Ten thousand Invisible Children supporters descended in red t-shirts on the D.C. Convention Center earlier this month for the group's largest event of the year: MOVE:DC. While I walked 15 minutes from my apartment, there were attendees who had flown from Brazil and driven from California, all united in their commitment to ending the atrocities of the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, and apprehending now-infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony.
On Friday, November 15, IC hosted Lobby:DC, an all-day event bringing activists to the heart of U.S. policy with meetings on Capitol Hill. Over 700 activists received training from IC staff on how to engage Congress members and urge them to support the pursuit of Kony. While lobbying experience varied among the crowd, the fervor each individual brought to the Hill was the same. The crowd represented almost every U.S. state and spanned all age groups, but the most represented demographic was youth. The high numbers and enthusiasm present Friday morning was a clear demonstration that youth are active, engaged, and committed to seeing justice brought to one of the world's worst human rights offenders.
Saturday morning's global summit featured a host of civil society leaders and politicians from central and east Africa; representatives of influential international bodies; Ugandan survivors of the LRA; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson; and LRA experts, including Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast. It kicked off with an enthusiastic introduction by Jason Russell, Invisible Children's co-founder and chief creative director, and Jedidiah Jenkins, director of idea development. Keynote speaker Sean Stephenson, "The Three Foot Giant," spoke about the importance of having a vision for one's life, and gaining the momentum to achieve that vision.
The vision of MOVE: DC was to maintain the attention of world leaders, hold them accountable, and explore new options for ending the LRA's reign of terror. In his remarks, IC CEO Ben Keesey stressed that a key factor that allowed for the presence of leaders on the stage was the activists in the seats ...[view whole blog post ]