I’m Joey, the Kangaroo Court Puppet, the voice of this blog. I look Australian, was sewn and stuffed in Korea, and roll about North America on a machine pedaled by Jeffrey.
This is Jeffrey. Made in America, husband and father, lawyer and registered professional nurse. My chauffeur.
He works with The Guardianship Project of the Vera Institute of Justice and is a Dementia Care Coach for the ReServe organization. Since 1983, he has defended people in the U.S. who seek refuge from persecution abroad. Since 1991, Jeffrey and I have helped law students and lawyers understand U.S. asylum law through educational videos, bar association lectures, and law school clinical work.
On our four past Rides, we cycled over 5000 miles (8000 km) through 18 U.S. states and a Canadian province, talking face-to-face with over a thousand people, and on TV and the Web to thousands more, about immigration law and policy, refugees, human rights, and Human Rights First.
The pins on the map mark our farthest advance each day en route to Postville (blue), Nashville (red), St. Petersburg (yellow), and the Great Lakes (white).
In October 2014, a criminally negligent driver shattered cyclist Jeffrey’s leg. The injury will slow us, but this frightening, painful, crippling episode won’t stop us from Riding for Human Rights.
For 2015, instead of our pre-crash plan to pedal 2000 miles to Texas, we aim for a shorter route that will begin and end in New York City. We intend to visit all six New England states and maybe Canada.
The green line shows roughly what we have in mind.
Jeffrey animates me, a 1-pound (½ kg) puppet. Who animates Jeffrey?
Nancy is Jeffrey’s . . . everything. She supports Jeffrey despite the inconvenience, expense, and worry to which his wild projects subject her.
Nancy’s and Jeffrey’s children – Deena, Rebecca, Benjamin – and the women’s significant others, David and Andrew – back us too, morally and materially.
The same ICE Sprint 26 that bore us over 1400 miles to St. Petersburg, Florida, and almost 1600 miles to the Great Lakes, is our vehicle for this trip through New England.
What is it about Human Rights First that compels us to return to the road?
The Declaration of Independence embodies the values that our Constitution imperfectly effects. Equality. Justice. Freedom. Values not just for Americans. For everyone. Human Rights First works to project those values to protect people from persecution abroad. When persecutors’ victims to flee to our country, Human Rights First finds and trains free lawyers to help those refugees find the safety to which our laws entitle them.
Jeffrey’s injury means that we need your help more than ever. When you visit this blog, when you make encouraging comments, when you donate to Human Rights First, you flatten mountains, freshen tailwinds, fill potholes, soothe pain, give us the strength to press on.
As on every Ride, we plan to post from the road each night. Follow us (click on the button above “DONATE” at the right on your PC or the bottom of the page on your tablet or smartphone) as we explore New England, an early destination for immigrants to what became the United States. We’ll share what we learn along the way. You’ll see things you’d never encounter from a motor vehicle. We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us too, and if you like what you see, please donate to Human Rights First.