Sunday, February 2, 2014
Via press release:
In honor of Team USA’s participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics (February 7-23) and Paralympics (March 7-16) in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Department of State has produced a one-minute video highlighting the diversity of the U.S. athletes competing in the Games as well as everyday Americans. The video focuses on the theme “We Are All Athletes,” to promote diversity, social inclusion, sportsmanship, and teamwork. “We Are All Athletes” showcases U.S. Olympians, Paralympians, and recreational athletes of various backgrounds, including gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and abilities. Viewers are encouraged to join the U.S. Department of State in cheering on Team USA to bring home the gold by sharing the video and discussing it via the hashtags #Sochi2014 and #TeamUSA.
Reposted from Joe Jervis
A coalition of 40 human rights groups have issued a joint letter to the top ten corporate sponsors of the Sochi Olympics which demands that they denounce Russia's abuses against LGBT people. Via press release:
Corporate sponsors of the Sochi Winter Olympics should act now to urge Russia to halt the rising tide of discrimination, harassment and threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, 40 of the world’s leading human rights and LGBT groups said today, in an unusual joint open letter. The letter to all of the leading sponsors of the Sochi Olympics asks them to use their leverage as underwriters of the 2014 Winter Games in a variety of concrete ways.Among the groups in the coalition: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Human Rights Campaign, Athlete Ally, GLAAD, Family Equality Council, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Including in the requests for action, the letter asks that Sochi's top corporate sponsors address LGBT rights in their Olympic advertising.
The groups urged sponsors to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law, which violates the Olympic Charter’s principle of non-discrimination, and to ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to undertake systemic reforms to monitor and prevent human rights abuses in future host countries. “Time is running out for the sponsors to take a clear stand in defense of Olympic values,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “These companies are sponsoring an Oympics marred by ugly discrimination and serious rights abuses. They should speak out forcefully for equality and human rights.”
The joint letter is addressed to the 10 TOP Sponsors of the Sochi Games (members of “The Olympic Partner” (TOP) Program)--Atos, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, General Electric, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa. The Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch and several other groups have engaged with the sponsors for nearly a year to urge them to act on abuses.
Labels: advertising, Amnesty International, Athlete Ally, Coca-Cola, General Electric, GLAAD, HRC, Human Rights Watch, LGBT rights, McDonald's, NCLR, Russia, Samsung, Sochi Olympics, Visa
The Buddha taught that freedom is going beyond conditions. For me, the people who have been through the harshest conditions—and survived—have the greatest potential to transform the madness of their lives. See, that madness made them who they are. So if they can take that madness, claim it, and stand on top of its incredible energy, they can transform it into power.
- Vinny Ferraro, "The Heartful Dodger"