poverty. Previously, at the Ford Foundation, his work focused on advancing economic, social and cultural rights and human rights in the United States. During the 1980s, he established the Program to Abolish the Death Penalty at Amnesty International and was for five years the Deputy Secretary General at the organization's London headquarters.
Dr. Ellis-Williams is the director of the New Jersey City University Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center and an associate professor of women’s and gender studies. Dr. Ellis-Williams is the founder and creative force behind the NJCU storytelling and spoken word series, “Catfish and Cornbread Stories about Black Women and Families.” Her research has focused on immigrants in the African diaspora; urban politics; youth, women and empowerment; social justice and race, civil rights; immigration and diversity; and African-American male issues.In 2002, she became the first women licensed as a minister by the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Amnesty International's Demand Dignity Campaign
Millions of people are imprisoned in poverty. Thousands die each day from hunger and preventable disease. Untold numbers go without clean water, education, and work. But poverty is not "natural," nor is it intractable. Far too often, it arises from human rights violations perpetrated by governments, corporations, and international institutions.
Amnesty International is taking a stand beside people around the world who are asserting their rights to lead lives of dignity. By lending its traditional strengths of research and activism to the cause of eliminating human rights violations that are both the cause and result of poverty, the organization believes it can make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world and help realize the vision of human dignity and economic rights articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.