In 1988, when I told people I had joined AI, they did not think of Artificial Intelligence. Instead, they probably knew I had joined the international human rights organization, Amnesty International. Like many of people, I became aware of the organization (it had begun in 1961) because of the musicians who headlined the Human Rights Now tour in 1988, especially Peter Gabriel.
I wa part of a local group that met at a Quaker Church and wrote lots of letters for Amnesty International over the years as part of their Write for Rights program. I haven’t been involved in recent years beyond making a donation. So, when I stumbled on this year’s membership card, I wondered if, in this day of AI and online forms, letter writing was still part of the mission.
Amnesty continues the tradition with a focused event related to Human Rights Day on December 10. They haven’t posted anything about this year’s event but you can learn more about the power of letter writing at the website. They continue to encourage us to handwrite our letters along with personalizing the recommended language. In this day of AI and copy/paste, a handwritten letter makes a personal connection between writer, reader, and, in this case, the person who is the subject of the appeal.