November 12, 2019: Attendees of the 2019 HRW Voices for Justice Dinner were inspired to stand for human rights after powerful presentations from HRW’s Executive Director Ken Roth; Rohingya writer and activist Imran Mohammad; HRW researchers and advocates working in Africa, Iran and China; Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef and a performance by the Gay Men’s Choir.
STFers began the evening by holding a special reception for Imran Mohammad, a Rohingya refugee who had to flee for his life at age 16. Despite achieving recognized refugee status by UNHCR, Imran was put into immigration detention in multiple countries, including the notorious Manus Island Detention Center on Papua New Guinea, where he sustained physical and psychological torture. Imran shared his story with students to inspire them to stand up for those without a voice, to take action against human rights violations around the world.
During the STF reception, participants also learned about STF advocacy for children’s rights impacted by climate change, homelessness in Los Angeles, gun violence and U.S. immigration detention, plus the Culver City HS STF chapter shared their work urging the Culver City City Council to adopt the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Council vote due January 27.)
Later in the evening, guests honored the life and legacy of STF’s and HRW’s most ardent supporter, Sid Sheinberg. It was followed by Lorraine Sheinberg’s special shoutout to STF and its founder, Pam Bruns, including a generous gift that will support the expansion of STF’s reach and its mission to empower youth as human rights defenders.