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18 November 2012

Jamnesty protects human rights

A hand-painted gourd turned into a light, in addition to a collection of hand-made bags from India, for sale at the “What the Flower” table at Jamnesty Thursday night. Karli Evans // Contributing Photographer

On UM’s campus, replete with access to necessities and luxuries alike, it is easy for students to take for granted basic human rights – the right to food, the right to an education, the right to marry.

But Amnesty International’s UM chapter works hard to ensure that those on campus and in the community not only have these rights, but are also informed about populations in the world who are less fortunate.

The organization hosted Jamnesty – an event with music, art, workshops and vendors – at the Rock on Thursday in order to discuss deeper societal issues through art, dialogue, music and activism.

This year’s theme, Corporate Ethics, was selected in order to keep a positive and optimistic atmosphere at the event, according to Amnesty UM president Imri Yekutiel.

“We’re not really trying to make a hit list of corporations that have poorly practiced human rights,” he said. “Instead, we have a more inclusive, local Miami feeling so you can see what people do in Miami.”

Amnesty International co-sponsored the event with a number of community partners like Life is Art. Academic departments such as women’s and gender studies, along with student organizations like Hurricane Productions also played a hand. Some of the workshops were hosted by U-Doodle, Art for a Cause and What the Flower.

The evening’s headlining attraction of live music ranged from rap to alternative, with some musicians flying into Miami specifically for the event. Eden Meidan, the guitarist for Mikavillain, came from the University of Maryland to perform at Jamnesty. He and Yekutiel have known each other since they were 5 years old.

“Imri was telling us about this gig at Jamnesty and everything, it’s a good cause and an excuse to come down to Miami,” Meidan said.

Those who attended the event, like senior psychology major Carly Wolken, were impressed by the efforts but wished a larger part of the campus was involved.

Students have the responsibility to be aware and educated on social indifferences in the world, according to Wolken.

“People with resources should share their resources,” she said. “This is a free concert. Take advantage of it.”

Tori Hayward, a senior majoring in art, agreed that workshop events like Jamnesty are beneficial to UM’s campus. The social atmosphere, with activities like doodling, is what convinced her to come.

She had already planned to further her support for human rights during this upcoming summer by participating in a conflict resolution themed Peace Corps program in South Africa.