U.S. Military Aid and Human Rights Violations Around the World

Earlier this month, the Peace Economy Project presented at Amnesty International’s Midwest Regional Conference in Detroit, Mich. The session,”Blank Check: U.S. Military Aid and Human Rights Violations Around the World,” featured facts and figures about human rights, the federal budget, foreign aid and the countries impacted by the U.S.’ budgeting priorities. More than 30 people attended the fun-filled trivia session.

us military aid, human rights, military aid trivia, human rights triviaInstead of an hour and fifteen minutes of lecturing, PEP opted to create a Jeopardy-style trivia game for the session. Attendees were divided into four teams and participating in two rounds of questions. Afterward, AIUSA Board Member Dave Stamps spoke for 20 minutes about specific cases of U.S. military aid being used inappropriately in the Middle East and North Africa.

PEP opted for the trivia format to take advantage of our session time slot. We were scheduled for 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., the last session block after a long day of sessions and plenaries. We figured attendees are going to be tired and hungry. They’ve spent all day sitting and listening to people talk at them about human rights. Why not do something different? We thought the game will give attendees a chance to participate in something fun while also learning in the process. At the very least, they’ll leave with a smile on their face. The winners of the game did receive small prizes.

Below is Round 1 from the session. The presentation works very similarly to a Jeopardy game. You click the dollar amount for the category you want to show the question. You think about the answer and then click “Answer” to reveal the answer. Then, click “Home” to go back to the Categories slide to pick a new question.

Note: Be careful where you click in the presentation! Clicking anywhere besides “Home,” “Answer” and the dollar amount will take you to the next slide and make the game more confusing.

Did you enjoy Round 1? If so, then look for Round 2 in our next post! The questions get harder and will focus on human rights violations and U.S. military aid in specific countries.

If PEP were to do something similar in the future, then there are few things would change. First, we do need a way to show which questions have already been taken. There’s not really a good way to do that in PowerPoint. The method we used, having a volunteer keep track of which ones were taken, kind of worked but took up time as she had to read aloud every now and then which ones were taken. Second, we need each team to designate someone to answer the question for their team. There were attendees who were just shouting answers and it wasn’t clear who’s team they were representing. The shouting not only made things confusing, but kind of ruined the game because they sometimes shouted the correct answer.

Overall, the session went incredibly well and was well received by the audience.

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  1. Pingback: Round 2: U.S. Military Aid and Human Rights Violations Around the World | Peace Economy Project