Saturday, September 23, 2006

Using our Legs as Advocacy Tools

Have you ever thought about the symbolic power inherent in the simple act of standing up?
If we don't like a movie or a certain speaker, we can stand up and leave the room.
Or we can stand up to stretch our cramped muscles.
Or we can stand up after sitting on the sidelines.
Or we can stand up and cheer for our favorite football team!

Or we can STAND UP Against Poverty and for the Millenium Development Goals.

Millenium Campaign has come up with a very ingenious way to mobilize individuals around the world to use their bodies (rather than their voices) to speak out against global poverty and in support of the eight Millenium Development Goals. Many of you may remember Carol Welch from the Millenium Campaign. She spoke in Albuquerque and Santa Fe last April.

Anway, the
Stand Up Against Poverty and for The Millenium Development Goals seeks to have a minimum of 10,000 people physically and symbolically "STAND UP" to communicate their desire to fight poverty and to hold their governments and leaders accountable for promisesto end poverty by 2015. The campaign seeks to make the Guiness Book of World Records. Hey, we have to use all publicity tools available to us, and the Guiness Book is well known around the world. The event must be completed by 10:00 AM. GMT on Monday, October 16. Unfortunately, for those of us on Mountain Time, it means 4:00 AM. on Monday. But this gives us all of Sunday.

Beyond the statistical impact, the effort may bring awareness to more people about global poverty and the MDGS (thus prompting many to stop sitting on the sidelines and standing up). It also seeks to
publicly demonstrate topolicy makers the growing global support for the achievement of the MDGs andfor the strengthening of development policies in both Northern and Southern countries.

STAND UP is a mobilization initiative designed to coincide with global mobilizations around the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which falls on October 17.

Who's involved with Stand UP?
For the STAND UP challenge the Millenium Campaign will be joining forces with a wide range of partners across the world, including the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), Make Poverty History, trade unions, faith-based groups, local governments, youth groups, Parlamentarians, sporting associations, media and other actors.

This is also an important two-day period for our efforts in Albuquerque to bring greater awareness to the issues of global hunger and poverty:

Sunday, Oct. 15, is the day of our annual Albuquerque CROP Walk (Central United Methodist Church, registration begins at noon, walk at 1:00 p.m.)

Monday, Oct. 16, is the local commemoration of
World Food Day, (Jeannette Stromberg Hall, Central Community College-formerly TVI, 9:00 am-2:00 p.m).

So you ask yourself: "How Do I Organize a Stand Up Event?
It's very simple. For those of us associated with a church, parish or faith community, we can ask our pastor or spiritual leader to set aside a couple of minutes before,, during, or after a worship service for this purpose. You can even do it during the announcements period. Just make sure that everyone is already sitting (to facilitate the act of "standing up.")

Here are the next steps:

1. The announcer (either your pastor/congregation leader or a lay person) gives a brief explanation of the STAND UP initiative. Why we are doing this: A world record attempt to STAND UP Against poverty, in support of the MDGS, for promises that must be kept to end poverty by 2015

2. The announcer asks the gathered crowd to count down from ten with them and then at “0” everyone will STAND UP together for one minute. (Disabled people can perform any appropriate action to show they are taking a stand or just be present).

3. During this one minute the “announcer” or other appropriate figure reads the STAND UP pledge on behalf of those gathered.

4. Have a colleague or associate count the number of people who physically stood up.

5. After the STAND UP moment and the reading of the pledge the “announcer” informs the audience that “x” number of people have Stood Up at this event and their efforts will be logged as part of the record setting attempt and total numbers of people Standing Up around the world against poverty.

6. Don’t forget to take pictures !

There a couple of small steps you have to do to make your Stand Up event count.
Click here to register your event with the Millenium Campaign before it actually takes place.

After the fact, send the actual number to by 9:00 pm GMT. In other words, send the information in sometime Sunday afternoon or evening. Remember you have only until 3:00 a.m. on Monday.

Please join us in Standing Up Against Poverty and for The Millenium Development Goals.

No comments: