Amnesty International Hochschulgruppe Mannheim

My name is Hanna and I’m in my fourth semester of the master’s program in Literature, Media and Culture in the Modern Era. I have already completed my bachelor’s degree at the University of Mannheim. In the last semester of my bachelor’s program I was looking for an initiative because I wanted to experience something new and do something “meaningful” in addition to my everyday student life. I had already been interested in the Amnesty International Hochschulgruppe (student group) for a while before I joined, that’s why I went to the kick-off event. Since then, I have been a member of the Hochschulgruppe HSG and now of Amnesty International as well. From fall 2018 to winter 2019, I was also one of the spokespersons of the HSG which allowed me to get an insight into all the behind-the-scenes administrative tasks.

Amnesty International was founded in 1961. The organization has approximately seven million members worldwide, including many student groups such as the HSG at the University of Mannheim. We deal with various human rights issues and are free to choose the type of event because we especially want to draw attention to injustices, deplorable situations or similar. 

Depending on how many students are in the initiative each semester, we divide into individual working groups that focus on topics such as digital human rights, safety of refugees, economy and human rights, or diversity and gender. We have already organized photo campaigns, vigils, information and petition stands at the Mensa, movie nights and several different talks. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we also supported the Amnesty Mannheim city group at information stands on the market square, at the Nachtwandel or the Christmas market.

Last year, Mannheim was the venue for Jugend@Amnesty. About 180 young activists from all over Germany came to us for a weekend to attend this annual meeting of the Amnesty Jugend.

This year, as with all initiatives, a lot of things are different because we can meet online only and do less in-person. But of course, we welcome every new person who is interested in our topics and wants to support us with the planning and implementation of events on human rights issues!