Marsh Award for Human Rights Activism
This Award is run with Amnesty International UK to support activist groups in funding a proposal that will grow activism and awareness of human rights in their communities. Projects are judged according to how well they reach new and diverse audiences; how they positively impact people’s understanding of human rights; and a demonstration of creativity and innovation. This is the first year that the Awards have been run in this format, having previously recognised one of the organisation’s groups for their outstanding work in campaigning, awareness-raising, fundraising or education.
Amnesty International UK has over 280 local groups in the UK which devote their time, energy and skills to campaigns, raising funds and representing Amnesty in their local communities. This Award is a way of paying tribute to these efforts.
Amnesty International UK works to protect men, women and children wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
The 2016 winners are Chiltern Edge School Amnesty Group, Kingston University Amnesty International Group, Hull Amnesty Group
Youth Group – Chiltern Edge School Amnesty Group
Chiltern Edge School won this Award for their proposal to expand the school’s existing Amnesty Ambassadors Scheme, which is unique to this age group. This is a programme whereby young ‘ambassadors’ are trained in human rights education so that they can then deliver information sessions to their peers. With funding, the group would like to extend the project to other schools in the area, by training up more young ambassadors and teachers on human rights and giving them the resources to run the workshops. It is hoped that the expansion will have a positive impact on primary school teachers, as well as their students, and encourage them to draw inspiration on teaching human rights from the methods that the ambassadors use.
Student Group – Kingston University Amnesty International Group
The Kingston University group won this Award for their proposal to run a theatre production which will raise awareness of human rights; particularly the situation in Yemen and the important influence that the European arms trade with Saudi Arabia has in this issue. The play will be set in a courtroom, with the audience having the final decision about whether the main character is guilty or innocent, meaning that the audience will be able to engage with the performance on a deeper level, hopefully leaving them with a more profound understanding of human rights. They plan to take the performance beyond the University, to local theatres and festivals, in the hope of reaching a wider audience. The group are also planning to develop a short film out of the production which they will then broadcast on social media.
Local Group – Hull Amnesty Group
The Hull Amnesty Group won this Award for their proposal to further their project which is raising awareness of Mary Murdoch, a suffragette who worked for women’s rights. The group are currently in the process of building an effigy of Mary Murdoch, using local artists and manufacturers, which will appear in public spaces around Hull. They are also working with education organisations and local schools to encourage education in human rights as part of the school curriculum. In 2013, the group commissioned local authors to collaborate to produce a book of eight essays, highlighting the life and work of human rights champions from Hull and East Yorkshire, of which Mary Murdoch is one.
Pictured (top to bottom): Representatives of the Youth Group, the Student Group and the Local Group, collecting their Awards from Peter Titley, MCT Ambassador.
Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
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