Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AUSJ receives grant from Zonta

AUSJ will be honored at the Zonta Annual Grants Award Dinner on Thurs., Feb. 24, at the Zonta Clubhouse at 245 Fisher Ave. #A8C, Costa Mesa, CA. Please join us for the celebration! http://zontanewportharbor.org/files/Zonta_Grants_Dinner_Feb_24_2011.pdf

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Body of Change Calendar

"As vulnerable as it was to strip down for Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and again for the calendar, I think of how many victims of sex trafficking are forced to do this multiple times a day at the hands of perpetrators,” said actor, Michael Cory Davis. “There is a misconception that this is an issue outside the U.S. when hundreds of thousands of American kids are trafficked within our borders each year. I hope this calendar serves as a tool to start and continue the conversation—we can all be bodies of change.” Michael is donating part of the proceeds from the calendar sales to support AUSJ. www.bodyofchangecalendar.com

Saturday, September 11, 2010

AUSJ at the National Sexual Assault Conference 2010

National Sexual Assault Conference 2010 in Los Angeles where AUSJ Executive Director, Sandra Kirkpatrick, was a featured speaker.

Friday, July 30, 2010

AUSJ plans third mission to Haiti

Starting to plan the latest mission to Haiti with Jarret Lovell in November. Jarret has been a real friend for AUSJ publicizing the non-profit on his radio station and announcing our events. Jarret is a professor of Criminal Justice at CSU and will be helping me to locate enslaved children in Haiti and then placing them in safe shelters in Port au Prince. We will be bringing in teddy bears and medical supplies again to be distributed to those children and clinics who need them the most. CNN did several news segments on the 6 month anniversary of the earthquake and continued to echo everyone's sentiments about the money and relief supplies never getting to the people who need them the most. To quote Sanjay Gupta "Success in Haiti is not measured by getting money and supplies to Haiti, but is measured by getting them to the people who need them." There's a difference. Sean Penn, who has remained in Haiti, said the same thing. That is why AUSJ goes there - so we know our supplies have gotten into the right hands. Please help us with a donation so that we are able to help more people in camps and those enslaved.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dialogue for Action conference in NYC

Attened the Cecilia Attias conference in NYC. Met many many wonderful people who were doing much work to improve human rights in general and women's rights in particular. One common theme was changing social views for men which means stopping marginalizing women. Changes can be brought about through funding projects such as microfinance for women, adding and enforcing laws that protect women from violence and trafficking, and building community support to do the right thing. All of these can be positively influenced by media.
When you ask the leaders of a group what do you want, invariably they say they want peace and harmony for everyone. Because they have stated a goal, they can be lead to see how improving the status of women will benefit everyone and lead to the peace and harmony they said they wanted. Giving directives doesn't work, but helping people implement their own basic goals does.
Mu Sochua was one of the speakers at the Dialogue. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous stand for human rights against the corrupt government of Cambodia. She is returning to Cambodia to be jailed on July 2 to protest the lack of free speech in Cambodia. She has fought against human trafficking and for the rights of women for many years.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Excerpt of University of Miami Communications publication

Two weeks after the quake struck Haiti, Sandra Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of Artists United for Social Justice, www.ausj.org, teamed up with UM to provide medical supplies, and teddy bears, while helping at the UM field hospital in Port au Prince. Teddy bears may seem like a strange relief cargo, but after viewing images of kids in makeshift clinics with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Sandra decided the kids needed something to hang on to. "I wanted to put something soft and cuddly into those tiny hands so they could curl up with some sense of comfort. When I was giving out the bears about half the parents in the pediatric hospital wanted bears too. So I gave them bears also. The next day when I was going to go to some orphanages to distribute bears, I was sorry I gave bears to the parents as there weren't so many left to give to the orphans. One of the nurses overheard me expressing that thought and told me, 'Those parents are just as attached to those bears as the kids are!' So I knew I had done the right thing after all."
Through AUSJ Sandra is also working with UNICEF to stop child trafficking in Haiti. AUSJ's focus is on preventing child trafficking through investigating and exposing trafficking, and changing laws and attitudes that have allowed human trafficking to grow. Sandy noted "Working with UNICEF allows us to have input at the top level of government to shape policy and programs impacting the trafficking issue in Haiti, but the thrust of our work is prevention through media." AUSJ has produced 2 films, Svetlana's Journey, which won the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival, and Cargo: Innocence Lost. The films have been shown internationally and Svetlana's Journey was viewed by over 2 million people in Bulgaria alone. It was also honored at the Cairo Film Festival and is used as part of the curriculum in universities. AUSJ also produced 5 public service announcements at the request of the National Foundation of Women Legislators for national TV spots.
"We've chosen to work through media to combat human trafficking because there are over 27 million people enslaved worldwide and the problem is growing. Only mass media can reach the numbers necessary and turn the tide by causing people to make a conscious decision to not tolerate slavery in any form. Slavery has to become socially unacceptable; it has to be as much of a taboo as cannibalism so that people simply do not do it, regardless of whatever laws there are." AUSJ is working on a third film about human trafficking in the USA, and new PSAs geared to the audience targeted by traffickers, namely youth.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

University of Miami Los Angeles Alumni support AUSJ

The University of Miami Alumni in Los Angeles are supporting AUSJ as part of their community outreach. We're very fortunate to have their support and are looking forward to some fun events with this group. Meanwhile UM is having a screening showcase for their film student's work at the Paramount Studio Theater on May 27th (by invitation only). Last year Warren Beatty attended so we never know who will show up with the Paramount Studio execs. The reception afterward was a great time to meet the glitterati and a fun time was had by all.