By Daniel Bornstein, YA Delegate from New York and a soon-to-be freshman at Dartmouth College
The gathering of hundreds of youth at the UN Youth Assembly, all of them committed to addressing the Millennium Development Goals, represented a perfect example of the convergence of activists working on all kinds of global issues. That collaboration among global activists is precisely the vision of the WE Campaign (www.WE.net), an initiative that I’m involved in.
The WE Campaign–an initiative of an organization called We, The World–aims to build a global movement permanently committed to peace, justice, and sustainability. Right now, the international community seems only to be reactive to crises that arise–it has failed to build the muscle capable of preventing those crises in the first place. The permanent movement envisioned by the WE Campaign would be able to work on prevention of crises, not merely response to crises. Organizations all over the world can sign up as a partner of WE (no charge), which results in WE promoting those organizations. Promotion is carried out through newsletters, our Video Challenge, our Global Unity Calendar, and our WE Forum blog.
Currently the WE Campaign, which was launched at a New York City event on June 21, is involved in its Unity & Peace campaign, with the message being “Invest in Peace.” This theme suggests that resources need to be allocated toward such things as food security, water access, and nonviolent communication–not toward military buildup. The Unity & Peace campaign culminates in the 11 Days of Global Unity, which runs from September 11 to September 21 (the UN International Day of Peace). Launched in 2004 by We, The World, the 11 Days of Global Unity features hundreds of actions all across the globe.
I think one aspect of the WE Campaign particularly relevant to YA delegates is our Student Action Team. Given that 2010 marks both the 50th year of independence for 17 African nations and the African Union Year of Peace, this team has decided to focus on Africa issues; we will be making that a theme for the 11 Days of Global Unity, and we are considering hosting an event in New York City featuring Africa issues. An ultimate goal of this initiative is to connect American students with African students.
I, along with several other members of the WE Campaign team, recently appeared on the Peace Day Global Broadcast radio show (listen to the show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/peaceportal/2010/07/22/peace-day-partnering). We spoke about the urgency for unity among social change organizations–an idea about which I grew so optimistic at the Youth Assembly, having met so many interesting young delegates.
I invite all YA delegates to sign up their organizations as a partner of the WE Campaign at http://www.WE.net