Amnesty International trivia event fundraises for local immigrants

The fundraising event was co-sponsored by 50 Ways-Rockbridge

Jack Eason

Students and Lexington community members gathered after-hours in Blue Phoenix for a trivia fundraiser to benefit a fund for local immigrants’ legal fees.

W&L Amnesty International and local group 50 Ways-Rock- bridge co-sponsored the event on Nov. 5, raising $900.

Set up in a Jeopardy-style format, all the questions were related to the United Nations and refugees.

The collaboration started with the immigrant and refugee rights subcommittee of 50 Ways reached out to Rossella Gabriele, ‘19, co-president of the campus chapter of Amnesty International. The group recently started a fundraiser to help local immigrants apply for documentation necessary for legal processing. Amnesty International members met to discuss ideas for a fundraiser and settled on trivia.

“I cannot believe how many prospective students, students, professors and community members showed up,” Gabriele said. “It was well over the maximum occupancy.”

The organizers said they hope the event brings awareness to issues surrounding immigration and refugees to the community.

“This event, helping local community members with their legal visa fees, makes W&L students realize that our community isn’t in a bubble,” Gabriele said. “We are operating in context, and we can donate and raise awareness to help people in our own college community.”

Amnesty International member Judy Park, ‘22, said she came to the event because of her interest in the cause.

“I’ve always been really passionate about refugee rights,” Park said. “I’ve never really had an outlet before.”

The event raised around $900, Gabriele said.

“Research, educate, act,” said Atin Basu, who is a 50 Ways board member. “That’s the bottom-line slogan.”

Founded after the 2016 election, Lexington and Rockbridge County citizens founded 50 Ways to coordinate local activism, including for environmental, LGBTQIA and racial justice issues.

“50 Ways got a lot of people interested in issues that they cared about,” said Ann Olsen, who is a 50 Ways board member and Rockbridge County resident.