When Tom was 16 he went through treatment for bone cancer, but it returned, and he had his leg amputated above the knee. In spite of walking with a cane, he kept up with all of us as we trekked through Myanmar last February while visiting our UUSC human-rights partners-mostly in secret, as they were working on the rights of the Rohingya, which the Myanmar military has been systematically exterminating. Tom also visited camps in Bangladesh where nearly a half million Rohingya have fled the Myanmar military's genocide.
Tom has not only a long history of working for human rights, but also, experience in the political sphere that informs him on how to make things happen. After 10 years in the Maine State Legislature, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the respect he still enjoys there enabled him to bring together the bi-partisan support necessary to get Congressional support calling for the U.N. Human Rights Council to authorize an independent fact-finding investigation into the violence and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. (There's a really dramatic story here, but I don't have the space!)
Tom is passionate about challenging injustice, income inequality, assaults on the rights and dignity of marginalized people, and the devastating impacts of global warming. But he's not just passionate. He brings experience, savvy, and expertise to that passion that make his work and his leadership effective. He is enhancing UUSC's long history of being one of the most effective human-rights organizations in changing lives and communities, especially of the marginalized.
Before joining UUSC, Tom served as President & CEO of United to End Genocide and has led the national Win Without War coalition since 2002. He was a senior advisor to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. and his work advocating democracy and human rights has taken him around the world, including to Indonesia, Cambodia, Yemen, Algeria, Serbia, and Ukraine.
UUSC is our UU organization working for human rights around the world-from Haiti to Pakistan, Nepal to Zimbabwe, Malawi to Nicaragua, and more; from helping Syrian refugees to NYC street vendors, from supporting poultry workers in Arkansas to the displaced in Papua New Guinea, and so much more.
Come to Church Sunday, October 15
, for the kickoff of our Annual UUSC Guest-At-Your-Table as we hear Tom speak of UUSC's current human-rights work.