Ride for Human Rights: Joey Goes to Seattle and the Deep South


Joey, hatted and umbrellaed for the Pacific Northwest, with a banjoed knee (a la “Oh! Susanna”) for Alabama.

Joey here.  Kangaroo Court Puppet.  Lawyer Jeffrey’s companion for asylum lectures since 1991.  Chauffeured by Jeffrey on seven Rides for Human Rights since 2011.  One hundred fifty-four days (more than 5 months) and 8,975 miles (14,540 km) on the road, in 32 of the United States and one Canadian province, from Atlantic to Pacific, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico.

We’re at it again.  Welcome to the 8th Annual Ride for Human Rights.

Every year, we pedal at least a thousand miles of our vast country.  Along the way, we talk to our fellow Americans of every status and background.  We raise consciousness of immigration, refugee and asylum issues.  We raise funds for Human Rights First to support their training of lawyers to represent, for free, asylum applicants in the U.S., their work to promote American values in domestic policy, and their efforts to improve human rights abroad so good people won’t have to flee their homelands anymore.

This year’s Ride will be in two acts.

Act I:  On or about March 1, we’ll continue the journey that paused in May 2017 in San Jose, California.  Jeffrey will pedal us 1000 miles along the Pacific coast to Seattle, Washington.

We’ll spend April back home.

Act II:  In May, we’ll resume our travels in Indiana, a state we crossed on the 1st Ride (2011); pedal to Nashville, the destination of the 2nd Ride (2012); and continue south and west into a region with few immigrants, where the politics sometimes are unwelcoming to refugees.  If it can be arranged, along the way we will speak with school, civic, and faith groups.  When people know about the asylum system, they have the tools to decide how best to live their American and religious values through their treatment of refugees.


We visited the thirty-two Yellow states on Rides 1-7.  We hope to reach the seven Green states on Ride 8.

You can help.

By following our journey, you put the wind at our backs.

By speaking up gently to dispel myths—for example, many people don’t realize that foreigners have the legal right to apply for asylum, and that even unauthorized immigrants are healthier, more likely to work, and have a lower crime rate than Americans—you will encourage your friends and neighbors to live our values by welcoming the stranger without fear.

Donating to Human Rights First will further protect and project the American Way.

We will post here occasionally in the coming weeks.  Once we are on the road, we intend to post an illustrated essay each night without fail, as we have done on every Ride so far.  We’ll show you an America you haven’t seen before, up close and personal.

Each Ride changes us, we hope for the better.  Come along with us, if only on the Web.  Maybe the Ride will change you too.


7 thoughts on “Ride for Human Rights: Joey Goes to Seattle and the Deep South

  1. Seems as if you will not be near Atlanta or is my geography off. If you will be then I would like to try to arrange for you to speak here, here being my shul and including my study group comprised of Catholics from St Anne’s as well as Moslems from the Turkish Cultural Center, some of whom are recent immigrants

    Sent from my iPhone


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  2. Jeffrey,
    I have immediate family in Nashville and Jackson,MS and the latter, my sister, could be helpful in setting up a faith group talk if you want. I think their church, Methodist, is pretty liberal. Let me know if you want to avail yourself of some free food and shelter in either of these places. The Natchez Trace connects the two but I’m unsure how bike friendly it would be shoulder-wise. It does however have a low mph limit that you may find enjoyable. Check with the National Park Service that administers this scenic roadway.
    Kip Thompson

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