I have had the pleasure of working with Lisa for a number of years in both AI Community Group 18 and the Action Network for Women’s Human Rights (ANWHR). Her dedication to human rights is inspiring.
One of her many talents, one that others might not know about, is silk screening – put to good use in preparing the solidarity T-shirts for Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) a few years ago.
In Lisa’s words:
“When I first joined Amnesty it was shortly after I had graduated university. In my mind, I was looking for a way to make a positive contribution to society. I think I had always been vaguely aware of Amnesty – I remembered seeing Tibetan monks on posters and banners hanging in the window of The Body Shop at the mall, when I was a kid, but didn’t really understand what it was all about. It wasn’t until I attended one of the monthly information sessions years later that I learned more about the organization and what I could do.
I joined a local community group and the Action Network for Women’s Human Rights) and I started taking action – writing letters, tabling at events and concerts, helping Amnesty monitor the Ipperwash Inquiry, participating in marches, and events like the Bowlathon and December 10th Writeathon.
This past year I became the Chair of Group 18 and recently the Secretary of AITO.
I’ve been volunteering with Amnesty for over 8 years now. I’m involved with Amnesty because it’s important. I’m lucky enough to be in a position to be able to speak out about human rights violations and injustices, without fear of oppression. There are many people in the world who aren’t in such a position, and so I feel like I have a responsibility to do what I can – big or small – to make a difference. We all live in this world together.”
Since Lisa Swainston joined my local Amnesty community group, Group 18, several years ago she has been very active taking on successively the Secretary role and now the role of Chair of our group. Early in her involvement with Amnesty International Lisa also joined the Action Network for Women (ANWHR).
It is such a pleasure to volunteer along side someone like Lisa who brings her enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to many Amnesty Activities in the GTA. Most recently Lisa has assumed the vital role of Secretary to AITO (Amnesty International Toronto Orgnaization).