The Article 20 Network was formed by activists whose personal experiences convinced them that, despite a blooming global protest movement, encroachments on and negative attitudes toward public demonstrations were threatening expression. Someone had to stand up for those who stand up. Looking to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for guidance, we came up with our name and our mission:
The Article 20 Network defends and advances the human right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly worldwide.
The principal objectives of the Article 20 Network are to call attention to abridgments of and assaults on the freedom of assembly and to foster positive public attitudes toward assembly and its practitioners. The Article 20 Network's work includes:
- Education: Teaching the history of free assembly, its practice, and the international legal protections that support it
- Advocacy and Action: Standing up to those who jeopardize the safety of protesters and nonviolent expression through free assembly
- Research and Analysis: Sharing insights and recommendations about the role of free assembly in society based on original data and new scholarly research
- Legal Services: Safeguarding protestors' human rights and bolstering peaceful assembly's legal foundation by coordinating new and existing legal resources
Our team brings a variety of experiences ashuman rights scholars, lawyers, nonviolence experts, and activists. Together, we form a passionate, results-driven team devoted to a vision of humanity enjoying the benefits of thriving democracies perpetually balanced by public demonstration.
Dan Aymar-Blair Executive Director, Co-Founder
Dan is a lifelong activist and political blogger. The first assembly he organized was a high school walk-out and rally protesting Operation Desert Storm. Dan has made a career as an operations executive for fast-growing organizations including non-profits. Dan studied political science from the George Washington University and non-profit management at New York University.
BANAFSHEH UNGER Chief operating officer
Banafsheh is a certified public accountant in the State of New York and has over ten years of experience in public accounting and audits of companies of all sizes, including non-profit organizations. She has experience with internal controls implementation and financial statement preparation.
Alycee Lane Nonviolence Adviser
Alycee is an Oakland, California-based writer and author of Coming in From the Cold, a blog exploring political issues through the prism of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence.
A graduate of Howard University, Alycee studied English literature and later obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy from UCLA, where she specialized in African American literature and culture of the civil rights and black power movements. From 1995 to 2003, she served as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after which she obtained her Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).
Our Board of Directors
Justin Neely CHair
Justin is an artist, writer, editor, and technologist. He has exercised and defended the right to free expression through speech, assembly, writing, and art throughout his life. He has a BA from Amherst College in French and English, as well as an MA in International Policy Studies from Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey.
The happy partner and dad of two amazing kids in Philadelphia, Anthony is currently a Fellow at the Movement Strategy Innovation Center working with community leaders and organizations to support radical, transformative collaboration and alignment around racial and economic justice. Anthony collaborates with POWER and various local leaders on organization, strategy and policy development to support a vision for just transition across urban, rural, and suburban communities. Anthony spent seven years at the Center for Social Inclusion, working with community organizations to achieve racial equity in energy democracy, food equity, and transparent governance. Anthony holds a Masters of Public Administration from NYU and a degree in Theology and Political Science from the University of Scranton.
Kristine is a practicing attorney in Washington, DC. During law school, she conducted a review of international corrupt practices laws for an international membership organization. Prior to attending law school, Kristine served as political appointee for a United States Senator. Kristine also worked domestically and internationally to advance the political and economic advancement of women and underserved populations through international development programs, legislative policy platforms, and leadership trainings for an international development firm and a non-profit progressive policy think tank. When not working, Kristine enjoys travel, photography, and art.
Venus Devnani McClelland
Venus has over a decade of community involvement and working to further civil rights, local policy, and social justice for underrepresented populations. She serves as Chief Operating Officer of Step Up, the national nonprofit organization helping all girls fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Venus is a proud first-generation American and first-generation college graduate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business with concentrations in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and French from Northeastern University and also studied at the Reims Management School in France. Venus and her husband are passionate about family, politics, advocacy, world events, animal welfare, and reading.
Patrick McEvoy Co-Founder
Patrick is active in many community organizations promoting responsible use and understanding of technology. How computer security and networking impact assemblies is his primary interest. Patrick has spent over 20 years successfully running his own IT company, servicing small businesses throughout the greater New York City area. He has worked in the technology space long enough to be paranoid about including a photograph with his biography.
Freedom of speech and assembly are red threads in Daniel's career. Trained as a lawyer in Amsterdam and New York City, he currently resides in Copenhagen and serves as a legal counsel for Greenpeace International. Daniel has advised activists and been involved in a wide range of assembly-related legal proceedings in different countries, as well as occasionally taking to the streets himself.
Join our Board of Directors
Do you believe public demonstration is important to improving the human condition? Tired of watching the abuse of protesters? Do you seek hands-on experience supporting a non-profit human rights organization?
The Article 20 Network is currently seeking new members for our Board of Directors. Our Directors play a critical role in shaping the future of our young organization: our strategy, long-term vision and sustainability for the long haul. We are especially interested in candidates with backgrounds in law, law enforcement, fundraising, and nonprofit management; but we want to hear from everyone!
If you are interested in joining the Article 20 Network's Board of Directors, please email your resume and a letter describing your interest in free assembly to firstname.lastname@example.org.