I can remember the two days we spent with Amira so well. It was burning hot and very dry for the middle of the rainy season. Oure Cassoni had seen only two days of raindrops, hardly enough to refill reserves for the rest of the year. Her skin was so radiant, voice confident, and she wrapped her body in beautiful yellow, orange and blue scarves. She was serious most of the time, but laughed loud and hard with vigorous agreement when the possible ICC indictment of al-Bashir was brought up. Her smile quickly dissipated and anger rose through her body to her waving hands when the conversation turned to the possibility that any indictment would be postponed or turned down by the international community. Like all women I have met in the camps, she wants nothing more than to return home to Darfur. No matter how hard it will be to rebuild, it is her home. It is where she feels she belongs. It is her world and her heart.
2008 was a year of change for America as we voted in our first ever community-based organizer as a President. He, too, believes in ending the genocide in Darfur and the refugees believe they will see change with Obama (view their video here). But, like all our leaders, he will not necessarily act unless we ask him, and all our other leaders to be the voice of the Darfuris; to stand for those being persecuted because of their culture and the color of their skin. We must not let up our pressure. Obama has asked us to participate in our democracy, and in 2009 SGN will help guide you through this process by empowering you to engage your local representatives. This Is Our Democracy.
2009 must be the year that we break the routine of indifference. Yes our economy is downtrodden, yes we have issues on our own soil, yes we still have troops in a unforgivable war in Iraq. BUT, Yes We Are One Humanity. Yes, we can make a difference in our global community.
The patchwork tent is one example of students from CA reaching across the globe and into the hearts of children who have seen parents murdered, homes burned, peaceful village life replaced by AK-47s and militia. This tent carries the messages that innocent children hope for all: peace, love, flowers and sunshine. And it carries other messages from children who are just as innocent: bullets in the back of their parent’s head, burning huts, men wearing camouflage waiting to ambush those seeking safety. This is our global community, all of it.
And it is time we finally take responsibility for all of it.There are things we can all do to make a difference this year. Many people make annual resolutions, many people chose an intention for each day. Either way, we all need to make a commitment, no matter how small or how large. You can join the discussion at our Forum. You can hold an event – with your family or classroom or community during April during which so much blood has been shed in our history. You can send money if you are short on time, you can call you 1 800 GENOCIDE if you are short on money.
Whatever it is you can do, I am asking you to make a commitment to your Global Community. We Are One Humanity. If we fail one part of our community, then we are not whole.Peace in 2009, ktj