Culture of Participation – making global local

In Gabriel’s first blog post, he mentioned that sometimes our entries would be a bit more personal. So here goes.

Two days into elections, Sudan is “peaceful” but with so many irregularities, voter fraud, intimidation, and violence leadingcartoon-sudan-new.jpg up to the polling, we already know what the result of the vote will be. And what I fear even more is what will happen between now and the referendum. Bashir will continue his reign of terror throughout the country and use his democratically elected position as President to validate is killing, lies, and deception.  I fear the Gration will say “look, there was a democratically elected President, let’s lift sanctions,” and the world, and the US, will believe in his smoke and mirrors, all the while people will die in his country. The South will continue to prepare for separation, but I know, and we all should by now, that there is no way that al-Bashir is going to let there be a peaceful separation. He has never upheld his word in the past, why would he in the case of relinquishing 1/2 of his territory?

And now, I turn to us, the advocacy community. I often get asked why I work for Sudan and for human rights. That there are so many things here that we could be working on, why something so far away. I almost always come to tears when give me answer. Because it is our responsibility to, as part of humanity, to do everything in our power to get rid of the world’s worst hate crime. To fight for the rights of those who need a little help. To be the voice for those who don’t have the access to get their story out. I feel so strongly about this, I find it hard at times to understand that others don’t feel the same anger and desire to fight when they hear that someone has been gang raped and left for dead only because they were of a certain ethnicity. If this happened to your neighbor, would you act? I know that is difficult to imagine that we can stop hate crimes, stop genocide. But I also, with the same amount of fire that I work with each day, believe the we can change the world…by connecting and making global local.

Trying to connect people, those who have been through it with those who want to fight to end it, is probably what we do the most of. All the other campaigns and initiatives are all in this vain. To connect you and me and Darfuris and Sudanese and Diaspora, and the world to make it smaller. So that when you take action for Sudan, you are taking action for your brothers and sisters.

So in this ramble, I ask you, how do we make this more personal, more tangible? How do we connect more people? I know one thing is for sure, we can’t do it alone. As Yuen-Lin always says, we need to create a culture of participation and I need you to help me.

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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