Saturday, June 9, 2012

KONY 2012 at Mountainfilm

Every memorial day weekend, the tiny mountain town of Telluride, Colorado hosts a film festival called Mountainfilm. If I remember correctly, it was birthed from a pre-X-games love of action sports films, the kind that are a continuous slow motion montage of snow boarding flips, gnarly surf shredding, mountain biking down an erupting volcano, etc etc. But over the last twenty years, the festival has evolved into something more. The love of action sports necessitated beautiful scenery, and that accented and enflamed within the athletes and filmmakers a love of nature. That love of nature infected the film festival with an activist’s heart, and the films expanded beyond sports and stunts to environmental conservation and human rights. Now, the festival is a majestic collective of creative filmmakers aiming to raise awareness about the most important issues facing our planet. It is my favorite weekend of the year.

$10M authorized by U.S. Congress

Sometimes – when you ask nicely – U.S. Congress makes $10 million available for protecting families at risk of LRA attacks. That’s good money. Thanks to everyone out there who called, tweeted, or met with their Members of Congress. Nice work.
Check out Resolve’s blog post about it. Resolve is our partner in KONY 2012 and they know what’s what in DC.
From Resolve:
This week, we received some big news as the committees in Congress that set America’s foreign aid budget released their proposals for 2013. Thanks to the committed activism of young people across the U.S. and support from a few key champions in Congress, we’re now very close to securing $10 million for life-saving programs in communities targeted by LRA violence.

The Debating Spirit

“I like debating because it needs critical analysis which can help unearth solutions to issues in the society,” comments Ben, a debater from Gulu Army School.  He says that debating has helped him overcome stage fright and improved his spoken English, a problem he has been fighting since childhood.
You could see how engaged the students were in the debate organized by the Legacy Scholarship Program. The room was full to capacity, with many students peering through the window bars from outside to get a glimpse of the action. The main hall at Sir Samuel Baker school was as silent as a grave, while all eyes focused on the debaters trying to convince the judges of their case on the topic “true democracy is impracticable in our contemporary society.”