Washington Whistleblower Week
Beginning in May 2007, members from the Make it Safe Coalition (MISC) have arranged an assembly of whistle-blowers in Washington, DC each year for an annual conference originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week. The original purpose of which was multifaceted and manifold.
Purpose and Goals
- Highlight the special projects and accomplishments of the whistleblowers and NGOs in the Make It Safe Coalition.
- Come together to defeat the “isolation” experienced by whistleblowers and create a sense community among individual whistleblowers and the NGOs that support us.
- Provide a meaningful “mutual support network” for whistleblowers and our advocates across the country the globe.
- Provide lobby training for the whistleblower community to support the passage of important legislation related to transparency, whistleblowing and the First Amendment.
- Publicize the successful efforts of NGOs, whistleblowers and our advocates, and provide media training to individual whistleblowers to broaden our access to the media.
- Place whistle-blowing in its proper historical context, and redefine whistleblowers as beneficial and integral to democratic society and Champions of the Constitution and First Amendment.
- Change the public perception of the term “whistleblower” from being a pejorative to being patriotic “persons of conscience.”
- Finally, to connect Whistleblowers and First Amendment advocates to the broader Civil Rights and global Human Rights movements.
Today, this annual conference is now known as the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights. We recently celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Act and we have embarked upon a national campaign to recognize National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The theme for this year’s conference is 1778—Whistleblowers and The First Amendment.
“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but we must take it because our conscience tells us that it is right.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Make It Safe Coalition
Over the past dozen years members of the MISC have passed thirteen laws: including No FEAR and the WPEA, conducted congressional lobby days, provided CLE training, written Op-Eds, published magazines and books, hosted radio shows, provided mentoring and lawyer referrals, penned sign-on letters, submitted amicus briefs, written columns and law review articles, made television appearances, held protest rallies at the White House and on the National Mall; we’ve even “occupied” government agencies and hosted both national and regional conferences in:
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Little Rock, AR
It is an impressive list of accomplishments when you consider all of the stigmatism and stress that individual whistleblowers face at the hands of the government and evil corporations. Together, the MISC community has achieved impressive results. The purpose of the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights is to celebrate the collective achievements of whistleblowers and our advocates.
i The MISC is as assortment of various public interest/advocacy groups including the Government Accountability Project, ACORN 8, the International Association of Whistleblowers, the American Federation of Government Employees, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Project On Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Coalition for Change, the No FEAR Coalition, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Voices for Corporate Responsibility, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters; which focus on significant areas of public concern and individual rights, such as First Amendment, federal workforce, medical safety, national security, judicial reform, etc.