A family recipe of hope from the Harasta foothills
Ever fascinated by my fellow humans, both locally and globally, my passions span issues of social justice, human rights, politics, culture and community. Since earning my journalism stripes at the University of Sydney, I have written on these topics for various Australian publications, including City Hub, The Guardian and The Bondi View. Technically, I am a dual citizen (of Australia and the United States). Essentially, I consider myself a global citizen with a shared responsibility for the future wellbeing of the planet and the people scattered across it. As a journo, raconteur, and occasional rabble-rouser, I do what I can to right wrongs and write rights. It was Hip Hop that got me into this beautiful mess of caring deeply about social justice: the collective voice of the disenfranchised, expressed in cleverly crafted rhymes and metaphors, booming from a souped-up sound system. For me, those recurrent themes of social inequality and injustice grew into an obsession that goes way beyond the speakers. When I see evidence of human rights being compromised, in any place and on any scale, I feel an innate sense of duty to be a part of the solution.
I don’t like seeing injustices occur in the world that we live in. It is astounding to me that even with the advantage of a retrospective viewpoint we are yet to achieve equality for humankind. For as long as I can remember I had wondered what I could do to actively promote human rights. I decided to combine my passion for human rights with my aptitude for communications. As the social media and marketing coordinator for AM-UNITY I am able to spread the word on how we can all make a positive change and stand together in solidarity for human rights on a global level.
Aside for my love of design I am also a big supporter of human rights. I was first exposed as a young teenager to the inequalities that exist in this world when volunteering to take donations to an orphanage in Mexico. This humbling experience gave me the push to give back from an early age. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University Dominguez Hills and shortly after made my way to Australia, where I completed a Certificate IV in Design. After I completed my course I was looking for a way I could give back and for a cause that I felt strongly for. I was given the opportunity at bringing AM-UNITY Magazine to life. At the start it was a whirlwind of information overload but once we were done with the first edition I had a great sense of satisfaction. This ongoing project has been exciting to be a part of and a great team to be on.
I am a Monash journalism graduate and ex-Amnesty International intern. My interest in human rights was sparked at the age of 11, after a school trip to Melbourne's immigration museum. Since then I have struggled to come to terms with Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. I am passionate about human rights and currently work in disability advocacy.
Since conversations around the dinner table as a child, I’ve had an interest in politics and human rights issues. This led me to study International Relations at La Trobe University where it became clear that human rights was my passion. While there, I completed an internship with the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture. Then, while spending my version of a gap year studying a Graduate Diploma of Writing at Swinburne University, I sought a way to combine my loves of human rights and writing and I found myself part of the founding team of AM-UNITY. It’s been a fantastic experience to be part of Amnesty International and the magazine has provided abundant opportunities for learning, challenges and new friends.
I chose Journalism for my life because I wish to make a difference and use my words to fight for a better world. I have been passionate about human rights for as long as I can remember and I advocate for them by writing. I've pursued cases of human rights violations and reported them for various publications in Brazil, where I am originally from. After completing my Bachelor of Journalism, in 2009, I researched human behaviour in mass society for two years, followed Brazilian political protests and interviewed people from minority communities. The study gave rise to a book and to my Master degree in Semiotics Psychoanalytics. In 2016 I moved to Australia, where I want to continue on my path, so being a part of AM-UNITY is an honour.
My passion for human rights began as an early teen, just after my first 40 hour famine. This experience was incredibly eye opening and the ignition I needed to get into activism. From there I have volunteered with a range of organisations including World Vision, Oaktree and Amnesty International. I completed my Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Journalism and International Relations at Deakin with the hope that I could expose injustice and arm people with knowledge. Since then, however, I decided to take a more hands on approach in effecting change and have completed a Master of International and Community Development at Deakin. When I was asked to help create and then manage AM-UNITY Magazine I jumped at the chance. Although it has been a demanding and challenging role I have loved every minute of it and feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing project.
I envision a world where all are fulfilled, self-expressed, and safe, and aim to promote this vision through both my everyday interactions and political advocacy. In the United States, my home country, I have worked with a number of grassroots advocacy groups for refugees, domestic violence survivors, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. While an intern in Buenos Aires with Madres de Plaza de Mayo, I was deeply impacted by the outcome of their individual actions to demand justice for their disappeared sons and daughters. I have a great respect for those who advocate for the world they want to live in. I received a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Movements from Indiana University, where I wrote my thesis on grassroots reproductive rights movements in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to write for AM-UNITY and connect with other like-minded people.
Follow me on Twitter: @AllisonBYates