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May 20, 2014

Ride for Human Rights–Going the Extra Mile

By Jeffrey Heller

I'm a long-time volunteer attorney at Human Rights First.  Through them, I’ve helped hundreds of refugees receive asylum in the United States. This week, I’m embarking on my fourth and longest Ride for Human Rights—a bicycle fundraising event to support Human Rights First’s work to defend refugees who reach the United States, and to support human rights abroad.

Human Rights First’s asylum work changes lives. Its network of pro bono attorneys provides free legal help to persecuted refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Last year’s benefit bicycle ride from New York City to St. Petersburg, FL, raised over $23,000, bringing the Ride for Human Rights total to $87,000. Along the way, I talked to school kids, retirees, farmers, shopkeepers, clergy, Harley bikers, veterans, whomever I met, to get them thinking about our legal and moral duty to refugees and about the benefits immigrants bring to the country.


I’m hitting the road again. I’m pedaling 1,500 miles north and west from New York City—a city that owes its wealth and culture to its millions of foreign-born residents—into Canada and past all five Great Lakes to Chicago. How evident are the foreign-born in this part of country? What part do they play in local life?  What are the attitudes of the descendants of earlier immigrants?  From my bicycle seat near the ground, where I see and hear as one can’t in a car, I hope to find out.

I ask you to go the extra mile with me and contribute to Human Rights First.  Your support will help victims of persecution restart their lives in the United States.  

Please contribute today and help us reach this goal. Once I hit the road you can follow my on-the-road progress and how we’re doing with contributions right on this page!


Follow my progress (as of June 10, 2014): Final destination reached!

Donations: $13,805
Matching Funds: $10,525
Total: $24,330
Days on the Road: 21
Miles Pedaled from New York City: 1,576

For daily updates on the Ride for Human Rights, subscribe to my personal blog.