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SPSSI's 2019 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Scientists,
Scholars, and Students Around the World

On January 31, 2019, twenty SPSSI Council members, other position holders, members, and friends of the Society met in Washington, DC to raise awareness about the need to protect and promote the human rights of scientists, scholars, and students around the world.

Following a morning training session at SPSSI's Central Office, advocates spent the afternoon zig-zagging across the Capitol Grounds to attend meetings with the offices of lawmakers from 13 states and more than 20 congressional districts.

SPSSI's message was straightforward: Thousands of scientists, scholars, and students are killed, imprisoned, attacked, or threatened around the world each year because of what they teach, write, or say. Such attacks undermine higher education systems and stifle everyone’s space to think, question, and share ideas freely. 

Our "ask" of lawmakers was equally straightforward: Please attend an upcoming congressional briefing sponsored by SPSSI in partnership with other societies to learn more about this issue.

SPSSI's 2019 Advocacy Day in Pictures:

Above left: A scene from the morning training session at SPSSI's Central Office. Above right: A quick stop in front of the Capitol Building before dispersing into smaller teams. 

Above far left: SPSSI Council Members Dr. Jamie Franco-Zamudio (left) and Dr. Phia Salter (right) at the morning training session. Above center left: SPSSI Graduate Student Committee Chair-Elect Jaboa Lake (front), SPSSI President Dr. Elizabeth Cole (back left) and SPSSI Council Member Dr. Linda Silka (back right) at the morning training session. Above center right: SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Graduate Student Intern Priyadharshany Sandanapitchai visiting the office of one of her senators. Above far right: Priyadharshany Sandanapitchai and SPSSI APA Division 9 Representative Dr. Luis Rivera stopping by a new member's office.

Related Resources:

2019 Advocacy Day Agenda

2019 Advocacy Day Brief

Invitation to the Congressional Briefing

Free to Think 2018: Report of the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project