The Morning News

This morning, before sitting down to address the many tasks on the SGN to-do list I read two articles. The first unfortunately confirms what many of us activists know already, that people continue to die in Darfur. Right now the death toll has reached its highest peak in two years. That means that fighting has increased since the April elections where an indicted war criminal was “democratically” elected in a process that most experts say was neither free nor fair. Yet in the end, the U.S. government sent a representative to al-Bashir’s inauguration in Sudan.On some levels I feel like we are losing the human rights battle in Sudan. To that end,  I am constantly asked why I do this job, how I got into it, and how I keep going. For me it is more of a way of life. A decision I made to give a large part of myself to something bigger than one person. To take the risk of leaving a more secure life with benefits and paid vacations, I had to believe, and continue to today, that bringing together people can change the world.The second article I read brought back some of this hope, which I really needed this morning. Several years ago we took Camp Darfur to Fort Wayne, Indiana. We met a beautiful Darfuri women, Mastora Bakhiet, who had set up the Darfur tent the way a traditional hut back home in Sudan would have looked. Mastora is now the Executive Director of the Darfur Women’s Peace and Development Network Inc and they recently hosted a picnic to share cultures and create friendships between Darfuri’s and Americans.It’s so inspiring to see others work towards bringing people together. If we live far apart from each other, even when we are neighbors, then the world will only stay the same. Barriers will only get taller and stronger. But if we open ourselves to the lives of others in search of understanding them, we will begin to see all of our similarities. And the world will change.

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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