Humor, Hope, and Human Rights: On the Loss of Robin Williams

Luckily for me, though perhaps not for them, I have had the opportunity to meet, work with, and come to know a few comedians. I was the advance man for Dick Gregory's cross-country Run Against Hunger in 1976 and had a campaign for human rights in Burma take off with the involvement of Jim Carrey in 2007.

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Revolvers: Blurred Lines Between Human Rights Organizations and the State Department

Americans have long held governments, as well as politicians, as not quite worthy of trust. With a public that already believed that governments trick the citizenry to enrich politicians and insiders, people have been further shaken in recent years. 

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First Ladies, First Principles, and Foundational Documents

In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, took examples of the dregs of history and aimed for a better ever after. With clarity, power, and consensus, she shepherded the creation and ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The resulting document has become the bedrock for international human rights work around the globe and across cultures.

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Abusing Power: Is Ma's Taiwan the Unbeautiful Island?

Since 2012 visit made by the Human Rights Action Center, much has changed for Chen Shui-bian and the people of Taiwan. After visiting in 2013, while the material conditions of his detention have been improved, and that is an important step to have achieved, he is still incarcerated. In his recent words, "no matter how nice things may appear, a prison is a prison is a prison." 

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Meaning More Than Mere Music: RIP Lou Reed

The world lost an important piece of itself with the passing of Lou Reed and it's appropriate to stop and take stock of the greatness beyond the notes. My experience and time with Lou Reed was limited to two weeks in 1986 when I organized and oversaw concerts for human rights for Amnesty International. Bono of U2 had recruited Lou Reed to play on the "Conspiracy of Hope" tour, which was a six city tour of the USA for Amnesty International. 

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