Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Powerful Noise

I went with a few of my girls to see A Powerful Noise last night. The movie was screened in 450 theaters nationwide. A fitting event, with International Women's Day coming up (March 8). After the movie they had a panel discussion about changing the course of poverty and the state of the world by empowering everyday women and girls. The stories of the three women featured in the film were inspiring, and I especially enjoyed some of the gems from the panel.

The long story, though, can actually be rather short. Before the movie started, various clips were rolling on the screen, including this video by The Girl Effect. It really says it all.

Powerful, right? And so logical.

Want to change the world? Want to get involved? Want to DO something?

Support communities by supporting women. Educate the girls. Empower the women with micro-loans and legal rights. Here are a few organizations that you may consider supporting:

  • The Girl Effect. You just witnessed the movement they're starting. Be a part of it.
  • Kiva. Want to know exactly where you're money's going? Kiva facilitates person-to-person micro-lending. You read their stories, pick the one that resonates with you, and donate. Then you can track their progress through journal updates, and re-lend the money after they pay you back! So cool. In the spirit of the day, and what you just learned, do me a favor and choose a woman to lend to.

It's only recently both in my work and with the election that I began to truly understand the power of grassroots advocacy. We, as citizens, are so incredibly powerful in this country. We decide who represents us, and after they're in office, we have the power to shape their decisions. And it can be so easy. A well-timed letter, phone call, or easiest of all, email, to your representatives speaks loud and clear. It may not seem like much to you; you're one in thousands, millions even. But multiply that small gesture by many more caring people, and that's what we call a movement.

It really is as simple as registering for a mailing list, then skimming the emails you'll receive a few times a month. Try not to let them sit in your inbox for too long--most action alerts are time sensitive, based on upcoming votes. Many organizations make it SO simple to act. With ONE, for instance, all I do is click a single button these days. One click. It's amazing.

Please go join an advocacy alert list. Or two or three. And do it for every issue you care about. Concerning global poverty and women's rights, try these:

I leave you with my favorite quote of the evening, from former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright: "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."


Valerie said...

Great quote from the fabulous Ms. Albright...

I've been a member of ONE for years now and love it. They keep the campaigns very real, it's always about participation and not about how much money one can give on a repeated basis (and being a professional fundraiser, this is a big factor for me), and they really do make it simple to participate. I also love the I get emails from Bono and George Clooney ;-)

Thanks for spreading the word about ONE and others doing some really great "soap box" work.

5 weeks (give or take) left to go till I'm parent. Which means we have about 4.5 weeks to change the world into a not-so-scary place (amazing how even for a long-time social activist, I'm that much more committed now that it's my own baby that is going to be impacted in the future)!

you are, as always, on my mind quite often. all my love,

Anonymous said...

Don't for get Soroptimist! We have been helping women and girl children since 1921. The first club was founded in Oakland, CA! Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization for business and professional women
who work to improve the lives of women and girls with members in 120coutries and territories worldwide
I am so proud of you! xoxo - Mom