Standing up for social change requires the joining of hands in a collaborative enterprise.
The potential for peace blooms when we share a transformative vision, and actively build social justice in our communities, in tandem. The transformative vision I seek to share is embodied in World Pulse’s uprising of women around the world. These women join hands to project their voices above the apathetic cacophony of defeat.
Women like Achieng Beatrice Nas and her resilient peers in the Voices of Our Future Network have overcome unfathomable circumstances to act as leaders in the struggle for social justice and equality. Their journeys prompt us to inquire: how can we empower, and be empowered, to harmonize our voices and stand up for social change?
My circumstances in easy Portland, Oregon are less poignant. However, I seized the opportunity to answer the prompt and amplify my convictions by joining millions of people around the word as they Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The annual Stand Up campaign takes place over three days to provide a forum for civil society to demand global leaders uphold their international commitments to the MDGs and End Poverty by 2015. The eight MDGs include the following commitments: end poverty and extreme hunger, universal education, gender equality, child health, maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability and to build a global partnership.
My collaborative vision for the Stand Up campaign manifested in the form of a participatory art festival.
I designed the event to engaged Portland State University‘s campus by tapping into Portland’s prolific reservoir of local artists. The unique event mobilized over three hundred people to participate as performing and visual artists, speakers, volunteers and spectators. I was proud to see Congressman David Wu as our opening speaker affirming his commitments to upholding the MDGs. Organizations such as Mercy Corps, Jubilee Oregon, Portland Area Global Aids Coalition and Bread for the World participated avidly in creating the event and spoke about the MDGs during the festival.
My transformative experience creating space for an alliance of peace builders proved that collaboration is the key to generating a global uprising. We can unite and fortify the ties that uplift social justice by building a dialogic alliance, that values diversity and people’s creative potential. Let us collectively amplifying our demands and participate in the global decision-making process.
Fore more information about the Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and for the MDGs please visit:
Read more about Portland’s Stand Up Art Festival: http://jubileeusa.typepad.com/blog_the_debt/2008/10/portland-artists-lead-in-portlands-standup-event.html