Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Some Ideas and Updates

First off - welcome to two new key players on our team. Katie Mounts (kmounts@nd.edu) is going to be our Volunteers Coordinator and Caitlin Rackish (crackish@gmail.com) is going to be our Organizers Coordinator. Katie will be the gateway to Uganda-CAN, welcoming, directing and supporting volunteers and their work. Caitlin will be working on the grassroots networking that has kicked-off with out state-search project.

Alison and I had a conversation today about the need to clarify our objectives and where we are headed. I want to paste here our objectives and allow for some discussion, not necessarily to change them but to make sure we are on the same page with them.

Uganda Conflict Action Network (Uganda-CAN) seeks to:

· Raise awareness about the war in northern Uganda, particularly highlighting the realities on the ground and the voices of Ugandans caught in the midst of war.
· Take creative and targeted action to lobby policymakers in the United States to push for a comprehensive peaceful resolution to the war in northern Uganda and an end to its consequent suffering.
· Work in partnership with operating humanitarian organizations to provide relief and other forms of assistance to alleviate the unnecessary human suffering in northern Uganda.
· Build an effective broad-based grassroots network of concerned, outraged citizens committed to monitoring and using their power to work for peace and renewal in the Great Lakes Region of Africa and beyond.

Also today we launched our "March to $20,000" - see the email I sent to all of you and all the volunteers.

Finally, a couple ideas as we move forward -

a.) Development of a curriculum that could be used be teachers in elementary, middle and high schools to teach about Africa, the war, global systems and civic engagement - I think this could be an easy-sell and a great way to get into schools and reach people who otherwise we wouldn't be able to - Now we need someone to spearhead this.

b.) Meg Towle suggested the idea of having high school and even college chapters of Uganda-CAN. She is working on this and will probably update us with her plan/idea soon.

c.) My cousin said to me "Trying to get Americans to care about Africa is an impossible challenge." What if we framed our campaign as trying to prove that way of thinking wrong? It would appeal to patriotism, the goodwill of people and a sense of pride. Thoughts?

Hope you are all well. Let's shoot for a Friday CHAT AIM session at 3:00 - is that ok with people?

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