Hi, this is Hooman Hedayati. Four years ago while I was still in High School I attended the 2005 Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break in Austin. Afterwards I founded Texas Students Against the Death Penalty and then a national group called Students Against the Death Penalty. Now, after four years of continued activism against the death penalty during my college career, I am about to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin.
I plan to continue to fight the death penalty after I graduate until we abolish the death penalty everywhere. During my college career, I have kept very busy fighting the death penalty. Most recently for instance, I testified on April 27 at the hearing in the Texas Legislature to impeach Judge Sharon Keller. You can watch the video of me testifying here.
I want to ask you for a graduation present. Please help Texas anti-death penalty groups win the Jenzabar Social Media Leadership Award and the $3,000 prize to use against the death penalty in Texas. We need to win and bring those funds to Texas to fight the death penalty in the number one execution state.
Several Texas anti-death penalty groups are jointly nominated in the Jenzabar Social Media Leadership Award and a chance to win $3,000 to use against the death penalty in Texas. The winner is the entry that gets the most people to comment on their nomination entry. To “vote”, you just have to leave a comment on the blog post of our entry here. Your comment is your vote. The deadline to vote is May 8 at midnight.
We believe we deserve to win because we have been using social media tools very effectively to jointly mobilize against the Texas death penalty.
There are four fields in the comment form, name, email, website (you can leave that blank or put in your own personal website or any website you want), and a field for your comment.
Our entry is called Texas Friends and Allies Against the Death Penalty.
From the entry:
I would like to nominate for The Jenzabar Foundation Social Media Leadership Award: a group of allied organizations in Texas that have been using social media to effectively work together against the Texas death penalty: Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, the Austin chapter of Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Kids Against the Death Penalty, Students Against the Death Penalty and the Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center. These groups have a cause on Facebook called Abolish the Death Penalty in Texas. Each organization brings unique skills and experiences to the cause. Decisions on how to use any award money will be made jointly by these organizations.
This alliance is a great example of how small organizations can have a remarkable impact way out of proportion to their funding by using social media tools to work together.
Texas is a challenging environment in which to work against the death penalty, but these groups have found a way to make significant progress against the death penalty by working together both offline and online using social media tools for education, outreach and grassroots organizing.
Texas is a large state, so it is vitally important for groups here to use social media tools effectively. In the future, we want to increase our capacity to work for human rights in Texas by finding new ways to expand our use of online social media tools in order to identify new activists and grow our movement to achieve legislative victories on policy and to organize campaigns to stop specific executions.
Most recently, these groups all worked together to get the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence to approve the bill to end the death penalty under the Law of Parties. We continue to push for a vote on that bill in the full House.
If you think these groups have been doing a good job using online social activism tools, especially considering that we are all-volunteer organizations, please vote for us in The Jenzabar Foundation Social Media Leadership Award by leaving a comment on our entry Thank you for helping us win the $3,000.
We have also started a new initiative to organize protests of the 200th execution under Texas Governor Rick Perry, which is likely to take place on June 2, 2009. More people have been executed under Perry than under any other governor in U.S. history. Go here to sign the petition to protest the 200th execution.
We are looking for people to organize protests in many cities in the U.S. and around the world. We already have protests being organized in Houston, Austin, Huntsville and Paris France. More protest announcements will be coming soon.