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Drumbeat for Darfur Advocates Take Action
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Drumbeat for Darfur advocates across the country are taking bold, creative action to mobilize, educate, and advocate for Darfur. You can, too!
- Activists raise funds, raise awareness, and raise the drumbeat!: Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Sixth-graders educate with paper dolls: Oak Park, Ill.
- Drum vigil honors dead in Darfur: Des Moines, Iowa
- Ohio congregation takes a unified stand against genocide
- A rapid response network: Westchester, N.Y.
Activists raise funds, raise awareness, and raise the drumbeat!:
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Drumbeat Advocate Toni Kring helped organize an event that made local news channels in Fort Wayne, Ind. Along with a screening of “Darfur Diaries” at the Fort Wayne Cinema Center at Indiana Tech in April, she helped set up advocacy tables with Fidelity Out of Sudan petitions and a Solar Cooker Project display of the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. Ticket sales raised $1,160 and were to be used by Steve Harrigan, solar cooker project manager, for a training of trainers’ project in Darfur.
Sixth-graders educate with paper dolls: Oak Park, Ill.
Michael Schwartz, Drumbeat for Darfur advocate and UUSC volunteer, has been visiting youth and children’s religious education groups in Illinois to talk about Darfur. After a recent visit, sixth-grade teachers at Unity Temple in Oak Park reported: “All of the children of our congregation have joined us . . . by decorating paper people to represent the many thousands of real, formerly living, breathing people, who have died or been murdered in Darfur. . . .This is a horrible violation of our UU principles.”
Drum vigil honors dead in Darfur: Des Moines, Iowa
Darcie Vandegrift of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines organized a powerful 24-hour vigil from Friday, May 18 until Saturday, May 19 with ten local congregations, the mayor, two state legislators and many others. According to the Des Moines Register, "A fierce drumbeat echoed across Des Moines’ Nollen Plaza at 10 a.m. on Friday as Iowans gathered to begin ‘Drumbeat for Darfur,’ a 24-hour vigil bringing attention to genocide in the region of Sudan in Africa." Read the article
Ohio congregation takes a unified stand against genocide
On May 6, 2007, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent (OH) unanimously passed a resolution demanding an end to the Darfur Genocide. Mac Goekler, UUSC's Regional Coordinator in the area, emphasizes that although “this resolution is strongly worded…it clearly states that the conflict must end through peaceful means.” The Congregational Resolution calls on "the Security Council of the United Nations, President John Kufuor of Ghana and the current chairman of the African Union, and President George W. Bush ... to use all available peaceful means to end the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan."
A rapid response network: Westchester, N.Y.
Stuart Caplan and the Darfur Action Team of the First Unitarian Society of Westchester, N.Y., organized an exceptional letter-writing campaign. To motivate involvement, the action team set up advocacy tables following each service for three weeks in a row. Ninety people wrote an incredible 540 letters to their members of Congress, the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and President Bush.
The Darfur Action Team now aims to create a rapid response network. They hope to deploy a new letter campaign to all 2008 presidential candidates, urging them to include action on Darfur in their platforms. Caplan says, “We aspire to have a large rapid response team crossing many congregations to more effectively keep the pressure up on our officials to do more. We will work with other interested congregations to do this."
Get involved in these and other strategic actions, e-mail us!