Today I participate in Blogging For Human Rights Day, sponsored by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a one day blog carnival to shed light on human rights abuses and victories here in the United States. December 10th, Human Rights Day, honors the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Blogging For Human Rights Day asked for stories of human rights abuses as well as stories of the brave activism of DREAMers across the country. Today, I focus on the DREAMers.
I want to talk about an incredible project working to empower individuals worldwide to pledge individual commitments to contribute to world peace.
A Big Project’s event occurs on December 20, 2012, as an online broadcast bringing together Nobel Peace Prize winners, established and emerging artists, leading activist organizations, corporations and people around the globe. It will be broadcasted on more than 3000 websites in 150 countries.
I love it because while it is such a huge project, it is meant to work in small scale. The thing about human rights violations world-wide is that it can be really alienating and frustrating that there’s nothing we can do individually to make a difference so we often default to nothing. But by reaching out to individuals and harnessing the power of each person to commit to do something to help life change, all across the globe, the world really can change.
This video is a great summary of what A Big Project is doing:
The project asked people from 97 countries the same four questions and looked for the places that the answers overlapped.
What would you NOT want to continue from this world?
What WOULD you want to continue from this world?
What could people do differently now to help us get to that better world?
What is one thing that you will commit to do differently now to help us get to that better world?
The three words that came up over and over again were “Help Life Change,” which is the message the project is focusing on to solicit art and music contributions and individual messages for their December 20 event.
From the website:
Be a part of this historic effort! Participate in one of the following three ways…
1. Click here to make art or music that will be featured live on December 20th.
2. Click here to create a 30 second message about what you are doing to make the world a better place.
3. Watch the live broadcast on Dec 20th and submit YOUR commitment to making the world a better place.
I have noticed in the last few months that some of my friends have been posting to Facebook and unknowingly making those posts public. I have wondered if those friends realized it, when I see the little globe icon next to their status. I don't want to assume people don't know what they're doing in terms of privacy settings, so often I don't reach out to ask. But sometimes it's pretty obvious they intend a post to be "friends-only" and it's really posting so the whole wide world can see. It's happened about a half a dozen times that the person didn't know it was public and either had a social catastrophe or just a long period of stepping back in time manually changing the settings on a bunch of statuses themselves.
This post is a friendly heads-up to folks to check their default settings on Facebook and be wary of what they are putting on the internet intentionally public. Sure, this is going to be "duh" to some people, but if it saves a few of you from social catastrophe, I think that's all the better.
I have this grief about leaving Brooklyn that hits me in waves. I am profoundly curious and excited about this new chapter in my life. I haven't experienced a drastic geographic change in 15 years. I'm a totally different person than I was when I left CA. I'm so curious what it is going to be like. But also, I'm bummed about leaving a lot of the things I love about NYC behind. I'm working really hard not to let my grief and anxiety interfere with my ability to love the process and let go of NYC in a mindful way.
When I was 29 and my fiance had just broken up with me and I was kind of a disaster, my friend Kelli Dunham gave me a cd about the grief process. I didn't realize at the time that you could have grief about things that weren't death. I just thought you powered through yucky feelings by ignoring them. Learning how to deal with grief and anxiety has been a long road and I'm still working through it.
You guys, last year I produced Dollypalooza on a faithful impetus after a really profound and spiritual visit to Dollywood during a difficult time in my life. (Dara was going through chemo, my super generous friend and philanthropist Jess whisked me off to Dollywood, we went to Night of 1,000 Dollys in Knoxville and couldn't get into the club it was so crowded.) So I risked literally every penny I had to secure the $2,000 bar minimum at the venue and the stipends I promised all of the best Dolly performance artists I knew in NYC and Philly. It ended up being a huge success, even though the show started at 11PM! We also raised $1,400 for Dolly's Imagination Library charity through our raffle and Jess, our matching donor!
This year I wondered if I got the venue for an earlier show (7PM doors, 8PM show) if we could get more folks in the house and if we could raise even more for the Imagination Library. I am aiming for $10,000. Maybe that's bananas, but we worked really hard to get silent auction prizes and raffle prizes that might get us close! Like Dolly says, "You'll never know what you're capable of until you're brave enough to try!"